Archive for Zombie 3

Burial Ground (1981) Review

Posted in Burial Ground with tags , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2013 by Last Road Reviews

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BURIAL GROUND

*** ½ Out of 5

Tagline- When the Moon Turns Red the Dead Shall Rise

Release Date- July 9th, 1981

Running Time- 85-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- Piero Regnoli

Director- Andrea Bianchi

Starring- Karin Well, Gian Luigi Chirizzi, Peter Bark, Maria Angela Giordan

There are bad movies and than there are movies on a whole other playing ground such as films like Last Slumber Party and films like this from 1981 Burial Ground, which is one of the ultimate so bad it’s good movies. The film was made by Andrea Bianchi and besides this film the only other film I have seen by him is the ultra sleazy Strip Nude for Your Killer; besides those two movies I also saw Lucio Fulci’s Cat in the Brain, which features gore footage from some of his later films as well as other films he was involved with and one of them being from a film called Nightmare directed by Andrea Bianchi. Strip Nude for Your Killer was a fairly well made movie that put more energy into sleaze rather than suspense, but it did have some decent tension and in terms of style it’s hard to believe the same person made this film and the only thing they have in common is at times sleaze. Burial Ground is such a hack job it’s impossible not to love this movie.

The plot has something to do with some professor and some discovery he made and he invites a few people over to tell them about it. Unless I missed it I’m not sure anything is made clear in regards to the discovery or the connection between the professor and his guests, but who really cares honestly? I don’t think any of us go into Burial Ground for its plot. I often wonder when it comes to a movie like Burial Ground what the writer thought after the script was completed? Did the writer think he wrote a really good film or was the hack writing intentional? When watching Burial Ground one would have to assume everything was intentional but you’d be surprised. The script is absolutely hysterical with some of the worst best writing ever.

Writer Piero Regnoli delivers one of the most awesomely bad screenplays in all of cult cinema. Obviously there is no character development at all nor do the characters have any depth, but who really cares? All the characters are entertaining because they either do or say the dumbest things. Here’s a sample of some of the awesome dialogue;

‘You look just like a little whore, but I like that in a girl’ (someday I’ll have to use that as a pickup line and see if it works). We also have the amazing ‘You’re getting a raise out of me alright, but it has nothing to do with money’. Now tell me is that not brilliant writing?

What Burial Ground might be most famous for is Peter Bark as Michael; Peter looks like a mini-Dario Argento and he’s playing a child, but its clear he was at least in his late 20s. Peter Bark has built up quite the following from this film and nobody seems to have any clue where he is now or if he’s even still alive. Michael also really loves his mother, but not in a normal way. Michael is jealous seeing his mother with another man and one scene has Michael kissing his mother only not in a way you kiss your mom than he begins to slide his hand up her dress! And when his mother wants no part of it, Michael responds with ‘What’s wrong? I’m your son’. The screenplay is again hysterical and I have to assume much of what we have was intentional. Piero Regnoli according to the IMDb has 111 writing credits and looking through them the only ones I seem to know are Nightmare City and Lucio Fulci’s Demonia and neither of those come anywhere near the brilliance of Burial Ground.

Director Andrea Bianchi delivers a film that is so bad its damn brilliant! The pace though can be a bit sluggish as its basically the same scene over and over again, but the film is actually action packed as the zombie action starts quickly. Bianchi crafts such a hack job the film is just way too much fun. Much like Strip Nude for Your Killer, Burial Ground can be quite sleazy at times and the scene most talked about is the nipple ripping scene, which has to be seen to be believed! Like I said in the opening my review besides this film the only other film I know by Bianchi is Strip Nude for Your Killer ad of course that’s not counting the gore scenes from Nightmare used in Fulci’s Cat in the Brain, but based of the 2 films I’ve seen by Bianchi I am a fan. While Strip Nude for Your Killer actually had some nice moments of suspense mixed with the sleaze, the suspense and tension in Burial Ground are so silly and campy and rather than feeling the suspense you’ll be laughing at how absurd it is. The zombies also stray from the norm as we see them using teamwork at times and even using battering rams, which Nightmare City also featured scenes like that, which I assume has more to do with Piero Regnoli since he wrote both films.

The zombies look quite silly and really aren’t very menacing in the least, but even with the silly makeup F/X they still look kinda cool and there is a nice amount of gore scenes as well. Burial Ground pretty much has it all; gore, zombies, hysterical dialogue, nudity and Peter Bark! If you love silly and campy horror movies Burial Ground is a must! This rates as one of my all time favorite cult movies!

