James Farentino, Melody Anderson, Robert Englund. When tourists in a small town on the coast start being murdered, the local sheriff uncovers some dark and ugly secrets. But the oddities don't stop there. The people killed become reincarnated as normal, friendly citizens around town. 1981/color/94 min/R/widescreen.
Overlooked during its theatrical run but a cult favorite on video, this unique and chilling take on the zombie film finally joins the digital ranks with a two-DVD set from Blue Underground. James Farentino stars as a small-town sheriff who discovers that the victims in a string of grisly murders are reappearing seemingly alive and unharmed. His investigation leads him to suspect that the local mortician (Jack Albertson) is somehow responsible for these reanimated corpses; what Farentino doesn't know is the extent to which the entire town-himself included-is involved. First-time viewers will appreciate director Gary Sherman's attention to pacing and atmosphere, as well as the often darkly humorous script by co-producer Ronald Shusett and Dan O'Bannon (Alien
, Total Recall
) and the solid cast (which includes future horror star Robert Englund); longtime fans will appreciate the fact that Blue Underground's uncut print restores many of Stan Winston's gruesome special effects. --Paul Gaita