Buried Alive (DVD)

Buried Alive DVD (click for larger image)Reviewed by Uncle Creepy

Starring Tobin Bell, Steve Sandvoss, Terence Jay, Leah Rachel

Directed by Robert Kurtzman

Distributed by Dimension Extreme

Upon first hearing of this flick I was way less than impressed. Then I found out it was Robert Kurtzman directing it and my excitement level jumped through the roof. You see Bob’s last effort, The Rage (review here) was a balls out, knock down, drag out gore-fest that had me loving life. Could it be that more blood-soaked mayhem awaited me? Look at the DVD cover! This was a movie that looked as if it wouldn’t be fucking around in the violence department. When my copy came for review I ran to the DVD player and dug in. An hour plus minutes later I was completely deflated. What went wrong?

Before we get into that, let’s tackle the story. A group of horny college kids take a road trip up to a remote desert cabin to play adult oriented truth-or-dare. While there they stir up the pissed off spirit of a woman who was wrongfully entombed on the property. Show boobs. Insert violent deaths here. Roll credits. It’s a pretty simple formula, man. One that’s hard to fuck up, and yet …

Buried Alive DVD (click for larger image)The main problem here is everyone involved seemed to be trying to do too much instead of just having fun like in The Rage. Let’s face it, we’re not watching this for thespian-like performances or a rich storyline. We want blood. We want tits. That’s it. The crews over-enthusiasm for the project just seems to have weighted it down. That coupled with the fact that almost nothing interesting happens for about forty-five minutes. That’s when the first kill comes, and in true Kurtzman fashion it’s a bloody winner. Finally business was about to pick up. Once again Buried Alive had my attention, but then it was another twenty minutes until the second kill. After that most viewers I’m sure will stop caring and start thinking about fast-forwarding.

Not even Tobin Bell (The Saw franchise) could save this film from itself. Recently I asked Tobin about his success in the horror genre and what he felt attributed to it. “I don’t approach horror any differently than I do any other genre.” said Bell. “I’m doing the same thing today I did 25 years ago … whether I play an astronaut, an FBI agent, a priest, or a business man … I do my work and trust the results will make a contribution to the story. It is, however, an honor to be recognized for your efforts. I’m hoping they’ll retire my jersey and hang it in a glass case in the Horror Hall of Fame, which I understand is located in some snow-clad rural Romanian town.” One things for sure, that type of recognition isn’t coming from this flick.

To make matters worse, this DVD is completely bare bones. There’s just nothing there to enhance the experience or even try to let you gain somewhat of an appreciation for what the filmmakers were trying to achieve.

It’s not that Buried Alive is a terrible film. It’s just one that plays it so safe and straight down the line that it ends up feeling lifeless, and horribly mediocre. Have faith in Kurtzman, though. The man’s got talent and a passion for our genre. Not every movie can be a winner. Here’s to the eventual DVD release of The Rage and anything else his twisted mind can cook up!


2 1/2 out of 5

Special Features:

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