I Bury the Living (1958)

Here’s a film I wish I could get a good anamorphic edition of, as opposed to the shoddy and evidently Internet-sourced full-frame print used on the Australian DVD released by Rocket (and the disc itself left something to be desired, too, as my DVD player refused to deal with it so I had to watch it on the laptop). Given that I paid $20 for a five-film package it obviously didn’t cost me much, but even so… Anyway, the film itself is an interesting enough bit of work, an obviously low-budget but fairly well-made thriller that manages some effective scenes for its low cost; the tale of a cemetery manager who fears he can kill people by sticking black pins into a cemetery map with their grave reservations marked on it is a good one, and the film makes good use of its limited resources in telling it. It also makes most reviews I’ve seen of it lament its shithouse ending… as such, I was prepared to be let down after a rather good buildup, but I actually didn’t think it ended as badly as I was expecting; it is one of those films where apparently paranormal events wind up being the work of an all-too-human agent, and the ending still doesn’t make an awful lot of sense unless you make a few further suppositions about things I don’t think were clearly stated, but I didn’t think it was that bad and supernatural agency didn’t seem to be entirely ruled out at that. It’s no classic, but it’s still worth seeing as a good example of how this sort of thing could be done well way back when, and it’d bear up to a good remake, I think, if the remake were more willing to go with the supernatural angle.

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