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I Bury the Living (1958)

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Solar Explorer

Joined: 06 Sep 2015
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2020 8:17 pm    Post subject: I Bury the Living (1958) Reply with quote

I Bury the Living (1958)

The newly appointed director of a cemetery discovers that he can cause the death of any living owner of a burial plot by sticking a black pin into a map of the cemetery.

Despite the sensational title, I Bury the Living is a modestly done, effective chiller staring Richard Boone as Robert Kraft who is given the job against his wishes by his board of directors.

Andy McKee (Theodore Bikel with full Scottish brogue) introduces Kraft to the map. The white pins mean the grave has an owner and the black pins mean the owner occupies it.

Newlyweds Stuart and Elizabeth Drexel, friends of Kraft, stop by the cemetery to see him. Stuart has purchased a plot, much to the displeasure of his wife. It’s always prudent to plan ahead, he assures her. When an unthinking Kraft sticks two black pins in the map, they become the first victims.

When a second death occurs, Kraft confides in a friend, Herbert Anderson, who laughs off the idea as pure coincidence.

Chairman of the board, George Kraft, Robert’s uncle, also thinks it is nonsense. He proposes a test and convinces Robert to place a black pin in the plot of Henry Trowbridge, a mutual acquaintance. As the movie progresses, Frederick Gately’s photography becomes darker, suggesting Kraft’s awakening terror that he possesses an occult power.

The telephone call announcing that Trowbridge is dead of a heart attack.

The idea that he may possess the power of death over others slowly dawns on Kraft as he surveys the map, which appears to have grown substantially larger. Is the expanding map a figment of his imagination of is it actually taking possession of him.

Despite the death of Trowbridge, the board members cannot believe such things are possible. They decide to make a trip to the cemetery where they will watch Kraft place black pins in their own lots to prove that he is not responsible for any of the deaths.

Kraft returns to the cemetery and uses the black pins. After a night of waiting, a frantic Kraft gets the news, three of the four board members have been found dead of natural causes. Considering the events leading up to this moment, natural causes appears to be the least likely reason.

A terrified Uncle George arrives at the cemetery, finally convinced there is something akin to the supernatural going on. He tells his nephew he never wants to see him again. A few hours later Kraft finds the man dead in his car, having never left the grounds.

Even the police believe Kraft has something to do with the deaths, but they refuse to believe in the supernatural. Kraft’s mental state has significantly deteriorated. He spends all his time in his office at the cemetery.

A sobering thought in the mind of a deranged man: if he can cause death by sticking a black pin in the map, why can’t he bring everyone back by replacing the black ones with white pins?

The chilling climax as Kraft races through the cemetery to witness the success of his theory. Gerald Fried’s pounding score gives momentum to the man’s complete mental breakdown.

Director Albert Band uses striking expressionistic images to depict Kraft’s mental state. Driven to the verge of suicide, he is enveloped by the gigantic map.

The movie begins slowly and gradually builds to a pulse pounding finish. William Castle’s Macabre, released the same year, sucked all the oxygen out of the air with a brilliant advertising campaign and the sensational title may have turned people away, which may explain why the film is seldom, if ever, discussed, even among horror fans. A better than average grade-b thriller and so grimly atmospheric, you might expect The Crypt Keeper to show up at the conclusion to wrap up a few points. It deserves far more attention that it has received over the years.

What Is Essential Is Invisible
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Quantum Engineer

Joined: 23 Sep 2014
Posts: 328

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the feature in 1080p res.
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Bud Brewster
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Joined: 14 Dec 2013
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Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2020 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Another amazing post, Phantom! Great use of pictures to break up your text into reasonably sized sections — the mark of a skilled writer. Very Happy

Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
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