Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971)

TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD (1971)
aka The Blind Dead, La noche del terror ciego
Article 3197 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-20-2010
Posting Date: 5-16-2010
Directed by Amando de Ossorio
Featuring Lone Fleming, Roger Whelan, Maria Elana Arpon
Country: Spain / Portugal
What it is: Spanish zombie flick

A woman jumps off of a train in the middle of nowhere and ends up camping out in the deserted ruins of a monastery. However, the ruins are the home of rotting blind Templars who have used black magic to gain eternal life… and who still thirst for human blood and flesh.

I’ve not been impressed by any of the other films I’ve seen by Amando de Ossorio, but I also kept in mind that he also had directed this one, the first of the “Blind Dead” series. I’d originally seen this one many years ago and had been quite impressed with it at the time; watching it now, there are still things I admire and other things I don’t. On the plus side, the blind dead themselves are very memorable and eerie, especially when they trot around on their horses in slow motion (the use of sound during these sequences is effective). I also like some of the settings, such as the creepy monastery and the warehouse full of dummies. I’m less impressed with the plot holes, the poorly thought out characters, certain unnecessary scenes of exploitation value, and the lapses of logic; in particular, given the logic behind the nature of the Templars, there is no reason why one of their victims should come back to life and start attacking people. I rather liked the idea that the Templars had to track their victims by sound, but then giving them the ability to hear heartbeats felt something like a cheat. Still, this is certainly Ossorio’s scariest and best movie.

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