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Drive-In Discs, Vol. 3: I Bury the Living / The Hand

Richard Boone , Theodore Bikel , Herbert Anderson    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 34.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Newly appointed cemetery chairman Robert Craft (Richard Boone) notices some odd things about his new post: a creepy sense of déjà vu, an inability to get heat in the caretaker's shack, and Andy the caretaker's Scottish accent, one of the thickest in all cinematic history. Craft soon discovers to his horror that sticking pins into his map of the cemetery seems to make people die. As if this weren't bad enough, no one believes him. As Craft grows more and more distraught, his forehead covered in some of the most brightly glistening sweat you've ever seen, people keep trying to prove it's all a coincidence by getting him to stick more and more pins in the map. Though hilariously overwrought, I Bury the Living does take a couple of nice creepy twists at the end. Never before has a movie so eloquently made the case for keeping cemetery records in a text-only database. --Ali Davis

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
I Bury the Living is one of many classic films that prove you don't need big money, big names, and big effects to achieve suspense or completely capture your audience's attention. I found the premise of this film quite intriguing, and the pace plays out just right as we descend further into the realm of the surreal as our protagonist inches closer and closer to possible insanity. It's unfortunate that all that commitment and effort was significantly offset by the ending. Personally, I thought the conclusion fell flat on its face. It's like going to Disneyworld, only to find a great big hole in the ground when you get there; you could squeeze the state of Texas through the plot hole at the end. I was all set to give this film five stars, and now I feel as if I'm being rather generous in giving it four.

