Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1980)
By: David Michael Brown on March 31, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Umbrella Entertainment (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English 2.0. 86 minutes
The Movie
Director:Andrea Bianchi
Starring: Mariangela Giordano, Karin Well, Peter Bark
Screenplay: Piero Regnoli
AKA: Zombie 3: Le notti del terrore; Burial Ground;
Giving Zombie Holocaust a run for its money in the stupid stakes, Burial Ground, or The Nights of Terror as it is known on screen is a zombie film full of surprises. Along with usual disembowelments and biting flesh we get decapitations, crucifixions and dismemberments; these zombies are as adept with power tools as they are at chomping on entrails.

The film also has one of those "Did I just see that moments!" that rivals the underwater zombie shark in Fulci's Zombie 2 for pure daftness. As our heroes barricade themselves against the zombie attack, we are introduced to the incredibly strange Peter Bark, a cross between Pee Wee Herman, Wing Weng of For Your Height Only fame and Bud Cort in Mickey and Maude. He plays the son of nymphomaniac Evelyn (the Italian legend Mariangela Giordano), their increasingly bizarre relationship bordering on incestuous. After he is killed she embraces him to her ample busom, he awakens zombified and you can guess the rest. It's a justly infamous scene that would make the late great Russ Meyer proud. The rest of the gore is vicious and splattery but technically inept.

The plot is flimsy at best; very reminiscent of that other cursed video nasty Dawn of the Mummy. An ancient tomb is opened by a professor with an unfeasibly wild beard who should know better; driven by science he ignores the warnings and unleashes the zombie threat into the world. Meanwhile a group of revellers are spending the weekend at a castle built on top of the sacred earth. Its no surprise when the partygoers meet the undead and all hell breaks loose.

The film was also released in Europe as Zombie 3: Le notti del terrore, a sequel to Lucio Fulci's Zombie Flesh Eaters (aka Zombie 2), however the atmosphere, style and panache that Fulci often embellishes his living dead epics is sorely lacking in Burial Ground and the vast chasm between the two directors talents is huge.
The anamorphic print is a bit murky and the night time scenes are grainy. Not surprising considering the low budget nature of the film but many of the old video nasties are coming out looking a lot better so it's a shame the extra yard wasn't taken remastering the film. Saying that it's great to see the film in widescreen for the first time and a film this bizarre deserves to be seen.
An adequate two-channel mix doesn't do much to enhance the film. Saying that the score is clear and punchy.
Extra Features
We get two subtitled filmed interviews. One with producer Gabriele Crisanti is rather dry but Mariangela Giordana shines as she chats about setting fire to zombies, the strange Peter Bark and shooting horror films in creepy castles. The pair give a nice incite into the making of an Italian exploitation classic.

A trailer and a image gallery featuring a healthy selection of poster and video art rounds things off.
The Verdict
The film is absolute nonsense, even for a film in the much-maligned living dead genre but its great fun for aficionado's of trash. Over the top in everyway the film has a good few of those special moments that make films like Burial Ground well worth watching. The disc has its faults but a small selection of extras make it a worthwhile local purchase.
Movie Score
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