Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Dead & Buried – Blue Underground (4k UHD/Blu-ray/CD Combo)

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1981
Director: Gary Sherman
Writers: Jeff Millar, Alex Stern, Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon
Cast: James Farentino, Melody Anderson, Jack Albertson, Dennis Redfield, Nancy Locke, Lisa Blount, Robert Englund, Bill Quinn, Michael Currie, Christopher Allport

Release Date: July 20th, 2021
Approximate Running Time: 94 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 2160 Progressive / HEVC / H.265 / Dolby Vision HDR10
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Atmos English, DTS-HD 5.1 English, DTS-HD Mono English, DTS-HD Mono French
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $59.95

"Something very strange is happening in the quiet coastal village of Potters Bluff, where tourists and transients are warmly welcomed... then brutally murdered. But even more shocking is when these slain strangers suddenly reappear as normal, friendly citizens around town. Now the local sheriff (James Farentino of The Final Countdown) and an eccentric mortician (Academy Award winner Jack Albertson of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory) must uncover the horrific secret of a community where some terrifying traditions are alive and well... and no one is ever really Dead & Buried." - synopsis provided by the distributor

Video: 5/5

Here’s the information provided about the transfer, "New restoration approved by Director of Photography Steven Poster, scanned in 4K 16-bit from its 35mm IP, with Dolby Vision HD."

Dead & Buried comes on a 100 GB triple layer 4K UHD.

Disc Size: 98.2 GB

Feature: 69.4 GB

Dead & Buried comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.

Disc Size: 43.4 GB

Feature: 29.4 GB

Image clarity, black levels, contrast, colors, compression and grain look spot on.  This transfer is another solid upgrade from Blue Underground that’s superior in every way to their earlier releases transfer.

Audio: 5/5

This release comes with four audio options, a Dolby Atmos mix in English, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and a DTS-HD mono mix in French. For this review I listened to the Dolby Atmos audio track which sounds spectacular. Range wise this track does a great job maximizing every element of the soundtrack without ever diluting the intentions of the original mono mix. Ambient sounds and dialog always come through clearly and the film’s score sounds appropriately robust. Included with this release are three subtitle options, English SDH, French and Spanish.


Extras on the UHD disc include Steven Poster's Location Stills, Poster & Stills Galleries: Advertising Materials, Japanese Souvenir Program, Lobby Cards, Stills, Stan Winston’s FX and Video & Book, teaser trailer (30 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), U.S. trailer (1 minute 55 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), International trailer (2 minutes 30 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), a featurette titled Behind the Scenes of Dead & Buried (33 minutes 18 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), a featurette titled Dead & Buried Locations: Then and Now (3 minutes 57 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an interview with director Gary Sherman and composer Joe Renzetti titled Murders, Mystery, and Music (15 minutes 16 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an interview with novelization author Chelsea Quinn Yarbro titled The Pages of Potters Bluff (12 minutes 49 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival featurette titled Stan Winston's Dead & Buried EFX (17 minutes 38 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival interview with actor Robert Englund titled An Early Work of Horror (12 minutes 25 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an archival interview with screenwriter Dan O'Bannon titled Crafting Fear and four audio commentaries’, the first audio commentary is with Gary Sherman, the second audio commentary is with screenwriter/producer Ronald Shusett, and actress Linda Turley, the third audio commentary is with cinematographer Steven Poster and the fourth audio commentary is with film historians Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson. The first three audio commentaries are archival tracks.

Extras on the Blu-ray disc are the same as the UHD Disc.

Rounding out the extras are a reversible cover art, limited-edition 3-D lenticular slipcover, Steven Poster's location stills, a CD with Joe Renzetti’s score (seventeen tracks) and a twenty-page booklet with cast & crew information, an essay titled “Avco Embassy Pictures: The ‘80’s House of Horrors” written by Michael Gingold and the CD soundtrack’s track listing.


Though some of the most celebrated horror films feature monsters or psychopaths. From my money there’s nothing more sinister than horror that arises from what we would not expect to be harmful. Case in point Dead & Buried, a film that takes place in what appears too be an idyllic place that’s inhabited by wholesome people who are what they seem.

In its opening moments Dead & Buried goes from a lighthearted moment of seduction to a terrifying moment where a character gets burned alive. Without giving away too much about the plot (which has many turns along the way), this opening moment does an effective job laying the groundwork for the events that unfold. With the finale providing a perfect climax.

Dead & Buried features a solid cast. With the standout performance being Jack Albertson’s portrayal of a mortician who takes his work all too seriously. Another performance of note is James Farentino in the role of the sheriff who uncovers the truth about what’s going on at Potters Bluff.

From a production standpoint, there is not an area where Dead & Buried does not excel. The premise is superbly realized, the well-executed narrative does a great job building tension and the atmospheric visuals play a big part why this film’s premise works as well as it does. That said, though the murders are not as gory as other horror films that were released around the same time as Dead & Buried. This doesn’t take away from the overall brutal nature of most of the kills. With the film’s most famous moment being the scene where a woman posing as a nurse stabs a man in the eye with a needle.

Blue Underground continues to raise the bar every time they release a new 4K UHD. With Dead & Buried that have once again delivered an extraordinary release that comes with a wealth of insightful extras and the film has never looked or sounded better, highly recommended.

4K UHD screenshots.

Written by Michael Den Boer

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