Film & Water #159 – Burial Ground


Episode 159 - BURIAL GROUND

Rob welcomes back podcaster Nicholas Prom to discuss the 1981 gonzo Italian zombie film BURIAL GROUND! Not for the faint of heart!

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8 responses to “Film & Water #159 – Burial Ground

  1. Wow…hmmm…not sure where to begin with this one.

    I haven’t seen this. Not a big zombie guy, and I’m not up on my Italian horror like I should be. I do love Black Sabbath (the Karloff film). I recall the VHS box for this movie. Not sure why it never made it into our rotation of horror/exploitation films back in my pre-teen/teen days. But I’m kinda glad it didn’t, because I think I would have been heavily scarred for life.

    There are some American horror films that touch on incest. Spider Baby comes to mind. There’s that one episode of the X-Files with the Peacock family that had incest as the underlying origin of the horrors Mulder and Scully run into. But again, both condemn the acts as the cause of something even uglier.

    Interesting film. I kind of want to watch it now, but I think I’ll need a shower afterwards!


    1. I appreciate you giving this show a listen, Chris, since I I doubt this movie is anything you’d ever want to subject yourself to. I’m not even sure why I revisit it every so often, other than I’m a masochist.

  2. This was an interesting episode, to say the least. I don’t see myself rushing out to watch this film, but I did enjoy learning about how two cultures can approach the same genre in such different ways. I particularly liked your discussion of the impact the World War II may have had on Italian horror films of this era. Thank you for continuing to expand my horizons.

    1. Thanks for listening Brian. Yeah I knew this movie (and even this episode) is not going to be to everyone (or even most people’s) tastes, but I try and cover as much, uh, ground with the show as I can. There’s only a few shows left before I turn this slot over to MASHCast again, but I feel like in these last 10 shows or so I’ve really hit a lot of different genres, which was my intention for the show all along!

  3. I really enjoyed the show. You’ve been covering some interesting films lately.

    I’ve never seen this one. Since I grew up in rural Alabama, Italian films were hard to come by. I don’t think this one ever popped up on pay cable, either. The Italian zombie movie that I most recall was Joe D’Amato’s Erotic Nights of the Living Dead. The first half of it doesn’t even seem to be a horror movie, but an excuse to pack in as much full frontal male nudity as possible. I don’t remember if there was any female nipple gore in it, but was that a staple in the Italian zombie films? I know there were some unpleasant female nipple damage in Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals. I could handle most gore when I was younger, but there was always something disturbing to me about seeing a woman’s nipple damaged, even something as seemingly innocuous as Linnea Quigley’s lipstick in the nipple scene in Night of the Demons.

    As for Italian cinema, I do really enjoy the early 70s giallo films, so I hope you’ll cover one of those. Plus, if you couldn’t tell by the fact that I referenced two of her films in the last paragraph, I had a huge crush on Laura Gemser when I was younger.

    As for the disturbing incest subplot, I wondered if that might be a fetish of the director. You mentioned he directed What the Peeper Saw. I had the misfortune of seeing it a long time ago. A kid, played by Oliver’s Mark Lester, murdered his mother. He had a peep hole where he spied on his father and stepmother (Bond girl Britt Ekland) and the implication was that he had earlier watched his parents. During the movie, he goes back and forth between trying to make his stepmother think he’s going to kill her or trying to seduce her. A very sleazy film that I didn’t enjoy. I’ve read some edits of the movie try to sanitize the film by removing Ekland’s nudity.

    I can think of one effective American horror film that dealt with incest, but it was a plot twist at the end. That’s why I don’t want to say the title, because it will be a huge spoiler for the film for those who haven’t seen it. Yeah, I’m worrying about spoiling a movie that came out in 1988.

  4. For what its worth, I’ve only seen one film of Dario Argento’s — 1985’s Demons — and there was a scene involving a razor blade and a nipple.

    While there are American films that deal with incest — another one not named so far was written by Robert Towne and directed by renowned European child molester Roman Polanski — but the big difference is that American films NEVER portray incest positively.

  5. It speaks to my taste in movies that I skip most of the episodes about classic innocent Hollywood fare, but show up to comment on the softcore porn and grindhouse horror. As an old school gorehound and zombie aficionado, I knew the VHS box for this flick, but never rented it. Despite recognizing Dario Argento’s contributions to making Dawn of the Dead my favorite movie, his cut of that film is the worst of several viewing options.

    I started the podcast, but you guys sold the weirdness and signature “moment” so hard that I stopped to at least consider watching it myself. A trailer and a couple of YouTube reviews later, and I was reminded why Italian zombiespolitation works best as a “best kills” compilation than actual cinema. At least now I can finish the podcast.

    Since I probably won’t have follow-up comments, I’ll respond now to some notes on this thread with a semi-positive movie with an incest element and a top example of the injury-to-nipple motif: Henry & June (two references in as many episodes) and Ichi the Killer.

  6. I first encountered the film as a rental from the Movie Gallery/Mooovies from Clemson, SC when I was a post-grad. Couldn’t track down any of my normal horror cohorts to watch this one, so pretty sure I ended up watching it on my own in my friends’ apartment with a bowl of popcorn and a bottle of beer. It’s a great VHS cover and if I ever come across it on VHS I will pick it up for my tape collection.

    Burial Ground is a below average Italian gut-muncher in the grand scheme of things. When I programmed a series of Italian horror films on The Vault Of Startling Monster Horror Tales Of Terror over on Two True Freaks!, it did not make my cut nor was it an alternate, frankly. Compared to Zombi II, The Beyond, and City of the Living Dead, Burial Ground is a one trick pony (well, two trick pony!). At least its better than real schlock like After Death. I’d say it’s about on the goofball level of Zombie Holocaust (AKA Dr. Butcher MD).

    That said, I own it! I have it as part of Shriek Show’s Zombie Set volume 2, along with the aforementioned Zombie Apocalypse, and Flesh Eater.

    @Ted, Dario Argento did not direct Demons (Demoni), he produced it. It was directed by Lamberto Bava, son of Mario Bava.

    For the Italian horror films covered on The Vault of Startling Monstr Horror Tales of Terror, please click here: then check out episodes 21-40 (alternating mostly), plus episode 88. I would recommend any of the movies covered in our series; we cover a good number of the films which Nicholas mentions at the end.

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