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Zombie 3 (1988) Review

Posted in Zombie 3 with tags , , , , , , on October 12, 2012 by Last Road Reviews

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ZOMBI 3

** ½ Out of 5

Release Date- July 29th, 1988

Running Time- 95-Minutes

Rating- NR

Screenplay- Claudio Fragasso

Director- Lucio Fulci & Bruno Mattei (un-credited)

Starring- Deran Sarafian, Beatrice Ring, Ottaviano Dell’Acqua, Massimo Vanni, Ulli Reinthaler, Marina Loi

Released in 1988 Zombie 3 continued the downward spiral for Lucio Fulci who in my opinion with the exception of Cat in the Brain, didn’t really make a good movie after the New York Ripper in 1982 and some even feel the decline started with Ripper, but I disagree and consider that one of Fulci’s best movies and his best of the 80s. Cat in the Brain again is the only post-Ripper movie that I liked a lot and I can tolerate Murder Rock from 1984 and Zombie 3 is better than anything else he made in this time, but that really isn’t saying much. I would hate for people to see this movie and form an opinion on Lucio Fulci since this in no way showcases what he could do as a filmmaker. When people think of Fulci they think of his splatter flicks of the 80s and while these were enjoyable films, movies such as Don’t Torture a Duckling, Seven Notes in Black and Zombie 2 really show what a wonderful filmmaker he actually was. When most think of Zombie 2 they think of the excellent gore F/X and for good reason, but the movie had a lot more than just gore F/X.

As I’ve stated before in many reviews for late 80s Italian horror flicks by this time the tide was turning on them and not long after this with the exception of Dario Argento, Italian horror was pretty much dead and seeing some of the movies to come out of Italy at the time that really isn’t a shocker. The one thing that surprises me about Zombie 3 is how weak the production values are, which is something that plagued a lot of late 80s Italian horror flicks except films by Argento and Michele Soavi. Zombie 3 is easily one of Fulci’s weaker efforts, but my biggest gripe is how this feels nothing like a Lucio Fulci movie. If not for his name in the credits I never would have guessed he made this movie; legendary hack filmmaker Bruno Mattei also played a part in this film, but more on that later. Apparently at the time of Zombie 3, Fulci was in poor health and according to writer Claudio Fragasso would throw pages away from the script refusing to shoot them.

Writer Claudio Fragasso is really terrible at what he does regardless if he’s writing and or directing I don’t think the guy could make a halfway decent porno flick, but yet for some odd reason I keep watching his work. According to Fragasso, Fulci threw the pages away because he deemed them too complex, but normally Fragasso has an excuse on why his films often come out so poorly, but I think Fulci was throwing away pages because he realized what a turkey the script was. Fragasso for the most part rips off George A. Romero’s The Crazies as well as taking elements from various zombie movies to write a screenplay so poor it’s sort of entertaining. Fragasso also attempts some social commentary, but everything is so laughably bad all this ends up being lost. The characters are total idiots and if anyone can remember any of their names you deserve an award. True a lot of horror films have weak characters, but these characters are total idiots with zero depth. The structure of the script is weak and Fragasso once again shows what a clueless of a filmmaker he is.

Director Lucio Fulci fails at really delivering much suspense and or excitement and seems to simply be going through the motions. The pacing of the film can be quite dreadful at times and despite running at only 95-minutes it does seem longer and the movie really could have used a shorter running time. Like I said earlier in the review I’d hate for people to see this and judge Lucio Fulci as the movie has nothing to show what made Fulci an Iconic horror filmmaker. After the movie was done it was said to be too slow and after editing it was too short and Fulci refused to do any reshoots so enter Bruno Mattei and the really sad thing is this might be the best work of his career. By this time in his career one would think Bruno would have learned a thing or two about filmmaking, but I guess not. In typical fashion Bruno Mattei delivers a hack job, but at least it has a couple of fun moments. Mattei’s scenes are just as sloppy as Fulci’s, but I actually found the pacing a tiny bit better. Regardless, Zombie 3 is a weak film in the career of Lucio Fulci and a decent film in the career of Bruno Mattei.

Make no mistake Zombie 3 is a bad movie, but that is why I sort of enjoy it. As for the zombies they range from slow moving to rather fast with one even wielding a machete! Some zombies have a few lines and others are silent. This is probably due to two different directors. You’d think Bruno Mattei would follow what Fulci was doing, but I guess not; but seeing as Fragasso’s script has no structure either not much of a surprise things constantly change.

The gore is fairly decent; it’s not the gore fest like some of Fulci’s prior work, but Zombie 3 has some decent gore, but could have used a bit more. But gore-hounds should be semi-pleased even if again it could have used more and it also wasn’t all that great. The zombie make-up I honestly didn’t really care for. It looks way too cheap.

My review is negative, but there is some fun to be found here; the idiotic characters can sort of make things fun at times and the machete zombie was quite fun and the zombie head in the fridge that comes flying out at one of the characters was hysterical. While Zombie 3 does have fun moments the movie isn’t as enjoyable as it could have been. At this time in Fulci’s career you can’t have too high expectations and with Fragasso and Mattie involved that also should lower expectations. I have a love/hate relationship with this movie and my enjoyment or lack of really depends on my mood. Once again I can’t stress enough don’t let this movie form your opinion on Lucio Fulci and it’s quite sad to see how low his career sank.

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