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'Buried Alive!'
(Robert Vaughn, Donald Pleasence, Karen Witter, John Carradine, Nia Long, et al / DVD / NR / 2011 / MGM)

Overview: Using elements of Poe's short stories, BURIED ALIVE! tells the story of Janet Pendelton, a teacher at a correctional school for girls, and the horror she has to face as her students start disappearing. Actually they're being buried alive by someone who has a connection to the school's insane past and perhaps is closer to Janet than she expects.

DVD Verdict: With a cast including Robert Vaughn, Donald Pleasence, John Carradine as well as porn star Ginger Allen, and plot that pits a group of saucy female co-eds against a vicious psychopath, BURIED ALIVE! seemed like a dead cert for a decent splatter flick. Director Kikoine attempts to seduce you with his claim that it's adapted from the twisted mind of Edgar Allan Poe, but sadly he fails to deliver on most accounts.

For a start, what the hell was wrong with Donald Pleasence here? He plays arguably the most obnoxious character ever set to the silver screen, - a million miles away from his legendary Sam Loomis - complete with phoney looking toupee and an overly dodgy German accent! The dialogue is also laughable.

In one scene Miss Pendleton has another of her strange nightmares, which begin plaguing her as soon as she arrives on campus. She ends up lying on the floor, panting, sweating and chillingly screaming. Dr Julian witnesses her strange ‘fit' and instead of rushing to her aid, calmly asks, ‘Is something wrong?'

This was the last film that John Carradine worked on before his unfortunate death in 1988, which sadly wasn't the greatest flick to finish off a 5-decade career in the movies with. It's not that it doesn't try; it's just that it never really manages to go anywhere. This is a Full Screen presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.