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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

I Bury the Living [Blu-ray]


(Albert Band, 1958)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: United Artists

Video: Shout! Factory



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:17:15.464 

Disc Size: 19,344,915,604 bytes

Feature Size: 18,756,390,912 bytes

Video Bitrate: 28.95 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 25th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1690 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1690 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH), none



• Photo Gallery

Trailer (1:55)





Description: Robert Kraft (Richard Boone) inherits a familial post as the chairman of a small-town cemetery. The centerpiece of the cemetery office is a map of all the plots: White pins signify those claimed, black pins those occupied. When Robert accidentally puts a black pin in the just-purchased plots of a friend (Glenn Vernon) and his new wife, they die in a freak accident. Robert's uncle (Howard Smith) convinces him to make another switch, to see if it's coincidence or something more sinister.


Through a series of chilling coincidences, the newly-elected director of a cemetery (Richard Boone) begins to believe that he can cause the deaths of living owners of burial plots by merely changing the push-pin color from white (living) to black (dead) on a large wall map of the cemetery. This chilling tale is co-produced and director by cult filmmaker, and father to Empire/Full Moon founder Charles, Albert Band.



The Film:

Unjustly ignored by many books on the horror film, I Bury the Living is a bone-chilling little mood piece, almost completed dominated by Richard Boone. Expertly avoiding the obvious throughout the film, Boone gives a thoroughly credible performance of a troubled man who labors under the misapprehension that he is God. Boone plays the new chairman of a large cemetery; in his office is a map of the grounds, with black pins representing the occupied plots, and white pins representing plots that have been purchased but not yet filled. When Boone inadvertently mixes up the black and white pins, several of the plot owners suffer untimely deaths. Inevitably, Boone becomes convinced that he has the power of life and death--a conviction that doesn't completely dissipate once the secret behind the sudden deaths is revealed. 

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

In the town of Millford, businessman and town council head Robert Kraft reluctantly accepts the position as manager of the Immortal Hills cemetery. Long-time caretaker Andy McKee shows Bob around the main office, which contains a large map of the grounds with white pins inserted in the plots that are reserved and black pins in those filled. Unsettled at having to assume this new responsibility, Bob nevertheless assures Andy that because the older man has worked for forty years he can now retire with a full pension. Andy, however, is not pleased about being forced to retire. A little later, Bob's old friend Stu Drexel and his new wife Beth arrive to discuss their plots.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

I Bury the Living looks solid on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory - it's a short, reasonably effective Albert Brand horror and this is, easily the best it has looked for 1/2 a century. There are one of two examples of frame specific damage but the visuals are bright, a bit glossy, and have appealing contrast. It's in the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio and there are examples of depth in the HD image. No complaints with the video quality!


















Frame-specific damage



Audio :

A standard lossless DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel stereo track at 1690 kbps kbps (24-bit) supports the minor sound effects but notable is sneaky score by Gerald Fried (The Vampire, A Killer in the Family, The Baby, and Kubrick's films Fear and Desire, Killer's Kiss, The Killing and Paths of Glory as well as venturing later into work in TV - Star Trek - and also the notable Joseph H. Lewis' western Terror in a Texas Town.) It sounds quite intense, at times, in the lossless adding significantly to the film's atmosphere. There are optional English subtitles (yellow font) on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc.


Extras :

Only a gallery and trailer - but I guess there's not much to say about the 'B' picture.



I really don't mind having this 50's mini-horrors. Boone is good and it's simple and sweet - like an extended Twilight Zone episode. The atmosphere is also a bonus.  The bare-bones Shout! Factory Blu-ray produces a fine a/v presentation - but is only recommended if you can nab it at a reasonable price. Ohh and don't be too swayed by the cover or title - it's more passive than you might anticipate! 

Gary Tooze

April 21st, 2017


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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Gary W. Tooze






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