Dead & Buried [1981]

Overlooked during its theatrical run but a cult favorite on video, this unique and chilling take on the zombie film finally joins the digital ranks with a two-DVD set from Blue Underground. James Farentino stars as a small-town sheriff who discovers that the victims in a string of grisly murders are reappearing seemingly alive and unharmed. His investigation leads him to suspect that the local mortician (Jack Albertson) is somehow responsible for these reanimated corpses; what Farentino doesn't know is the extent to which the entire town-himself included-is involved. First-time viewers will appreciate director Gary Sherman's attention to pacing and atmosphere, as well as the often darkly humorous script by co-producer Ronald Shusett and Dan O'Bannon (Alien, Total Recall) and the solid cast (which includes future horror star Robert Englund); longtime fans will appreciate the fact that Blue Underground's uncut print restores many of Stan Winston's gruesome special effects. --Paul Gaita

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