Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1980)
"This Blu-ray Smells of Death."
Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror is a 1980 Italian zombie film in the vain of Zombi 2. Group of people set out to a location only to discover this place is overrun with zombies. An archaeologist goes to a tomb to discover a horde of zombies and is soon eaten by his "friends". A group of people meet together at a castle for no real specific reason are then killed off and try to survive the night.
The film is fun for what it is, not perfect by any means. I loved seeing it for the first time at a film festival at one of the local drive-in theaters in 2010. You got to love the creepy Peter Bark as Michael, an actor playing a small child who loves his mother a little too much. The film has some cheesy dialogue, most of which comes from Michael. And then, most of the scenes that are memorable are of Michael. Film gets a 3.5/5.
When it comes to Media Blasters, if it's not one of their two-dollar films, the transfer is supposedly made from the studio where the film originates. Someone in Italy did a poor job on this transfer. Shots appear fuzzy and the grain is almost depleted by whatever this fake grain is which seems to be red, green, and blue. At the 1hr 18min, one shot is fuzzy and you can barely make out what it is going on in this shot as a zombie is being thrown down from a flight of stairs. Media Blasters honestly thought this was acceptable? While I make this out to be a nightmare-ish transfer, it's watchable and a little above average. 3/5.
Presented on the disc is only English DTS-HD MA 2.0. While it is true a lot of Italian films made around this time were shot without sound, it would be nice if Media Blasters would have put an Italian audio track for the film. God knows why they did it with "Devil Dog", it wasn't Italian. We have some pops and hisses and what not on our English audio track. Why was this not remastered? 3.5/5.
Media Blasters creates some of the most frustrating extras I have ever seen. In my review for "Devil Dog", I ranted about how there was an hour and a half of interviews where the two child stars and the director really didn't give a damn about that film. Same kinda goes here with "Burial Ground", as we have a twenty minute interview with producer Gabriele Crisanti and the actress who played Michael's mother, Mariangela Giordano. Crisanti seems uninterested in the questions and basically gives short answers to the bumbling interviewer who stutters in Italian, as it is obviously not his first language. Then with Mariangela Giordano, and she's obviously forgotten this movie. She was asked questions and one of her responses was; "I do not remember a blonde actress". I was like; "What the hell, man?" You couldn't have asked her to re-watch the film to refresh her memory? Seriously...
Next is the "Still and Poster Gallery". What I find funny is that this gallery that Media Blasters put together has photographs of VHS copies of the film laying out on someone's table. Most of these VHS covers that they have in this gallery are most likely ripped from a Google image search as most of these seem poor quality. Then we have what is listed as "Out takes", which should be called "Deleted Scenes" as these are not out takes. These deleted scenes do not contain sound, but have music playing in the background.
Then there's a trailer or trailers for the film. I could not honestly tell as this ran for four minutes. If it is indeed two trailers, there was no real gap between to tell that it is. Menu states "Original Trailers", while the cover states "Original Trailer". Finally, we have four trailers for other films released and/or made by Media Blasters themselves.
First up is "Late Fee". A horrible looking trailer with Media Blasters branding all over it. Hey, there's posters up on the wall for "Zombi 2" which we did an unauthorized release of, some anime, etc. Then we cut to a video store where all of the movies in stock are Media Blasters titles, like "Machine Girl" and "Wicked Lake". Yes, clearly this is a hipster wannabe video store that this guy goes too.
Then we have trailers for "Zombi Holocaust"; a crappy looking horror film with porn star Sasha Grey, called "Smash Cut"; and finally Joe D'amato's "Buio Omega", which is a classic. Extras score a dismal 2.5/5. If Media Blasters actually put in the effort to make their interviews entertaining, it would be very nice.
Media Blasters; where quality doesn't matter, but they'll take your dollar. It's a shame "Burial Grounds" got this kind of treatment, then again, it could be worse. They could have cancelled it like they did "Zombie 4" and "Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals". They do not respect Italian cinema and give you a crappy transfer for most of their titles. Extras with interviews where the cast and crew don't care. And delay titles constantly. It's a shame 3/5.