Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror appears to be, at a quick glance, your standard Italian gut muncher albeit, with an even smaller budget than usually afforded to these flicks. Thankfully, what meagre dollars that did get scraped together appear to have gone exclusively towards the effects budget, tossing the remaining cent(s) at the writer. A pretty standard situation at the time, and definitely a storm you should have weathered more than a few times by now in your shit movie watching journey. You get almost everything that the plethora of grindhouse names (released under such alternate titles as Nights of Terror, Zombi Horror and The Zombie Dead) and lurid painted artwork promises in quick order; poster paint red blood, maggot-filled makeup, plenty of people eating and a sprinkling of sex for good measure. What isn’t really present is a cohesive story, but thankfully you’ll be too busy scratching your head to care much, if at all, why any of the (plentiful) deaths are happening on screen.
Burial Ground starts with your classic mad scientist (appearance reminiscent of Alan Moore in full wizard mode) attempting to accomplish one of man kinds most sought out goals; extension of life and elimination of the ever present spectre of death. This goes as well as expected and the bearded scientist falls victim to his own creations, setting in motion this low-budget tale of bloodshed. Thankfully, because every zombie movie needs victims, the scientist sent out some invitations before he died, guaranteeing the zombies he leaves behind will have something to eat once he’s gone. Not much time is spent on WHY this particular group of people are invited to this particular residence at this particular time so this is pretty up in the air and open to viewer interpretation.
The guests arrive, only to find their host missing. Well, I guess you don’t “find” someone missing but redundancy of that statement aside, this is the situation our protagonists find themselves in. The guests, a few standard issue WASPs and one apparently mentally challenged son, quickly find out how much trouble they are in. The actor playing the son appears to be in his mid-twenties, despite the movie trying to convince us of his sub teenage status. That’s because he was 26 when they filmed the movie, which is an even further stretch of the imagination than all those 25 year old playing high schoolers in ’90s slashers. The casting happened this way due to laws prohibiting child actors taking part in anything and everything even remotely involving sex. Makes perfect sense to me and it only further drives this movies most memorable scene into the stratosphere of strangeness so I’m all for it.
After attempting,and failing, to defend the dilapidated mansion our protagonists make their way to a monastery in the hopes of sanctuary. Unfortunately for them (and fortunately for us) all they find is a tabernacle of Tombs of the Blind Dead-style zombies, replete with robes and vacant eye sockets. A bit more stumbling around in the woods leads our “heroes” to a workshop and the most memorable scenes in the movie, if not one of the more bizarre in the genre. It’s an act of motherly love overcoming even the cold boundary of death, if you’re the poetic type. Personally, I just hope that woman bought some stock in lanolin cream because she’s going to need it. Zombiefied breastfeeding is certainly up there on the list of “WTF am I watching” worthy movie moments. Burial Ground rips off a handful of its contemperaries over the course of its run time, but manages (likely through dumb luck) to assemble itself into a entertaining enough flick worthy of anyones who enjoys their walking dead to come from the land of spaghetti.
– Scotty Floronic (@drunkgraveyard)