Tuesday, October 20, 2009

HORROR EPICS: Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971)

I don’t pretend to know much about European horror movies, but that’s sure to change with future editions of Horror Epics. However, I do have it on good authority that La Noche del Terror Ciego is a must-see classic from the other side of the pond. After watching it, I definitely agree. While on vacation, a couple runs into an old female friend at the swimming pool and invite her along on a train trip. The girlfriend is embarrassed over her sleazy boyfriend’s way-too-obvious interest in the other woman, as well as memories of a lesbian affair they had in school years ago. Rather than take part in her old man’s attempt at a most swinging threesome, she hops off the train in the middle of the countryside. Now on foot and miles from the nearest town, our leggy Eurobabe decides to spend the night in a long-abandoned monastery. Bad decision. The monastery is the final resting-place for a group of mummified skeletons, who rise from their graves upon nightfall and kill her. When her boyfriend and former lesbian lover are informed of her death, they set out to find out what happened to her. The police have a suspect or two in mind, but the path points to an old wives’ tale regarding the Templar Knights. And then comes the inevitable graveyard encounter. You may be disappointed if you watch Tombs of the Blind Dead expecting a crazy, over-the-top gorefest. There is some gore, but not as much as you’d think. Instead, the film relies more on atmosphere and does so very well. There is an unsettling feeling taking place throughout the entire movie, even before the Templars reveal themselves. And what’s more badass than the visual of undead knights on equally undead horseback? Not much. MUCH better than your average Lucio Fulci fare, and followed by three sequels: Return of the Blind Dead, The Ghost Galleon, Night of the Seagulls, and an unofficial fourth titled La Mansión de los Muertos Vivientes by Jess Franco.

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