BURIED ALIVE (1989) Reviews and overview

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‘The dead return!’

Buried Alive – aka Edgar Allan Poe’s Buried Alive – is a 1989 American-South African horror film, directed by Gérard Kikoïne (Edge of Sanity) from a screenplay by Jake Chesi and Stuart Lee, based very loosely on the work of Edgar Allan Poe. It was produced by Harry Alan Towers, Avi Lerner and John Stodel.

The movie stars Robert VaughnDonald Pleasence (Death Line; Halloween; Phenomena) and John Carradine in his final performance. Other cast members are Karen Witter, Ginger Lynn Allen, Nia Long, William Butler (director of Madhouse (2004), Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver) and Arnold Vosloo.


A young woman goes to teach at the Ravenscroft Institute, a girls’ school overrun by ants and staffed by various ex-mental patients. Spurred on by a series of horrific hallucinations, she begins to investigate the mysterious disappearances of several students…

“Unfortunately, the real kills are few and far between the endless scenes of exposition. Tension is non-existent. The movie never gives viewers a chance to realize a character is in danger, and is instead content to kill them at random. The kills aren’t jump-scene scary either; they just come out of nowhere.” DVD Talk

Main cast and characters:
Robert Vaughn … Gary Julian
Donald Pleasence … Doctor Schaeffer
Karen Witter … Janet
John Carradine … Jacob
Ginger Lynn Allen … Debbie
Nia Long … Fingers
Arnold Vosloo … Ken Wade

This production should not be confused with Frank Darabont’s 1990 TV movie, also titled Buried Alive.

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