FREAKSHOW I Bury The Living

Join us every Monday, as we look at a cult movie. Our film of the week this time provides a chilling warning about the dangers of getting your pins mixed up…

1958
Director: Albert Band
Cast: Richard Boone, Theodore Bikel
Available on region one and region two DVD
Watch the trailer here

Maps. Help you get your way from A to B. Useful for digging up chests full of doubloons. Wonderful things. Unless they give you the power of life and death…

Richard Boone plays Robert Kraft, a chap who takes over the chairmanship of a local cemetery. The graveyard has a map showing which plots are occupied and which are reserved: a black pin means occupied; a white pin meets reserved. When Kraft puts the wrong coloured pin in a space, the plot’s owner dies. And it keeps happening…

An early career peak for the director of Ghoulies 2 and Zoltan: Hound Of Dracula (who also happens to be the grandfather of Alex Band, lead singer for US rock band The Calling), I Bury The Living is infused with a rising sense of panic that recalls films like Roman Polanski’s Repulsion or nightmare-noir Detour. It’s markedly low-budget, but they manage to turn that into a strength. When three more people are marked for death, all we see is Kraft waiting by the phone in the dark, panicking as he waits to hear the bad news, and it’s seriously unnerving.

Sure, this is basically just like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone, but that’s no bad thing, since it’s like a good episode.

Ian Berriman, reviews editor of SFX and cult movie nut, has watched Rat Pfink A Boo Boo four or five times, but never seen On The Waterfront. The nutter.

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