Buried Alive


Horror / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 28%
IMDb Rating 4.3 10 937

Plot summary

October 17, 2022 at 04:26 PM


Gérard Kikoïne

Top cast

Nia Long as Fingers
Donald Pleasence as Dr. Schaeffer
Arnold Vosloo as Ken Wade
John Carradine as Jacob Julian
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
836.59 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 31 min
P/S ...
1.52 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 31 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Mvpkinger 6 / 10

Edgar Allan Poe Is Turning Over In His Grave!

The movie boasts a fine cast, with Robert Vaughn, Donald Pleasence, and John Carradine (in his final film appearance). Playboy Playmate Karen Witter is very beautiful, and might make a passable supporting character. However, she is not a good enough actress play a teacher convincingly, not to mention being the main character in this film. On the other hand, adult movie star Ginger Lynn Allen does a very good job of playing the rebellious student Debbie. Robert Vaughn chews the scenery, Donald Pleasence acts goofy, and poor John Carradine is in a wheelchair, and looking every bit as old as he was. The story is only slightly connected to Edgar Allan Poe's writings at most. The DVD has no theatrical trailer or bonus features of any kind. All in all, it's a little disappointing, but watchable.

Reviewed by FieCrier 4 / 10

Edgar Allan Poe's Buried Alive: a stupid horror movie with practically nothing to do with Poe

A woman leaves the Raven Croft Mental Facility, which for some reason is filled with only women who do not seem insane, but more like juvenile delinquents (played by women in their 20s and 30s, to be sure). Outside, she's attacked by a short person in a Ronald Reagan mask and pushed through a trapdoor down a very long chute. Mr. Reagan shows up at the bottom of the chute seconds later, suggesting he has his own chute nearby or an express elevator. It was lucky for him her escape route passed by his trapdoor anyway.

The late Reagan is infamous for (among many other things!) being responsible for the closing of federally funded mental institutions, essentially kicking many patients out onto the streets. I wonder if this movie was trying to comment on that, in its own stupid way. The "Ronald Reagan Home for the Mentally Ill" in Airplane II may have been making a jab at the same thing. Anyway, a Reagan mask isn't really scary-looking. Even though it seems to be painted a solid color, suggesting the William Shatner mask in Halloween, it still looks like a caricature of Reagan, and thus, silly.

The next day a young woman shows up at the facility to be a teacher. On the way she has a Psycho moment when a sunglasses-wearing cop (Vosloo, years before the Mummy!) finds her asleep in her car. At the institution, she has some odd hallucinations relating to people falling down the chute (which she's never seen) or being walled up behind bricks.

And about those bricks - the killer walls people up behind a single row of red bricks which he does not appear to cement together. Even though he puts his prisoners in straitjackets, they could still simply push against the wall and have it fall down.

Donald Pleasance has a character that is ridiculous and serves practically no purpose except to be weird. John Carradine shows up for all of about ten seconds. I understand in his later years people would film him doing something, before even having an idea of what to do with it, just so they could put him in their movie. Perhaps this fits in with that.

Robert Vaughn looks, sounds, and dresses the same in this as in everything else I've seen him in. C'mon, an accent, some facial hair, and different haircut, do something to make your character superficially different! Or is it the director's fault?

The movie is definitely not adapted directly from Poe. It suggests The Black Cat, The Premature Burial, The Fall of the House of Usher, The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether among others, without really having much to do with any of them except superficially.

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca 4 / 10

Watch it for the old, crazy actors

One of a slew of Edgar Allen Poe adaptations released in the late 1980s/early 1990s by cheapo producer Harry Alan Towers, which also included THE HOUSE OF USHER and THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM. To be kind, we could have done without these films but they did offer something in the way of atmosphere and also included ageing movie stars overacting as madmen (Oliver Reed, Donald Pleasence, Robert Vaughn to name but three). This one was filmed in South Africa (due to budget costs perhaps?) and is not based on any one Poe story, instead using devices such as bricking up alive and burying alive (really?) from some of the author's stories. BURIED ALIVE is actually not that bad, and it passes the time amiably enough, with occasional flashes of inspiration. However the film is lifted by a single factor which I'll discuss later. Firstly, though, the bad points.

The film is incredibly clichéd. Most of the deaths are standard slasher fare - trowel in the head (remember NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD folks? It was innovative there, not here.), a girl getting her hair torn out by a blow dryer gone mad. The main actors in BURIED ALIVE are a group of high school girls, and let's just say that these girls are not the best of actors. All have big '80s hair, all are incredibly obnoxious and seem to have been chosen for their ability to stand around in revealing clothes rather than any depth or insight for their roles. I don't know but I'm pretty much sick and tired of seeing obnoxious American teenagers like these who seem to permeate every single horror film of the 1980s and 1990s. The main heroine too is a peroxide blonde who is annoyingly bubble headed and screams a lot. I find this kind of portrayal sexist and hey, I'm not even a girl!

However bad the acting on show here, it's countered by enlivened performances from three stars whose names should mean something even to those who are not horror fans: these are John Carradine, Donald Pleasence and Robert Vaughn. Carradine has only a tiny role as a wheelchair bound, long haired psycho but he's pretty effective in a lunatic, giggling madly kind of way. Interestingly this was Carradine's last performance in a film before he died of natural causes, the film is dedicated to his memory accordingly. Also on hand we have Donald Pleasence, another actor nearing the end of his career. While his performance isn't as over the top as in THE HOUSE OF USHER, he's pretty cool as a weirdo doctor bloke who wears a spooky toupee and eats from a bag of sweets all the time. In fact his role is a lot of fun and he is his usual creepy self. However Carradine and Pleasence have relatively minor roles whereas the brunt of the overacting lies on Robert Vaughn, the Man from UNCLE himself! Although Vaughn starts off as a dignified scientist, by the end he is an axe wielding maniac! Yes, this is the only film which has the dubious distinction of Robert Vaughn running amok with an axe. And it certainly is a sight to see.

Apart from Vaughn's frenzied performance, there is a palpable air of Gothic menace hinted at in a few scenes (although not nearly enough), especially in the dungeons below the school. The nightmare scenes with the bulging wall are also good, the special effects here are tremendous. Ants feature prominently in the horrific areas, and they do pretty much make your spine tingle, I hate insects and their use here is an effective one, creating real feelings of repulsion. There is an excellent scene where two dead characters are buried with only their heads showing, and Janet finds the rotted heads crawling with ants! Another classroom scene is not for the squeamish and involves sheep's eyeballs and yep, you guessed it, more ants. Altogether this film is quite average and nothing special, yet it's not as bad as it could have been and it is elevated by Robert Vaughn's hysterical performance.

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