Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett, the screenwriters behind the highly successful Alien, turned their attention to earthbound terrors with this creepy horror tale. Dead and Buried focuses on Dan Gillis (James Farentino), a man who has recently returned to his hometown of Potter's Bluff to be its sheriff.
His job becomes difficult when a series of strangers who visit Potter's Bluff begin dying in violent and mysterious ways. To make matters worse, his wife, Janet (Melody Anderson), has begun to act strangely, taking an odd interest in voodoo and acting like she might be having an affair.
As the murder victims pile up, Gillis discovers that all his troubles have an occult origin that has to do with the town's elderly mortician, Dobbs (Jack Albertson, in his final feature film role). Gillis gets to the bottom of the mystery, only to discover that the truth is much worse than he imagined.
Despite effective direction and solid acting, Dead and Buried got lost in the shuffle of the early '80s horror boom and failed to click with the movie-going public. However, it later gained an audience via home video and cable and remains a minor cult favorite today thanks to its singular blend of creepy atmosphere and gruesome shocks.