B-Movie Corner: ‘Burial Ground: Nights of Terror’

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First Posted: 3/16/2015

“Burial Ground,” whose original Italian title is “Le Notti del Terrore” and is also known as “Nights of Terror” and “The Zombie Dead,” was originally unleashed upon Italian audiences in 1981 to little fanfare. The film received a very limited theatrical release in the United States, but not until 1985.

This film has long had a cult following almost from its initial release. One reason for this could be so many titles. With so many different names, it might have been difficult to track down until recently when Shriek Show released both an uncut DVD and Blu-ray version of the film. Those who did see the film though, especially in the 80’s were quick to tell friends about it.

The film begins as Professor Ayres discovers a secret in an ancient stone. When he opens a crypt he unknowingly revives a horde of zombies that quickly kill him.

However, prior to being devoured by zombies he had invited three couples to visit him in his manor to reveal his discovery. The group arrives but never gets to visit with the professor but instead find themselves under a zombie attack.

They seek shelter in the mansion while the zombies continue to put the manor under siege. Soon some of the guests begin to fall prey to the zombies in horrific manners. The first victim is pinned to a window and decapitated with a scythe, yes these zombies somehow have retained their ability to use tools.

“Burial Ground” is a slow burn of a film that trots along with intermittent spurts of blood and gore, but not enough to make for a total coherent movie.

Perhaps what the film is best known for, and not in a good way, is the bizarre and unsettling scene between a mother and young son who is actually played by a twenty-something little person. The scene involves the son wishing to “love” his mother too much during these trying times. One of them dies in a graphic, unsettling manner, but the setup is far more disturbing.

The film has built a reputation due to the high allotment of gore and previously mentioned bizarre love scene. Beyond these the film has a plot that could but summarized in 30 seconds and long drawn out pointless scenes, despite all of the shortcomings though it is still a highly entertaining film.

Any true zombie film fanatics will at the very least be aware of the film. However, this is most definitely not one to be watched by casual zombie fans so if your only exposure is “The Walking Dead” or the film “Warm Bodies,” you will not want to watch this one.

If you are a fan of the bizarre and gore-filled horror movies then do yourself a favor and check out “Burial Ground,” you will not soon forget it, whether you want to or not.