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Buried Alive

USA/South Africa 1990
produced by
Harry Alan Towers, Avi Lerner (executive) for Breton Film Productions
directed by Gérard Kikoine
starring Robert Vaughn, Donald Pleasence, Karen Witter, John Carradine, Ginger Lynn (as Ginger Allen), Nia Long, William Butler, Janine Denison, Arnold Vosloo, Ashley Hayden, Stefa Popic, Hayley Dorskey, Roslynn Farell, Dee Dee Eybers, Isabel Kastrikis, Sharlene Benn, Blanche Frolich, Lynn White, Christine le Brocq, John Bruce, Marek Lewandowski, Janet de Hahn, Zia Garfield, Warren Batchelor, Stefan Rayner, Robert Strong
screenplay by Jake Chesi, Stuart Lee, allegedly based on something by Edgar Allan Poe, music by Frédéric Talgorn

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Teacher Janet (Karen Witter) has just started her work at the Ravenscroft Correctional Facility for young girls - where soft-spoken principal and head psychiatrist Gary (Robert Vaughn) believes in giving the girl as much freedom as possible - when girls start disappearing. In fact they are all kidnapped by a guy in a Ronald Reagan mask (talk about spooky) and walled up in the catacombs under the estate, but only the audience knows that yet. Before long Janet also starts to have weird dreams that seem to be connected to the missing girls - but don't ask me how.

Before long, Janet even comes up with a tailor-made suspect, Doctor Schaefer (Donald Pleasence), the institutes head psychiatrist, especially after she learns that he once was a patient at the place when it still was a mental institution ... but she is of course wrong, the real killer is Gary himself, who feels the urge to kill the girls he feels his treatment has failed on. Janet finds that out only minutes after he has proposed to her, and suddenly she finds herself running from her husband-to-be while Doc Schaefer, her prime suspect, (unsuccessfully) tries to save her. Ultimately though she is saved by Gary's own wheelchair-ridden father (John Carradine), who at an opportune moment rather inexplicably appears behind a crumbling down wall and immediately gets into infight with his boy, which is only ended when the catacombs finally cave in. Janet of course is saved.

 

How this film is based on Edgar Allan Poe remains at anybody guess: Sure there are a few people walled up and a black cat does appear in one or two shots, but that's hardly enough to qualify the film as an Edgar Allan Poe adaptation. In fact the film, despite its dream cast consisting of Robert Vaughn, Donald Pleasence and John Carradine in his last film, is nothing more than a cheaply done and uninspired slasher by former porn director Gérard Kikoine that has very little to go for it (and not because Kikoine formlerly directed porn) - in other words, your typical Harry Alan Towers-quickie. Not really worth your time and money.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD