Welcome to a new feature here at Horror Squad you can expect to find every Wednesday and Friday. It's called I Would Have Saved/Killed and it goes like this: one of our writers will pick a character, big or small, from a movie and explain how they, for whatever reason, would have altered the fate of that character.
Don't worry, we will never spoil anything pre-jump, though obviously everything after the break is operating under the assumption you've seen the film to the right, so be warned. And a big tip of our hat to Arbogast on Film for inspiring us with his post The One You Might Have Saved.
Name: Michael (Peter Bark)
Cause of Death: bitten by one of the living dead
Verdict: I would have saved him.
I'm a little obsesso over Peter Bark this week because I recently rewatched the Italian zombiefest, Burial Ground. As I explained in my earlier post, there's really only one reason that seasoned BG fans love this film so much and it's because of the little guy in the girly jeans -- Michael.
Peter Bark was twenty-five years old when he took on the role of Michael in Burial Ground, but being a midget got him cast as a young boy in Andrea Bianchi's film. Exploitation darling Mariangela Giordano plays Michael's clingy mother in the movie -- and lucky for Bark because he spends most of his scenes squished against her bosom.
Michael, his mamma, and her boyfriend arrive at a fancy estate for a vacation with several other couples. When an ancient crypt is opened, the zombies within are revived and set out to attack the villa -- leaving Michael and company to fend for their lives. Before, during, and after all hell breaks loose, Michael spends the film undressing his mother with his eyes and spies on her while having sex. And that's mostly in the beginning of the film. After the zombies come, there's an entire make out session where it's clear to the audience that mamma doesn't mind her son feeling her up a little bit -- until she comes to her senses and slaps the living daylights out of him.
Later on, Bark falls prey to a ravenous zombie and mamma is absolutely devastated. So much in fact that when they meet again during the final attack at the end of the film, she lovingly embraces him and gives him full permission to suckle her breast (which he promptly tears off and chows down on like a chicken wing). Yep, just your average mother and son relationship.
Once our titular character gets zombified, Burial Ground stops being as much fun. I've always thought that if Bark was allowed to live, Bianchi might have reunited Michael and mamma for more incestuous tomfoolery in a sequel. Or better yet -- the creepy midget with mommy lust could be spun off into other things, like a sitcom -- hilarity would ensue ... And perhaps once pervy Joe D'Amato caught wind of these characters he might have cast them in a Porno Holocaust sequel or something. The point is, Bark's role in Burial Ground inspires some serious Italian horror fanboy/girl love because he's so incredibly bizarre and fun to watch. A character this strange, with so many hilarious issues, not only deserved a better fate at the end of the film, he deserved to live on in other movies. It's hard to tell what was shorter -- Bark or his career -- but the character shouldn't have suffered such a horrible fate in Burial Ground.