Written and Edited By Grave Reviews Staff
Director: John Hayes
Producer: Daniel Cady
Screenwriter: Daniel Cady, John Jones
Date Released: August 23, 1972
John Dullaghan as Sgt. Burns
Marland Proctor as Paul Johnson
Rating = 1.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
A group of inmates attempt to escape from prison. Prior to escaping, the inmates inhale a chemical called formaldehyde to get a high. The chemical is generally used for embalming the dead. When the inmates try to escape in a vehicle, they crash in a tree and are shot down by the jail officers. But, the inmates soon rise from the dead, this time as zombies. The officers and other inmates must try to survive the group of inmate zombies.
The Gore Factor
Garden of the Dead does not have any notably gory scenes. Much of the film suggests that horrific acts are occurring. But there is nothing graphic which may be considered adult-oriented.
The Grave Review
Garden of the Dead (1972) has a straight forward plot with approximately 59 minutes of run time. The story was simple and clear throughout the film. Garden of the Dead could almost be considered a short film. Taking the length of the film into consideration, the part of the plot which could have been developed more thoroughly was the conclusion of the film.
In addition, there was nothing that was particularly drawing in respect to any aspect of the film. In fact, the prison story would have been more interesting than the actual horror element in this film. There was little character development and most of the film incorporated many transitional and insignificant scenes.
However, the concept of using formaldehyde as a fuel to the undead was very creative and had a lot of potential. Few films incorporate the technical side of the embalming process. Although formaldehyde was depicted within the film, the chemical, being the subject matter of this film, could have been further emphasized in order to demonstrate the significance of how the chemical could potentially affect a deceased individual.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Garden of the Dead (1972), one and one-half graves out of five graves.
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