Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 17th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1981
Director: Gary Sherman
Writers: Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett
Cast: James Farentino, Melody Anderson, Jack Albertson, Dennis Redfield, Nancy Locke, Lisa Blount, Robert Englund
BluRay released: January 27th, 2009
Approximate running time: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 English, DTS HD 7.1 English, DD-EX 5.1 English
Subtitles: English (SDH), Spanish, French
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0
Retail Price: $34.95
Synopsis: The sheriff from a small peaceful rural coastal town quickly finds himself in the midst of a serial killer after a series of mysterious deaths.
Dead & Buried was directed by Gary Sherman whose other notable films include Raw Meat and Vice Squad. The screenplay for Dead & Buried was co-written by Dan O’Bannon and the film’s tagline, “The writers of alien… …bring a new terror to earth”, allude to his most famous screenwriting credit Alien. Dead & Buried’s cinematographer Steve Poster other notable credits include Big Top Pee-wee, Next of Kin and Donnie Darko.
Without giving away too much about the plot (which has many turns along the way), Dead & Buried does an effective job laying the groundwork for the film’s jaw dropping ending. The film’s visuals also play a big part why this most unusual story works as well as it does. Even though the murders are not as gory as other horror film’s which were released around the same time as Dead & Buried. This doesn’t take away from the overall brutal nature of most of the kills with the film’s most famous moment being a woman posing as a nurse who stabs a man in the eye. The most satisfying area of this production is the acting which features a solid cast, that includes James Farentino (The Final Countdown), Melody Anderson (Flash Gordon), Jack Albertson (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory), Lisa Blount (An Officer and a Gentleman) and Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street). Ultimately Dead & Buried is an atmospheric thriller that puts an inventive twist on familiar horror genre clichés.
Dead & Buried comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Just like their two previous BluRay releases The Final Countdown and The Stendhal Syndrome, Blue Underground does a superb job with their HI Def transfer for Dead & Buried. The first thing that you notice while watching this transfer is that there is a constant amount of grain present throughout (especially during the film’s opening scene). When comparing this transfer to Blue Underground’s standard def DVD releases transfer there are many instances in which this BluRay see’s a vast improvement over the transfer for the DVD release. The transfer for this BluRay release has richer and more natural colors and flesh tones. Details look sharper (especially during nighttime/darker scenes) and black levels look strong throughout. Also edge enhancement and DNR are minimal and not as intrusive as they were on the DVD release.
This release comes with three audio options Dolby TrueHD 7.1 English, DTS HD 7.1 English and DD-EX 5.1 English. All three audio mixes sound crystal clear and at times robust. Three subtitle options have been included Spanish, French and SDH English subtitles for the hearing impaired. Overall the audio while not a major improvement over the DVD release, it is nice to finally hear the soundtrack uncompressed in all of its glory.
All the extra content included on Blue Underground’s special edition DVD has been carried over for this release except some image galleries. The extras are as follows a teaser trailer, the U.S. and international trailers. Other extras include three interviews titled “Stan Winston’s Dead & Buried EFX”, “Robert Englund: An Early Work of Horror” and “Dan O’Bannon: Crafting Fear”. The main extras for this release are three audio commentaries all which are moderated by David Gregory. The first audio commentary is with director Gary Sherman, the second audio commentary is with screenwriter Ronald Shusett and actress Linda Turley and the third audio commentary is with cinematographer Steve Poster. The various interviews and audio commentaries are detailed as they give a thorough overview about the cast and crews experiences about Dead & Buried. Overall Blue Underground have put together another solid BluRay release that excels all around, highly recommended.