Premature Burial

Synopsis: Emily Gault arrives at the Carrell mansion determined to rekindle an old relationship with Guy Carrell, despite the disapproval of his sister, Kate. Guy overcomes his all-consuming fear of being buried alive long enough to marry Emily but soon becomes obsessed again, building a crypt designed to guarantee that he will not fall prey to his most dreaded nightmare. Trying to prove that he has been cured of his phobia, he opens his father's tomb and is shocked into a catatonic state. His worst fears are realized as he is lowered into a grave and covered over, apparently never to learn that the treachery of someone very dear to him was directly responsible for his predicament.
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Director(s): Roger Corman
Production: American International Pictures
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
81 min

Good afternoon, Miss Gault.

Good afternoon, Judson.

I'd like to see...

Hello, Kate.

What do you want?

Will you tell Guy that

I would like to see him?

I'm afraid he doesn't

Wish to see you.

I shall have to hear

that from Guy himself.

Oh, really, Kate,

don't you think...

at least I deserve

an explanation?

Very well.

Will you please wait here?

I'm sorry.

Guy does not wish to see you.

I told you I'd have to hear

that from Guy himself.



Emily, you...

you shouldn't have come here.

So I understand.

But, Guy, don't you think

I deserve something...

a little more than a letter?

Look at me and tell me

you don't love me.

My darling,

I do love you... very much.

That's why I sent you

that letter...

because I do love you.

Now, darling, please go away

and forget you ever met me.

I know what happened, Guy.

My father told me.

Did he tell you why?

Despite what he thinks...

I didn't run away from what

Was inside that coffin...

but from what I knew

to be inside me.

L... I don't understand.

I'd hoped to spare you this.

If you do understand,

then you'll realize...

Why there can never be

a marriage between us.

Come with me.

Where does this lead?


Are you all right?

Yes, I... I think so.

Do you want to go back?

No. No.

You've often expressed a wish

to meet the rest of my family.

Well, here they are...

all my ancestors,

famous and infamous...

laid here to...

What is the term?

To rest.

From the beginning,

death has come...

to the Carrells

like an assassin...

but the least fortunate

of all was my father.

How did he die?

Like a single candle

in a dark and airless room.

Emily, my father...


Kate, why are you here?

It's time for your medicine.

Oh, yes. I'd forgotten.

I'm sorry. Thank you.

What medicine?


Guy, is this the cause of...

No. Not a cause. An effect.

Without it, I couldn't sleep.

Guy, tell me.

I should never have gone

With your father...

and those other doctors

that night.

I'm interested only

in private research.

I can never forget

that poor wretch...

Whose grave they robbed.

His staring eyes...

his clutching hands...

his fingernails

broken and bloody...

from the vain attempt

to claw away...

the lid of that coffin.

You see, all this has

a special meaning for me, Emily.

For years,

I've lived in dread...

of being buried alive.

Can you possibly conceive it?

The unendurable

oppression of the lungs...

the stifling fumes

of the damp earth...

the rigid embrace

of the coffin...

the blackness

of absolute night...

and the silence...

like an overwhelming sea.

And then,

invisible in the darkness...

but all too hideously real

to the other senses...

the presence

of the conqueror worm.


I'm sorry.

These are just morbid fantasies.

I'm afraid not.

Every member of my family...

has met with a violent

and horrible death.

I now wait my turn.

How did your father die?


Do you know what that is?

When it strikes...

the victim gives every

outward sign of being dead.

But he's not dead. He's alive.

I was barely 13

When my father was stricken.

Doctor said

it was a heart attack...

and there was a funeral...

and he was sealed in this vault.

That night...

I heard him crying out...

a pitiful, desperate cry.

I begged with them.

I pleaded with them.

"He's alive.

He's alive," I said...

but no one would believe me.

Because it wasn't true.

It was!

I heard him.

In your mind.

No, Kate.

It would be easier

for me to accept that.

But I know the truth.

God help me,

I know the truth!

My father's inheritance

and my wedding gift to you...


Now you know why

I asked your forgiveness.

There's nothing to forgive.

But you must understand...

I understand

that I love you...

and that I want

to be your wife.

Miss Gault...

My brother is ill.

Then I shall nurse him

back to health.


Guy, if you love me...

if you really love me...

you won't shut me out

of your life.

You'll let me share it with you.

You want that?

After what you've heard?

More than ever before.

Tell her, Guy.

Tell her.


you've been most considerate...

and you've always

thought of my welfare.

That is true.

But in some things,

I must make my own decisions.

Of course.

Then I take it you have

made your decision?

I have.

Then let it be

on your own head.

Do you, Guy...

take Emily to be your

lawful wedded wife...

for better, for worse,

in sickness and in health...

So long as ye both shall live?

I do.

Do you, Emily, take Guy...

to be your lawful

Wedded husband...

for better, for worse...

in sickness and in health...

So long as ye both shall live?

I do.

If there be any here

Who know just cause...

Why these two should

not be joined together...

in holy matrimony...

let him speak now

or forever hold his peace.

The ring, please.

Repeat after me.

With this ring, I thee wed.

Then I do pronounce you

man and wife.

Champagne, Lady Catherine?

Thank you.

Oh, yes, a beautiful ceremony.

A toast... to the most

beautiful bride...

and the most fortunate

groom who ever lived.

May they be happy

to the end of their days.

No, Guy. Not in front

of everyone.

Well, then, you'd better

go and play something...

before I lose control


Isn't she beautiful?


Are you enjoying

yourself, father?


Don't stop playing, Emily.

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Charles Beaumont

Charles Beaumont (January 2, 1929 – February 21, 1967) was an American author of speculative fiction, including short stories in the horror and science fiction subgenres. He is remembered as a writer of classic Twilight Zone episodes, such as "The Howling Man", "Miniature", "Printer's Devil", and "Number Twelve Looks Just Like You", but also penned the screenplays for several films, among them 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, The Intruder, and The Masque of the Red Death. Novelist Dean Koontz has said, "Charles Beaumont was one of the seminal influences on writers of the fantastic and macabre". Beaumont is also the subject of the documentary, Charles Beaumont: The Short Life of Twilight Zone's Magic Man, by Jason V Brock. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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