Hunted by the Dead – Burial Ground (1981)

For those wanting to watch a horror movie with little plot, continuous suspense and tension and a load of zombies, Burial Ground is that film. The story consists of a professor who accidentally unleashes a curse which re-animates the dead and once risen, said zombies attack and kill everyone around them including the professor.

What it lacks in story, the movie more than makes up for in all-out zombie action as the undead go after a number of couples at the professor’s mansion. These are not the normal, mindless-type zombies that audiences are familiar with as they are able to defend themselves and break into places that are otherwise shut off to them. They also look terrible – a combination of scary and shoddy as the makeup was simply not up to par. Be that as it may, the film never stops moving and the pace is relentless, the tension failing to lessen as each victim falls to the walking dead. There is a little bit of silliness present and it had to be expected given what had to be a low budget, but despite the faults that are present, the film is utterly compelling for the simple fact that one wants to see if anyone currently among the living makes it out alive.

There are no heroes or villains present as the film is not about the good guys versus the bad guys, nor is there a femme fatale or a damsel in distress. The movie is merely about a group of people trying to survive the day and as such, there is little room for characterization. The one person who seems to get a little more screen time and becomes a somewhat more rounded character than most is Evelyn as played by Mariangela Giordano, who also happens to have a son in the picture. While she does not exactly make the audience incredibly fond of her, seeing her live would not have been a bad thing, though one cannot help but cheer for her offspring to die – the boy who looks like an old man being exceedingly creepy and acted exceptionally well by a mid-twenties Peter Bark.

As far as zombie films go, Burial Ground is not all that bad and it does keep one entertained, but a little more story would have gone a long way to make it a true classic of the genre.

3 out of 5

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