Burial Ground (1981)

The Earth shall tremble…
graves shall open…
they shall come among the living as messengers of death, and there shall be the nigths of terror…

“Profecy of the Black Spider”

I didn’t misspell anything, this is exactly how it’s written in the postscript for Burial Ground. Nobody cared enough about this movie to even bother checking if they spelled the end credits message correctly.

Yeah, this is Burial Ground, yet another early 1980s Italian zombie grindhouse horror movie. It’s like a Fulci zombie movie, only with less plot and fewer eye-gouging scenes. About the same number of maggots though.

A scientist accidentally unleashes an ancient curse to make the dead rise, just in time for a bunch of his European friends to arrive at his mansion out in the middle of Bumfuck Nowhere, Italy. There’s no phone, no lights, no motor cars, not a single luxury. So what do a bunch of Italians do when there is nothing to do? They have sex, of course! I admit, I can get behind the Italian way of life. That’s when the living dead show up…or at least they show up after one of the lovely Italian ladies gets caught in the act with a man who is totally not her husband by her totally-not-a-40-year-old-midget son…WHO IS TOTALLY A 40-YEAR-OLD MIDGET! Anyway, zombies show up, start killing folks, reveal they can use tools and are crafty bastards, and then proceed to kick ass. That’s when the midget suddenly reveals he’s totally into his hot mom. She says no, he gets killed, everybody freaks out and runs to a monastery, monk zombies attack, and then the dead 40-year-old midget son shows back up and his mom totally gives into his incest fantasy, only to find out why we don’t let zombies breastfeed. It’s a bad idea, folks!

Author Danny Shipka claims that this movie helped to kill off the ongoing Italian zombie rip-off movie fad in the early 1980s. While that’s not entirely true (Zombi 3 and Zombi 4 came out years later), 1983 definitely saw fewer zombie movies. Then again the Italians seemed to be getting more into Mad Max rip-offs at the time, so perhaps this movie just helped replace one short-lived fascination with another.

Anyway, should you watch it? If you like Fulci’s Zombi 2 but felt it needed less plot, tension, quality special effects, and budget but more incest, then yeah, go ahead. I think there’s better stuff out there though. I mean, this isn’t Hell of the Living Dead bad, but I’ve seen epic fail videos with better production value. Do yourself a favor, go watch Street Trash instead. I found that movie much less distasteful.

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