The setup's rather simple. Robert Kraft (Richard Boone) is this year's chairman of the Cemetery Committee in town, which means it's now his responsibility to oversee the paperwork down at the Immortal Hills Cemetery. When someone buys a plot, you stick a white pin on the designated spot on the big cemetery plot map; when someone dies, you replace the white pin with a black pin. Doesn't really sound like a recipe for disaster, does it? When a couple of newlyweds show up wanting reservations for the hereafter, in go the white pins - then, when the couple dies soon thereafter, Bob is creeped out to find two black pins where the white pins should have been. He decides to pick a white pin at random, replace it with a black pin, and see what happens. Sure enough, that fellow falls over dead. Experimenting seems to be really popular in this little town, so a quick succession of pin replacements - and deaths - follows.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great FUN With The Drive-In Disc Series! April 6 2004
Hey you! (...) Remember the pseudo-butter popcorn, the syrupy fountain cokes, & hot dogs rotating on the bar grill, the school lunch style pizza slices? How about the playground in front of the giant screen, the terrible mosquitos, the choking smell of "OFF" bug repellant and the subtle scent of those citronella insence spirals they used to sell at the consession stand? And who could forget the stone parking lots, the metal speakers, & of course, depending on whether or not you were watching the movie, the steamed up with hot, sweaty sex, car windshields? Well, let this great Drive-In Disc series recreate those memorable nights at the Drive- Ins of yesteryear. This multi-volume DVD series is sure to bring back memories of those sweltering summer nights parked in front of the big screen. Each volume of this nostalgic series includes a complete double feature horror selections plus the great nostalgic, original drive-in extras that we all remember, such as cartoons, a countdown clock, all the concession stand ads, coming attractions, an intermission and much more! DISTORTO- sound is incorporated into these DVDs like, crunching gravel, cars passing by, crickets chirping, and tinny sounds coming from the metal speakerbox conveniently attached to your car window.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty darn clever! March 17 2004
The title conjurs up images of violence, grossness, etc. Nothing could be further from the truth. Made in 1957, the movie has the tone and production values of an episode of ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS...not a cheap horror flick. It moves slowly, and when Richard Boone keeps testing his theory (if I try THIS pin, will someone die?) it gets a bit wearying.
But the movie, obviously shot on a low budget, is pretty nifty all the same. The protagonist as a classic man of the '50s...a well dressed (in gray tones) department store owner...a minor pillar of the community. A sane, rational man with a nice "American dream" sort of life ahead of him. But when the shock of what he may or may not have done by putting the wrong colored pins on the cemetary map begins to sink in, we get to see him slowly unravel. The music gets hokey, and the camera-work is either very static or goes totally off into "la-la land." But behind it all, we've got a fairly solid script, with enough twists to keep things interesting, and a solid performance by Richard Boone. Never a huge star, this is one of the best performances I've seen him in. I recommened the movie for that alone.
Theodore Bikel (who later played Teyve in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF) plays Angus, the cemetary jack-of-all trades caretaker. His makeup is as thick and phony as his accent, and this does distract from the power of the ending, no question. But all in all, this is a movie worth taking a look at. It can be obtained quite inexpensively on many of the horror movie compilations out there now...you know the ones...10 movies on 2 DVDs for $6. Well, this movie is certainly worth $3 of that investment!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 50's indie... Nov. 26 2003
This independent film, written by Louis Garfinkle, is better than you might think. It's an interesting plot, though the final outcome is somewhat predictable. BUT...getting to that final outcome, there's some eerie and wonderful psychological-thriller-type stuff going on. Richard Boone made this just before he started playing Paladin on TV ("Have Gun, Will Travel") and he shows more committment than I've seen from him. The wonderful Theodore Bikel, Scot brogue & all, is quite fine. All of the acting is good. I won't blab away the plot, but the technical aspects of this film are extraordinary, and are displayed very well on this inexpensive DVD. The photography by Frederick Gately is exquisite, showing every crag in Boone's craggy face, and every bead of sweat on his bulbous nose. The opening credits, shown agaist a craggy brick wall show such detail, though you don't know it's a brick wall till later. Lighting is crucial, and mood is well-sustained. The artwork of E. Vorkapich (the map) is as creepy as it gets; great terror potential. Most of all must be the music of Gerald Fried; his deft use of harpsichord adds to the creepiness. The film also relies heavily on sound effects, and the spoken dialogue (all by Ryder Sound Services) is crystal clear. I see moments of Hitchcock...and even Bergman...in the images. "I Bury the Living" isn't a fright-fest; rather a slow, interesting walk down the path of psychological terror. Another feather in Albert Band's indie hat. A very worthy film experience.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I Bury the Living
Although you'll find it listed under "Horror/Thriller," about the only claim I BURY THE LIVING has to the genre is its provocative title and lurid tagline: 'A creature to freeze... Read more
Published on July 18 2004 by Steven Hellerstedt
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unacknowledged Classic
This film is terrifying. I expected some hoky fun when I rented it (judging from the cover), but then recalled that Stephen King had listed it (in "Danse Macabre") as... Read more
Published on July 14 2004 by J from NY
4.0 out of 5 stars Neat little chiller
I wont go into the plot because everyone else has, but you might like to know that the Alpha dvd of this title is a superb print and only half the cost of the MGM deal. Read more
Published on Feb. 24 2004 by SeaWasp
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cult Classic In The Best Way
I loved this movie from the first time I saw it.It well done for a B-Movie with reasonable special effects and a thoght provoking skript and hell the acting is pritty good to. Read more
Published on Feb. 23 2004 by Mrs. Barbara M. Muirhead
5.0 out of 5 stars White Pin Good, Black Pin Baaaad...
Richard Boone plays Bob Craft, recently appointed chairman of a lovely little cemetery. He takes the job reluctantly, trying his best to get out of it. Read more
Published on Nov. 30 2003 by Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein
5.0 out of 5 stars Is your name on the board? A black pin means death.
A Maxim Productions Inc. Presentation. Robert Kraft (Richard Boone) is now Chairman of Immortal Hills Cemetary. Read more
Published on Oct. 23 2003 by James McDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars Cemetery Plot
Notwithstanding the title and cover art, this is anything but a zombie send-up. Richard Boone stars in this quiet, intelligent mystery-thriller about a picturesque cemetery and one... Read more
Published on Nov. 25 2002 by The Abominable Doctor Phibes
4.0 out of 5 stars TO DIE FOR
With little fanfare, MGM has quietly transferred a handful of great B films to DVD that they not too arbitrarily categorize as "Midnight Movies. Read more
Published on April 18 2002 by Robin Simmons
4.0 out of 5 stars PIN PAL
I BURY THE LIVING is a true lost gem. It covers so many areas in such a short time that you can't help but be impressed by the sheer scope (and speed) of it. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2002 by Thomas E. O'Sullivan
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