The Law of Contact

I Bury the Living (July, 1958)

Richard Boone
 

Released in July, 1958: (running time 1 hour and 17 minutes) Richard Boone, in his only horror picture, is the volunteer caretaker of the local "Immortal Hills" cemetary, and discovers that he controls fate of the living with the push of a pin.

Directed by Albert Band

The Actors: Richard Boone (Robert Kraft, President of the Kraft Department Store), Theodore Bikel (Andy 'Scotty' McKee, cemetary caretaker), Peggy Maurer (Ann Craig), Howard Smith (George Kraft, Bob's uncle), Herbert Anderson (Jess Jessup), Robert Osterloh (Police Lieutenant Clayborne), Russ Bender (Henry Trowbridge), Lynette Bernay (Elizabeth Drexel), Cyril Delevanti (William Isham), Ken Drake (Bill Honegger), Matt Moore (Charlie Bates), Glen Vernon (Stuart Drexel)

 

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Marked for Death, or, Pin the Tail on the Grave

In 1973 actor Richard Boone turned down a starring role in the movie, “The Sting.” In 1968 Richard Boone was living in Hawaii and turned down a starring role in the television hit “Hawaii Five-O” that went to Jack Lord. While filming this movie, he was starring in a new Western series named “Have Gun, Will Travel.” After five years of filming the popular cowboy western he wanted to quit, but the television network paid him a life-changing amount of money for one more season.

Boone was glad to end the hit television show, but he later said that if he had to be remembered for one role, that would be the best one. He also said he thought that the money he was paid for starring in that show was ridiculous, but it provided him with what he said was, “A lot of go-to-hell money.” He never needed to do anything for a paycheck again unless he really wanted to.

During World War Two Richard Boone served as a tail-gunner in a torpedo plane squadron stationed at Pearl Harbor, with the rank of Petty Officer First Class. The Enterprise was bombed while he was aboard, the Intrepid was torpedoed while he was aboard, and while he was serving on the Hancock the ship was attacked by kamikaze airplanes. He would later say in his understated matter-of-fact way, “We began to think that somebody was trying to kill us.” When he passed in 1981 his ashes were scattered in the ocean near Pearl Harbor.

In this graveyard thriller, he is Bob Kraft, the young owner of the town’s largest department store. Bob, his uncle, and three other town leaders take turns volunteering to oversee the community cemetery, and it is now Bob’s turn. He will spend the next year writing the checks and keeping an eye on the operation of the town graveyard.

Bob has strange and unnatural feelings about overseeing the cemetery, but is finally talked into serving his year at the graveyard. This graveyard has a large map of the plots and every purchased plot has a little stick-pin in it. If the plot holds a dead body, it has a black stick-pin in it. If the plot has been paid for, but the owner is still living, it has a white stick-pin in it. Unfortunately, when Bob absent mindedly puts new stick-pins into the plots of newlyweds planning for the future, he mistakenly puts black pins into their newly purchased plots instead of white pins. The new couple is dead before morning.

Was it just a coincidence of fate, or is something deeper and darker happening at this small town cemetery? There is only one way to find out for sure. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Herbert Anderson
Herbert Anderson
Herbert Anderson, Robert Osterloh
Herbert Anderson, Robert Osterloh
Howard Smith
Howard Smith
Howard Smith
Howard Smith
Ken Drake
Ken Drake
Ken Drake, Matt Moore
Ken Drake, Matt Moore
Peggy Maurer, Richard Boone
Peggy Maurer, Richard Boone
Peggy Maurer, Richard Boone
Peggy Maurer, Richard Boone
Richard Boone
Richard Boone
Richard Boone, Theodore Bikel
Richard Boone, Theodore Bikel
Richard Boone
Richard Boone
Richard Boone
Richard Boone
Richard Boone
Richard Boone
Robert Osterloh
Robert Osterloh
Robert Osterloh, Herbert Anderson
Robert Osterloh, Herbert Anderson
Robert Osterloh
Robert Osterloh
Robert Osterloh
Robert Osterloh
Theodore Bikel
Theodore Bikel
Theodore Bikel, Herbert Anderson
Theodore Bikel, Herbert Anderson
Theodore Bikel
Theodore Bikel