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By James Whittington, Wednesday 6th April 2016
Burial Ground - Blu-ray Review
Extras: Interview with Mikel Coven, Audio Commentary, Trailers, Deleted Scenes, Collectable Art Card, Reversible Sleeve
88 Films continue their impressive Blu-ray range with this celebrated shocker from Andrea Bianchi who will probably be best remembered for Strip Nude For You Killer. Remastered from the original 16mm negative Burial Ground is a gruesome piece of Italian horror has never looked better, and it’s here in its uncut form, but does it stand the test of time?
Also known as The Zombie Dead, Zombi Horror, Le Notti del terrore and The Nights Of Terror (which is the title on this print) the movie starts with an scientist discovering a strange tablet about the survival of the dead whilst digging in a cave and is soon put upon put upon by some rotting zombie like creatures who find him quite tasty. Soon a group of people arrive (which includes the cult favourite Peter Bark) to visit him at his grand house and one by one they witness horror on the scale only an Italian horror movie can deliver.
Moody and colourful, Burial Ground is one of those movies you probably would have seen thanks to the VHS boom of the early 80s but never in its complete form. From exploding lightbulbs, maggot-faced zombies and plenty of gut-munching, Bianchi throws everything into the mix and doesn’t let things like character development get in the way.
Written by Piero Regnoli, who also had a hand in Umberto Lenzi’s Nightmare City, this movie from 1981 is a prime piece of splatter that retains its unease with some inventive set-pieces of gore. From open stomachs to zombies that bleed grey blood, this movie has it all. Talking of which SFX master Gino De Rossi out does himself with effects that still look pretty cool even in this CGI weary world, just check out the slow motion skull crushing of the zombies or the slow motion decapitation sequence.
It dashes along at quite a pace even if the zombies just shuffle around with the group barely having a moment to investigate each other, which they try to do at times with some very questionable advances from some of the party.
88 Films have done an incredible job here; the disc is packed with very worthy extras including a version of the movie taken from a 35mm projection print. Unfortunately even though it was given a 2K transfer it was deemed to poor quality but is here as a “grindhouse” version. Also you must check out an interview with Mikel Coven who is the author of La Dolce Morte about The Films Of Andrea Bianchi, Deleted Scenes, Trailers which includes one for Zombi Holocaust, a reversible cover, collectable postcard and a cracking commentary from expert John martin which is moderated by the ever reliable Callum Waddell.
The image is solid with some cracking detail, especially during the final 20 minutes which take place at night. This is by far the best looking transfer of the movie I’ve seen.
Burial Ground is number 14 in The Italian Collection from 88 Films, looks like I have 13 others that I need to invest in. Highly recommended.
For more information on 88 Films click here.
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