Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dead and Buried

When I was a kid and I practically lived in the local library, reading every book I could get my grubby little paws on, I found a tattered copy of the paperback novelization of this movie once, and I devoured it in a few hours. I'll never forget how much I loved that book, so I was ecstatic when Blue Underground did a release of the movie on DVD, and I bought it as soon as I could so I could finally see the movie that had inspired me so much as a book so many years ago. The thing is, though, that I've tried watching this movie three times before, and I fell asleep every time. There's a lazy, dreamlike quality to this movie that lulled me to sleep, and even this time around, when I was determined to stay awake and watch it, I found myself fighting sleep.

The movie centers on a small town called "Potter's Bluff" where a string of grisly deaths gets the attention of the local Sheriff. Someone is going to a lot of trouble to make the deaths look accidental, but the Sheriff suspects something terrible is happening, and of course he's right. The audience knows something bad is happening because we see the creepy, nightmarish death scenes, where large groups of townspeople descend on the victims and kill them dispassionately, with blank expressions, while filming the murders for some unknown reason.

As the movie goes on, the murders get more and more blatant (and icky...I don't like seeing bad things happen to someone's eyes, so a certain scene in this movie gets under my skin in particular). It's kind of frustrating, too, because at least one aspect of what's going on should be obvious to the Sheriff, because there's one character who acts like a complete fruitflake right from the very beginning of the film, and it's ridiculous that the Sheriff doesn't suspect this person is involved at all until long after the audience has it figured out. What a dumb Sheriff. But in his defense, it's not like anyone in the town acts very normal, they all get weirder and weirder as the movie progresses, so maybe "fruitflake" is the default setting for these people.

Of course there's more going on than what meets the eye, and by the time everything is revealed, it's pretty freaky and out there. Creative, too. The screenwriters really came up with a doozy of a movie idea here. The dreamlike quality lends itself to dozing off for we sleep-deprived movie watchers, but if you can stay awake for it, the movie is well worth checking out.

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