Night of the Death Cult (1975)

aka La noche de las gaviatos, The Night of the Seagulls

Article 3648 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-26-2011
Posting Date: 8-10-2011
Directed by Amando de Ossorio
Featuring Victor Petit, Maria Kosty, Sandra Mozarowsky
Country: Spain
What it is: Blind Dead movie

A doctor and his wife move their practice to a small coastal village whose residents treat them with open hostility. It is soon discovered they have a secret; they have been leaving young women of the village to be sacrificed by a cult of the undead.

When I saw THE RETURN OF THE EVIL DEAD, I took issue with the way Amando de Ossorio had changed the rules that dictated the actions of his undead minions from the first movie in the series. Now, having just seen the fourth (I have yet to see the third), I’ve come to the conclusion that he actually did something very interesting with this series; rather than having each movie follow the other in a logical succession, he seemed more interested in varying those rules and putting the blind dead in different environments. It ends up feeling more like “variations on a theme”, which keeps the movies in the series from becoming increasingly stagnant repeats of each other; each one feels different. I quite like this take on it; though it’s made of very familiar elements (the hostile village with a secret is hardly an original concept), it’s interesting to see the changes made to the blind dead to make it work in this context. Furthermore, the movie is quite well dubbed, and as always, there is something genuinely eerie in seeing those zombies trotting around in slow motion on their horses. My favorite scene has one of the zombies set on fire, but who then attempts to make one more attack before being consumed. I have to admit I’m looking forward to seeing the third in the series.


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