Burial Ground (film)

Burial Ground (original title: Le Notti del terrore, also known as Nights of Terror, Zombi Horror, The Zombie Dead) is an Italian grindhouse zombie movie directed by Andrea Bianchi. It is one of several films released under the alternative title of Zombie 3.

Burial Ground
American poster for Burial Ground
Directed byAndrea Bianchi
Produced byGabriele Crisanti
Written byPiero Regnoli
StarringKarin Well
Gianluigi Chirizzi
Simone Mattioli
Antonella Antinori
Roberto Caporali
Claudio Zucchet
Peter Bark
Anna Valente
Raimondo Barbieri
Mariangela Giordano
Music byElsio Mancuso
Burt Rexon
CinematographyGianfranco Maioletti
Distributed byShriek Show
Release date
July 9, 1981 (Italy)
December 16, 1985 (USA)
Running time
85 min
LanguageItalian (English dub)


A professor, studying an Etruscan crypt near a grand mansion, accidentally unleashes an evil curse. The curse reanimates the dead buried in the area and the zombies devour the professor. Three jet-set couples and the creepy, mentally challenged son of one of the women arrive at the mansion at the professor's invitation. The guests are quickly attacked by rotting corpses as they begin rising from their graves.

The group of people lock themselves in the mansion and, as night falls, the zombie siege begins. The first victim is Kathryn, the maid, who is pinned to a window and decapitated with a scythe. The zombies then begin to display unusually high levels of intelligence, using tools, axes to chop through doors, etc. One of the guests, George, tries shooting at them with a shotgun but quickly runs out of shells.

Zombies then break into the mansion and attack the guests in the library. One of the guests, the young Michael, has become traumatized. His mother, Evelyn, tries comforting him in another room. Michael, however, seems to be becoming sexually attracted to his mother, and fondles her breasts while kissing her. Evelyn slaps him, and he runs off, screaming "What's wrong?! I'm your son!" Michael then encounters the now-zombified Leslie, another guest, and stands still and stares at her while she shambles towards him, snarling and covered in blood.

The group then decides to let the zombies inside the house, reasoning that they can distract them while they escape. Evelyn goes off to get Michael, but finds he has been killed by Leslie, then has a nervous breakdown. The remaining survivors escape from the mansion, and hide out until morning. They then find a monastery, but discover that all of the monks have become zombies. The zombie monks chase the rest of the survivors to a workshop in the middle of the forest, where they encounter the zombified Michael.

Evelyn offers Michael to suckle at her breast, and he bites off her nipple. The last two survivors, Mark, and Janet, are assaulted and killed by zombies in the workshop; as the scenes fades, the zombies put their hands on Janet's head while she screams in terror. The misspelled "Profecy of the Black Spider" then appears. The Earth shall tremble, graves shall open...they shall come among the living as messengers of death, and there shall be the nigths [sic] of terror").


The film was shot in four weeks,[1] at the Villa Parisi in Frascati, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Rome.[2] Large portion of the film's budget was used on the special effects by Gino De Rossi and Rosario Prestopino.[1]

The 25-year-old Peter Bark was cast as the young boy Michael to circumvent Italian laws restricting the use of children in film scenes featuring sexual and violent content.[1]


Burial Ground: Nights of Terror was given a belated limited release theatrically in the United States by the Film Concept Group in 1985. The film grossed $542,501. It was subsequently released on VHS by Vestron Video under the alternative title of Burial Ground. In the UK the film was released on VHS in 1986 as Nights of Terror with over 13 minutes of BBFC and distributor cuts, before being re-released in 2002, fully uncut, as The Zombie Dead.

The film was released on DVD in the U.S in September 2006 by Shriek Show. It is available separately or in a triple feature package Zombie Pack, Vol. 2. The Zombie Pack, Vol. 2 includes Burial Ground: Nights of Terror, Flesheater, and Zombie Holocaust.[3] In June 2011, Shriek Show released it on Blu-ray.[4]


Peter Dendle called it "a high-impact, somber dirge that sustains tension mercilessly and wastes little time on plot and circumstance." Dendle states that though it is often dismissed as a cheap clone of Zombi 2, Burial Ground improves on that film's strong points.[5] Marc Patterson of Brutal as Hell rated the film 2/5 stars and called it "uninteresting and dismissible."[6] Sara Castillo of Fearnet stated that the film is "notable for its near total lack of plot and bloody zombie breast-feeding scene".[7] Danny Shipka stated that the film was partially responsible for destroying the zombie film fad with its bad effects, acting, and writing.[8] Peter Normanton rated the film 5/5 stars and called the pace "breathtaking". Normanton wrote that the film sacrifices plot for creative death scenes, but the low budget can cause the special effects to look "a tad farcical".[9] Glenn Kay wrote that "there isn't one iota of suspense or terror" and that the film is dull and pedestrian.[10]


  1. Blumberg, Arnold (2013). Zombiemania. ISBN 1845838173.
  2. Pictures of the villa
  3. Miska, Brad (2006-09-25). "Horror in Your House: Best Week EVER". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 2013-11-20.
  4. "Horror In Your House: June 7, 2011". Bloody Disgusting. 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2013-11-20.
  5. Dendle, Peter (2001). The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia. McFarland Publishing. p. 29. ISBN 9780786455201.
  6. Patterson, Marc (2009-06-28). "DVD Review: Burial Ground". BrutalAsHell.com. Archived from the original on 2014-02-01. Retrieved 2013-11-20.
  7. Castillo, Sara (2013-01-25). "This Week in Horror: Tobe Hooper, 'Grabbers', 'Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror'". Fearnet. Retrieved 2013-11-20.
  8. Shipka, Danny (2011). Perverse Titillation: The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France, 1960-1980. McFarland Publishing. p. 133. ISBN 9780786448883.
  9. Normanton, Peter (2012). The Mammoth Book of Slasher Movies. Constable & Robinson. ISBN 9781780330419.
  10. Kay, Glenn (2008). Zombie Movies: The Ultimate Guide. Chicago Review Press. p. 118. ISBN 9781569766835.
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