Monday, March 24, 2008
Dead & Buried (1981)
Dan O'Bannon delivers the goods with this screenplay. This film had three "Oh shit!" moments in the first 12 minutes. Four if you count the sudden appearance of boobies.
So far during this marathon, we've seen a wide variety of zombie types and good range of approaches to the genre. But only 3 or 4 have really stood out as good films beyond their horror categorization. This is one of them. It is now second only to I Walked With a Zombie in our hearts.
If you're looking for plot twists and sneaky surprises, this one has them one after the other. Plus, the dialogue is believable and the characters are likable. Even the bad guys have enough personality to make them interesting characters beyond their questionable deeds. And there are some very questionable deeds.
I really like the fact that this is more of a voudou zombie story than the brain-eater variety, and that there are enough clues scattered throughout the story to allow for the viewer to figure out what's going on at about the same pace that the Sheriff does. In fact, about 10 minutes before the finale, I turned to my girlfriend and said "I know how I'd end this if I were writing it." As it turns out, that's how O'Bannon would have ended the story too. In fact, this was so well put together, that the story moved like clockwork and each new revelation built on what came before and laid perfect groundwork for what came next.
Can you tell I'm trying to talk about this without spoiling anything? It's hard to do since everything is so well crafted. Revealing any specific plot points could ruin others, so I'll just come to conclusion now and say that this was a good one. A very good one.
Plus, not only is it scary, surprising, and very strange (in an EC Comics kind of way), you can play spot the supporting actor, since there are quite a few familiar faces in this one. No one extremely famous, although Freddy Kruger is probably the most recognizable. If you're a Flash Gordon fan, you'll also see someone you should recognize in a pretty important role. Don't blink or you'll miss a Northern Exposure regular.