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Dead & Buried
Directed by Gary Sherman
Produced by Robert Fentress
Richard R. St. Johns
Ronald Shusett
Written by Short Story Author:
Alex Stern
Jeff Millar
Ronald Shusett
Dan O'Bannon
Starring James Farentino
Melody Anderson
Jack Albertson
Dennis Redfield
Nancy Locke
Robert Englund
Music by Joe Renzetti
Cinematography Steven Poster
Editing by Alan Balsam
Distributed by Avco Embassy Pictures
Release date(s) May 29, 1981
Running time 92 min.
Country United States
Language English

Dead & Buried is a 1981 horror film movie directed by Gary Sherman, starring Melody Anderson and James Farentino. The screenplay was written by Dan O'Bannon. The movie was listed as one of the 39 “Video Nasties” in 1984.

This was Jack Albertson's final film; he died six months after the film's US release.


Dead & Buried stars James Farentino as Sheriff Dan Gillis. Without warning, his peaceful tiny New England town of Potter's Bluff starts having murders. Strangers to the town are turning up dead. Naturally, Dan has to find out why. With some able assistance from the local coroner and mortician Dobbs (Jack Albertson), these two become more horrified as each passing day reveals yet another gruesome murder. That is actually a clue: all the murders aren't simple but gruesome. The murderer(s) actually take photos of the victims as they are killed.

The mystery becomes weirder. The audience sees what is happening, and know who the killers are. They can see Sheriff Gillis when he is in the company of friends, and when he is in the company of Grave Danger. One of the questionable people in the Sheriff's life is none other than his wife Janet (Melody Anderson), who has some rather odd reasons for her frequent night time disappearances. One discovered clue is when Dan accidentally hits someone with his car after a recent attack. He goes out to the hood of his car and sees the severed arm of the person he hit severed from the body, stuck to his grill, and twitching as if it were still alive. Gillis is then attacked by the person he hit. He fights him off, and takes the arm to the doctor, who makes the shocking discovery that the flesh on the arm had been dead for approximately four weeks already.

It is eventually revealed that Dobbs has discovered a secret technique for reanimating the dead: all the townspeople are in fact reanimated corpses under his control. Dobbs considers himself an "artist", and has been sending his zombies to murder the living in order to create more corpses on which Dobbs may practice his technique, effectively adding to the town's population. The ending reveals that the Sheriff is himself one of the living dead, having been murdered by his undead wife before the beginning of the film under Dobb's orders. Gillis then notices his hands decomposing, and the doctor asks to look at them, thus ending the film.


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