I Bury the Living (1958)

Movie Title: I Bury the Living

Year Released: 1958

Rated: Unrated

Runtime: 1h 17min

Genre: Horror

Director: Albert Band

Writer: Louis Garfinkle

Starring: Richard Boone, Theodore Bikel, Peggy Maurer, Howard Smith, Herbert Anderson, Robert Osterloh

Review: Robert Kraft (Richard Boone) has been appointed the new cemetery director. What seems like a nice, quiet job soon becomes a living nightmare when Kraft discovers that by simply changing the status of plots from empty to occupied the plots' owners start dropping dead.

From its exploitation title, I Bury the Living sounds like a cheap, trashy B-movie, but it's actually quite an effective, moody, and creepy horror film. Directed by famed B-movie director Albert Band (father of Charles Band) I Bury the Living plays out like an extended episode of the Twilight Zone. Richard Boone, mostly known for westerns and playing heavies, is excellent as a put-upon committee chair that has to oversee the large cemetery. He is great the watch as he slowly goes crazy trying to come to terms with the possibility that he may have the power to send people to an early grave. The cinematography is stunning, the visuals are unsettling (especially the map of the cemetery), and the ominous music will send shivers down your spine.

This is a great forgotten horror gem that has fallen through the cracks and has become public domain. It's certainly worth seeking out! I really dig it and I think you will, too!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Stephen King says he was thinking about this film when he wrote his short story "Obit", about a young writer who discovers he can kill people by writing an obituary about them. The short story is in King's Bazaar of Bad Dreams collection. He references the film in the foreword to the short story.


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