Dead and Buried 4K UltraHD BluRay review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

Review of the new 4K UltraHD BluRay release of Dead and Buried by Blue Underground.


A mob of Potters Bluff townfolk gruesomly kill a travelling photographer, burned him alive. A family of visitors are killed, man, woman and child, the car found in the ocean. Sheriff Gillis (James Farentino) and the coroner Dobbs (Jack Albertson) are puzzled by the string of sudden violence that has beset the little beach community. Gruesome murders multiply, and in each case, the victims are being photographed before dispensed with. Gillis is increasingly puzzled by the occurences, and when his wife Janet (Melody Anderson) also starts acting strange, he feels all alone. His investigations lead him to conclude that some deaths may not be deaths and something's not quite right, as people turn up alive who should be dead and the coroner may be in on it....

It wasn't so long ago that I had first seen it (on the German BluRay) so I was curious how it would stand up with slightly faded memories and in this restoration.


Dead and Buried however is not quite a classic zombie movie, but a lot more creative than most and it stacks up will in that genre or let’s say hybrid zombie slash town-of-weirdos (Body Snatchers-esque) genre. There are some well placed shocks and there’s some really twisted stuff going on in Potter's Bluff, but overall it comes across as understated, which makes it even creepier. In fact, I would go as far as to say the deliberate understatedness paired with the few but chilling outbursts of splatter violence make it so effective. And it is rather effective. Add to that the almost Bladerunner-esque undertones (do the Zombies know what they are) make it so original.

Early on the movie paints a very idyllic and yet super creepy picture, but the camera work make it all very artsy and almost looking like a renaissance painting. At the same time, it’s a feeling of outright claustrophobia you get as audience, as there’s hardly ever a point in the movie where you see much – of the surroundings, of where you are. There’s a very limited number of sets and indoor scenes, and driving in and out of Potter’s Bluff can only mean escape or death. It’s almost like a stage play at that point.

The low budget nature of the film rarely comes across. Dead and Buried may have had a lower budget but the acting and the photography are so good you’ll quickly forget. Add to that the excellent effects by none other than Stan Winston himself, and you got yourself a serious cult horror classic that keeps on creeping you out until the very end. That one however, is a bit of a letdown I thought. It’s not quite an open end, and not quite a resolution either, and with all the buildup I expected a bit more, but it does at least work somewhat. So that’s my only gripe I think.


So does it stand up after some time since I last watched it? A rewatch means it lost some of its surprising WTF moments, but it still managed to entertain and grip. Dead and Buried is an excellent little horror movie that offers lots to discover and does ripe over time. This new release by Blue Underground may just offer another chance at that with plenty of extras to allow a deeper dive.

The disc offers plenty. The transfer on this 4K UltraHD BluRay looks fantastic, albeit not on par with some of the other stuff BU has put out recently mostly due to the lack of detail that could be elicited from the source material, and some more detail getting lost due a visible measure of edge enhancement and noise filtering. This transfer nevertheless is brand new and not just a rehash of previous material, it was scanned in 4K from an interpositive, supervised by director of photography Steven Poster. I don't have the German BluRay anymore and I am quite sure it might've had the same transfer as BU's previous first generation BluRay release. I found some of the really dark scenes very dark but then again this is a horror movie. This one has amazing colors and contrast, some really nice texture and warmth and overall just looks splendid. You'll quickly forget that it's an old and low budget movie and digital tools are working their magic to make it palatable. For those with a capable screen, this is a Dolby Vision HDR presentation.

There are a number of audio options, the primary one being a (new) Dolby Atmos track that sounds very decent with some hints of lower frequency sound, but overall the movie doesn't give much room for surround effects, so this isn't the biggest upgrade from previous tracks, but it does sound very good. What did bug me a bit is that the movie is rather quiet and then the scare scenes are rather loud so I found myself fiddling with the remote, an issue that the more equalized older mono tracks usually don't have (for better or worse, I know). It is the qualitatively best track on there hands down though. The alternatives are the previous 5.1 track, the 1.0 mono track, and a French dub in 1.0 mono, all DTS-HD MA. There are subtitles in English (SDH), French and Spanish.


There are lots of extras on this disc, which is part of a three disc set that comes in shiny lenticular packaging just like the one for Zombi 2 for example. There are no less than four (4!!) audio commentaries on here. The first with director Gary Sherman, the second with Co-writer/co-producer Ronald Shusett and actress Linda Turley, the third with director of photography Steven Poster and the fourth with film historians Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson. This last one is new and wasn’t included on previous releases of the film by BU. So you will watch the movie a total of five times if you're a completist. I checked them all out in part and they are all recommended, even though I find the first and the fourth the most value in terms of information-to-entertainment ratio. I opted to watch almost the entire Howarth-Thompson one, as I dig their usual commentary work and its just chuck full of trivia from start to end.

Then there are seven (7!) featurettes: Behind the Scenes (33min), which is new and with Gary Sherman and the others commenting on an old 8mm handheld footage from the making of the movie, kind of the centerpiece of the extras on this disc. It’s a great look back and a fairly recent extra, highly recommended.. Then there’s Locations now and then (4min), also new, interview with Gary Sherman and composer Joe Renzetti (15in) also new, interview with novelization author Chelsea Quinn Yarbo, which is a highly interesting feature and novelizations are of course a whole topic of its own (13min) new as well, Stan Winston's EFX, if this name isn’t familiar to you then something’s not quite right, and of course he is the reason the ads said „from the creators of Alien“ (18min), Robert Englund - an early work of horror, that was some time before his slasher movie fame and now he is one of the biggest names in the genre (12min) and Dan O'Bannon - Crafting Fear (14min).


There's the international trailer, the US trailer and the teaser trailer. There are seven different poster and still galleries, from souvenirs and lobby cards to EFX pictures and video covers, this is quite the collection. Steven Posters' location stills lastly is a set of 40 pictures from location scouting the movie. These are beautiful photographs. There is already a standard edition announced for February in case you can say no to the lenticular packaging and the soundtrack etc. I didn’t take a closer look at the CD that is included with the original motion picture soundtrack by Joe Renzetti, but for those with a decent „classic“ stereo hifi system it is a nice treat. The score is really quite excellent. The also included regular BluRay btw. is region code free. The booklet comes with an essay by the always reliable and knowledgeable Michael Gingold, but hardly about the movie at hand, but about the rise and fall of AVCO Embassy, even better I shall say, and a really interesting read!

Written by Sebastian. Published November 28, 2021. Find some full size screenshots at

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