Monday, September 19, 2011


"Mother...this cloth smells of death."

Hold onto your scythes! Portland Grindhouse returns tomorrow night with a rare 35mm print of the sleazy Italian chunk blower masterpiece BURIAL GROUND (a.k.a., Le Notti Del Terrore)! Andrea Bianchi's quintessential but still largely unsung zombie opus was filmed in 1980 (released in 1981) but looks a lot more like the deep 70's, with plenty of tucked-in turtlenecks, greasy mustaches, saturated colors and rapist innuendos such as the classic line, "You look just like a little whore...but I like that in a girl." Despite all the messy gut munching, worm infested orifices and bite wound money shots, the single most memorable thing about this film is the absolutely terrifying performance by Peter Bark. You know who I'm talking about. This dude looks like a Dario Argento puppet that someone left in the dryer too long. To make matters worse, he's incongruously cast as a prepubescent mama's boy despite looking like a 35 year old midget. Before he "turns" and casts his beady little man-eyes on you and even before he cannibalizes his mother's pasty teet in one of cinema's most outrageously Oedipal moments, Bark's shrill voice and wretched fashion will curdle your blood! The zombies are great in this one as well; clay-caked and bucktoothed with tattered funeral sackcloth that you can almost smell through the celluloid! They move slow, the way reanimated corpses should, though not as slow as their moronic human victims and they use agricultural hand tools to great gory effect. Especially poetic is the slow motion beheading that will leave you wondering, "Why didn't she just move and close the window?" After all, she had five agonizing minutes to contemplate the reaping. My solution to such gaping "plot holes" and occasionally moribund pacing is simple: more beer. Which is fortuitous because Hollywood Theater serves up a fine assemblage of Northwest microbrews (I really should get free admission for this). Another reason to drag your ass out of the house this week is the fantastic synth score, truly one of the strangest soundtracks from this era, which I imagine will sound even more unsettling when piped out of multiple speakers in the dark! There's a bootleg floating around on vinyl but don't be fooled. It's actually just the audio track of the film and doesn't really do this queasy Mediterranean Moog madness the justice it deserves. By the way, the Youtube teaser below pretty much shows the whole damn movie so if you want to avoid "spoilers", just skip to the Terrorizer clip and remember the days when David Vincent didn't look like a Chucky doll stuffed in a rubber "satanist" suit. Eat acid and expect vomit.

Tuesday September 20
4122 NE Sandy Blvd.
Portland, Goregon


Ryan S. said...

Gonna be fun. Also, that Terrorizer song has one of the 10 best mosh parts ever made, imho.

Dennis Dread said...

I'd like to see your official "Ten Best Mosh Parts Ever Made" list, Ryan! The Frightzone News Service is calling...

Carm said...

This is my favorite Italian zombie movie of all time. What I love about this movie is that there's really no plot line to it, the carnage and the T&A action just gets going within the first 10 minutes. The zombies have the worst low budget costumes ever, but they made it work! That dumb chick getting her leg stuck in the bear trap makes me laugh to this day. My favorite death scene is when the maid gets decapitated by a scythe wielding zombie after her hand is nailed to the window by a ninja star throwing zombie. By the way, who in their right mind yells at a zombie "I'm your friend!" when they're about to get eaten?! This movie has so many WTF moments on film.

Dennis Dread said...

I agree, Carm! If you ever have the opportunity to see it on 35mm definitely go. All the extreme close ups and wriggling maggots look insane when they're 15' wide. That scythe decapitation is awesome. The zombie throws a railroad spike (??) and impales her hand to the storm shutter but, still, why doesn't she just move? Ha! Great flick that makes absolutely no sense. And, as Charles Manson once said, "No sense makes sense."