Hello ladies and gentlemen, this review comes from a good friend Metta W.Peace-Mayowski (Aka skeebs). This week skeebs taps into another classic horror title Burial Ground. Can this movie be as bad as manos? Doubtful, but you’ll have to be the judge of that. Thanks Skeebs. Hopefully well see more horror reviews come from you in the future. Enjoy.
Burial Ground Review
God, that feels kind of like a straw man, doesn’t it?
I recently returned back to the Allegheny mountains, the place where Baryonyx was born and bred, for Christmas. Yeah, I saw my family- mom and dad are well, thank you for asking- and my sisters are an important part of that group. I get the feeling they like each other more than they like me, and that’s not an issue, because girls will be girls and boys will watch Italian Cannibal flicks and swear, but my sister Vicki remarked to me at one point “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from you, it’s that I should never watch Italian movies.”
Well, I’d take something like “hard work will take you far!” or “always chew your food!” but I guess that’s as good as a legacy as anything for Baryonyx. And I’m here today for a lot of reasons, but never fear- mostly, I’m here to tell you about a shitty Italian Horror movie, this one called Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror, which is sometimes considered the worst zombie movie ever (personally, I think Umberto Lenzi should get the nod here with Nightmare City, but in the end both are nearly unwatchable). Early on, it makes a strong case for its shittiness, and it carries a relentless pace toward a diarrheaic conclusion, much like my cat when he gets the trots. This, my friends, is not a film to be taken lightly or without a strong supply of toilet paper. My mother sometimes reads this blog.
I don’t really want to, but I guess you’re all going to want me to get toward the plot.
Sort of makes you want to go to the concession stand, doesn’t it?
Burial Ground kicks off with a bang, if by “bang” you mean a professor reading a document in an Etruscan tomb and shouting “It must be true!” The Etruscans were the pre-Roman Italian power, and were said to possess an obsession of death, so you could call the film intelligent if this wasn’t pretty much something Italians were expected to know. Actually, that’s kind of interesting in itself- Europeans know who came before them, but we don’t place an emphasis on it in American culture (though I’ll inform you my birth town is the site of one of the oldest known burial mounds in the United States). I’m stalling again.
Anyway, that would make these zombies (which quickly appear and bite the professor in the neck) at least 2500 years old, which means their decay is going to be pretty sizable at this point. And, indeed, the zombies are very decayed looking in Burial Ground, particularly if your view on decay is “your head becomes covered in papier mache.” Yet the zombies appear to have teeth, because they eat the shit out of the professor and then we cut away to a more pleasant scene.
Pictured: “IT MUST BE TRUE!”
So a group of three couples arrives in a mansion we can assume is outside Florence and settles in, sure that they’ll be met soon by the professor (of course, we know he lacks a neck at this time), and wouldn’t you know it, they have a kid with them, who hands down is the creepiest looking young man I think I’ve ever seen, and I went to Catholic school. The kid turns out to be important later, but not as a plot device. This movie is made by Italians, and to new readers, that means that our emphasis on the plot isn’t as important as, say, thinking of spooky things. OOH LOOK A SPIDER
So the couples settle in, with one (very attractive) woman finding some kinky clothes in an attic somewhere and then having sex with her man, who is disproportionately unattractive to her, looking sort of like an Italian Apollo Creed. And the kid walks in. The lady, covered by a blanket, gets out of bed (uncovering herself) and picks up a flimsy piece of clothing and shouts for Michael (only name I remember!) to get out. I guess that’s our cue, too, because next thing we know some of the couples are firing guns inside the house (?) and doing a photoshoot in some fields. Luckily, the film doesn’t want us to have plot development any more than I want it to, because zombies attack and that’ll be the movie from here on out.
Creepy kid, right?
Now, when you make a zombie picture, you always have some restraints, unless you’re an Italian, in which case, fuck it. So some of these zombies use tools (memorably, throwing knives [?] and a scythe) and some climb pillars, and some even understand the function of a fricking circular saw. The director doesn’t give a damn, so I won’t either. I’ll even spare you most of the rest of the happenings and focus on two important parts.
First: at one point, the currently-surviving characters see a monk and run into a monastery for help. Now, I’ve only met one monk in my entire life, and all I really remember of our encounters was that I had to kick him out of the milk freezer at work (true story), but these characters beg for help and then realize these monks aren’t monks at all… they’re zombies. Why? Does this have any relation to the other zombies? I don’t know, and I’ve seen the movie, which pretty much means you won’t know, either. Anyway, they eat the dude.
The only other part of interest (lol pinterest) is that our friend Michael at one point thinks “fuck this zombie shit, I’m gonna go Oedipal on this movie) and tries to hook up with his mom. His mom, getting some from a boyfriend, turns him down. Michael remembers this when he turns zombie on her ass, though, as the mom invites him to breastfeed (?!?) and, I shit you not, Michael bites her breast off in what I can only assume is the reason this film was made.
Honestly, there’s nothing else to say. This movie is shit, but I got it in a three pack from Shriek Show, our beloved friends who dole out only the shittiest in Italian horror. The other two were “Flesh Eater” (filmed by a man who grew up in the next town over from me, and damn good) and “Zombie Holocaust” (shitty). Anyway, I find it weird that she has a wedding ring on in that picture, since I assumed that man was her boyfriend.