Thursday, July 14, 2016

Exploitation Encore: Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror

Well howdy all! Yeah I need to change up my greetings from time to time. Welcome back for Day 4 of Exploitation Encore and it wouldn't be an proper exploitation week with at least one underrated Italian horror film. Well I have sat through my fair share of zombie movies. 378 of them thus far. From the eerie creation of Lucio Fulchi's Zombi to George Romero's Dead creations that gave shape to the subgenre to even the unusual genius of Serbia's Milan Konjevic, a guy that financed his own zombie movie from his created comic book series: Generation Tesla, Dusk Fighters and Romero to bring us Zone of the Dead. That all being said, I have not encountered a zombie film quite like this on its disturbing content and lucky me it has alternative titles. This is Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror a.k.a. The Zombie Dead a.k.a. The Nights of Terror a.k.a. Nights of Terror a.k.a. Zombi Horror and Zombie 3- Die Ruckkehr der Zombies.

Italian Gene Wilder is having a devil of a night.

As this is an Italian zombie movie expect names you never heard of if you have left the subgenre alone. Written by Piero Regnoli (Lust of the Vampire, Navajo Joe, Burial Ground, Nightmare City,Urban Warriors, Bronx Executioner and Voices from Beyond) combine forces with director Andrea Bianchi (What the Peeper Saw, Cry of a Prostitute, Strip Nude for Your Killer, Exciting Love Girls, The Seduction of Angela, Maniac Killer, Massacre and Fleshy Doll) tells us the tale of the nosy professor and his jet setting aristocrats dealing with roving bands of the undead. Professor Ayres (Raimondo Barbieri of Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror and The Third Solution) an archeologist cut from the same cloth as Professor Knowby of Evil Dead tampered in a domain best left alone. Thankfully no demonic book bound in human flesh or inked in human blood. So no real need for story telling or character build up, we get right with the professor unleashing denizens of hell right off the bat. Granted he could have skibbled back to the castle, lock it down and prep some boiling oils to burn them or just stand by and wait for Ben of Night of the Living Dead to save his fuzz ridden ass but we don't have time for rational solutions.

Italian Sid Haig looks down at his latest victim.

Our three couples have arrived in the nearby villa at the request of the professor who was planning on pumping them all for some Euro to better fund his remarkable discovery of reanimating corpses decades possibly centuries old. Practical investment clearly. It was either this or Sega Dreamcast and we all know folks rather have the zombies than a few titles more for a game console.

Now our zombies have a few issues as the masks and hands are made up but clearly you can see exposed skin on the neck where they are just masks. The gore effects are standard for the day and not bad at that. The day time shots are were I am confused as I thought this would be more of a night of terror rather than a close to supper time of terror. Now the one truly bizarre thing that exists in this flick unlike any other zombie movie is little Michael. Pietro Barzocchini or "Peter Bark" is ten year old Michael or so the director wants you to believe. This guy is in his late twenties, early thirties as a dwarf playing a child and I guess that works considering the weird incestual groping and smooching mom scene. Later as a zombie he proceeds to gnaw down one of her breasts as well. Spoiler? Aw jeepers I do apologize for that inconvenience but no one can make it up to me for sitting through this obscure reel to reel. I mean zombies and an Oedipal story line? Not even sure where to go after that one.

All of this is shot in Rome so you get to see the ancient amphitheaters, ruins and the castle is the real mccoy. No joke, the castle is real and they managed to film all of this in four weeks time. Knocking out at 85 minutes it wasn't brilliant by any real stretch but it did have its own flavor to the zombie standing. Had this been stateside, maybe our would-be survivors would have been hiding out in a Civil War fort with boomsticks and old school gore spikes duct taped to the end of them. One can dream.

Psst lady, get me a 40, some beef jerky and a Hustler.