I chose this title and version because it was one of the main three boxes that attracted me during my underage days of staring at the boxes in the horror section at the store. It was bigger than the other boxes, and it had a warning!
Well, I finally got my wish to watch good old Joe D’Amato’s Buried Alive about 15 years ago, and I guess I was disappointed because I didn’t end up at the hospital needing a nerve pill or something. So I’ve maintained for the last decade and a half that it was the worst movie ever, only nobody knew what I was talking about because it’s very rarely called Buried Alive.
Once I found out that distributors have a habit of inflicting multiple namings on movies and realized that it was an Italian film, I decided to make myself watch it again. You see, I don’t like most of the Italian horror films that everyone else foams at the mouth about but I keep on watching them. Why? Because I’m an idiot. Oh yeah…
Surprisingly, I liked this movie a whole hell of a lot the second time around, and I have to risk getting flamed by saying it makes more sense than all the Fulci films put together. Frank (Kieran Canter) has been molested and controlled by his psychotically kinky housekeeper Iris (Franca Stoppi, looking like J-Lo losing the battle with her unibrow) since his parents died when he was 13. He finally finds a normal girl his own age, Anna (Cinzia Monreale), and damn if Iris doesn’t kill her with a voodoo doll.
Frank goes insane with grief and since he just happens to be a talented taxidermist, he digs Anna up and fixes her so she can stay with him forever. What? Why is that so different from people keeping cremains in an urn on the fireplace? Frank only kills when someone threatens his together forever love with Anna. The hitchhiker chick shouldn’t have gotten into his car without asking while he was changing his tire. That’s why he wasn’t polite enough to wake her up when she passed out, ’cause she was rude to him. I mean, damn, if I woke up in a van in someone’s garage and caught a guy stuffing his girlfriend like an eight point buck, I wouldn’t scratch him on the neck, I’d sneak out of there. And the runner? You can’t blame a guy for wanting a three-way! It’s her fault she bit him after she noticed Anna in the bed with them. And it’s no wonder he’s a bit of a necrophiliac after having old cold Iris for a partner all those years. Man, I couldn’t wait to see that bitch die.
Besides being over the top with guts and gore just because it can, the movie was also funny. For example, when Frank lifts Anna out of her grave, she is wearing pristine white stockings, but when she goes feet first into the van you can see the actress has been walking around in the dirt. When Anna’s hand comes flopping into the cab of the van during the ride home you’d swear the filmmaker wanted it to look like she was trying to get the hitchhiker to pass her the joint she was smoking. And who knew caustic acid came in giant Chianti bottles complete with the wicker bottom? Also, I swear, one of Iris’s female relatives at the dinner party was rocking a full-on Magnum P.I. mustache.
This movie was a lot of fun. Besides the famous gross parts, you should see Iris eat. I think that was more nauseating than the taxidermy scene. The story has a beginning, a middle, and a somewhat surprising little shock at the end. You’ve got naked women, cannibalism, stabbing, a real cadaver, a kickass Goblin score, you name it! Buried Alive really gets kind of a bad rap for being trashy. But it won’t be put down any more by this reviewer.