Drive-In Discs: Volume 3 – I Bury the Living and The Hand DVD Review

Written by Peter West

DVD released by Elite Entertainment

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I Bury the Living

Directed by Albert Band
Written by Louis Garfinkle
1958, Region 1 (NTSC), 76 minutes, Not rated

Starring:
Richard Boone as Robert Kraft, Committee Chairman of Immortal Hills Cemetery
Theodore Bikel as Andy McKee, Caretaker of Immortal Hills Cemetery
Peggy Maurer as Ann Craig, Robert's Fiancee
Robert Osterloh as Lt. Clayborne
Herbert Anderson as Jess Jessup, Milford Herald Reporter
Howard Smith as George Kraft, Committee Secretary
Russ Bender as Henry Trowbridge, Committee Member

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Movie:

Robert Kraft (Richard Boone – Have Gun Will Travel) is chosen for the mostly ceremonial job as Committee Chairman of Immortal Hills Cemetery. He accidentally uses black pins in the lot location on the cemetery map for a couple that recently purchased a plot and they wind up dying in a auto accident. Fearing his use of the black pins instead of the white pins (used for customers that are still alive,) he replaces a white pin with a black one and the poor customer is dead that evening.

Kraft fights the inner demons of the mind as madness starts to envelope him, as he holds the key to life and death over the living customers on the map. In an attempt to see what happens, he then replaces the black pins with white ones and graves open up as I Bury the Living reaches it's shocking conclusion!

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Video and Audio:

I don't have the earlier MGM DVD of the film to compare it to, however the quality is fair. Not too bad, not too good!

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Interesting 50's soundtrack. There is a regular mono and Distorto mono where replicating the drive-in all the sound comes from the left speaker.

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The Hand

Directed by Henry Cass
Written by Ray Cooney and Tony Hilton
1960, Region 1 (NTSC), Not rated
DVD released on August 19th, 2003

Starring:
Derek Bond as Roberts Crawshaw/Roger Crawshaw
Ronald Leigh-Hunt as Munyard
Reed De Rouen as Michael Brodie
Ray Cooney as Pollitt
Bryan Coleman as Adams
Walter Randall as Japanese Commander

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Movie:

In the closing days of WWII three British soldiers are captured by the Japanese. Part of the torture to find our troop strength and locations involves the Jap commander hacking off the hands of the soldiers with his sword. Switching ahead years in the future a drunk is found in a alley with his hand surgically removed. He tells a story of a mysterious man named Roberts, 500 pounds and a hospital when they took off his hand for the money. The story changes from there to a nifty but predictable police who done it!

The drunk is kidnapped from the hospital and is later found floating in the river. The two cops find the doctor who performed the surgery and he promptly commits suicide! As they get closer and closer to finding "Roberts", will they find out what really happened in the jungle?

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Video and Audio:

As with I Bury the Living, it's neither real good or real bad. TV quality I would say.

Not as good of a soundtrack as the the first movie on the disc.

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Special Features:

"Drive-In Disc: Volume 3" is loaded with 50's style Drive-In features. Commercials, Gumby cartoons, even a ad exposing the evils of Pay TV! The quality of the extras varies but it really gives the viewer the 50's Drive-In experience.

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Grades:

I Bury the Living

Movie: Threestars
Video: Twoandahalfstars
Audio: Twoandahalfstars
Features: Threeandahalfstars

The Hand

Movie: Threestars
Video: Twostars
Audio: Twoandahalfstars
Features: Threeandahalfstars
Drive-In Discs: Volume 3 – I Bury the Living and The Hand
Overall: Threestars

Conclusion:

The Drive In series of DVDs is really not to give us the highest quality of picture quality, 5.1 audio or Hollywood blockbusters. It really is meant to bring us back to a day when life was less complicated and going to the movies was a family experience that would not break the bank! Elite succeeds at this tremendously. I'm old enough to have been to seen a lot of the extras at the theater myself. The DVD lists for $14.95 which means you can pick it up for around $10. Not a bad deal to take a trip 40 years into the past and see how it used to be!

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