The Blind Dead 1

June 8, 2012 at 9:23 pm (movies)

I’ve recently watched the Blind Dead movies with my fiancée – that is to say, we watched parts 1-3. Time to resurrect not only the evil Templars but also my thoughts on the movies. Since I tend to write rather long essays (you wouldn’t have guessed, right?), I’ll split this into five parts. Here we go.

Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971)

Director: Amando de Ossorio

Special Effects (seriously): José Gómez Soria

A.k.a. La noche de la muerte ciega – yes, it’s both semantically and grammatically wrong but that’s the movie’s title.

Believe me: It really pays off to watch this gem of a movie – even if you don’t like horror movies. “Tombs of the Blind Dead” is anything but scary, there’s not potential for nightmares whatsoever. But the movie offers another thing: fun, fun, fun. Not because of the absurd plotline but because of the awful adaption. You have to give some credit to the movie, though – there wasn’t much of a budget when it was shot in the early 1970s in Spain.

Enough of the chit-chat, here’s the real deal: the – let’s call it generously so – plot. The ingredients: evil, satanic Knights Templar, whose main amusement consists of slaughtering virgins – ritually, of course. For doing that, they were condemned and blinded (hence, the Blind Dead – this is pretty absurd, right? What corpse possesses eyes after centuries of decay anyway?); a young, dumb heroine who leaps from a very slow going train (for no apparent reason) and roams the wilderness until she stumbles upon some ruins – it’s not clear whether these ruins have been a convent or a stronghold or both.

You might have guessed it already: The young, dumb heroine decides to spend the night here. How convenient that she brought her small travelling bag and her sleeping bag – now she can set up a comfy bed. But she won’t get her beauty sleep: The rotting Knights Templar rise from their graves at night, roam the ruins and discover our heroine. She flees into the wilderness – the Knights Templar chase her upon their horses, our heroine dies, her lover and her friend look for her and, of course, both end up in the old building and have to confront the evil Knights Templar. Of course, lots of innocent victims get to die (including the lover), our dead heroine’s friend can flee  and captures a placid train. Big mistake. The Templars, marked by their exceeding slowness – any granny with arthritis could beat these guys at a 500 meters run – copy our replacement-heroine’s behaviour, and capture the train. Big slaughter, heroine survives, because she hid in a coal waggon. Fin.

You’re probably wondering why this should be funny. I’ll tell you why. Imagine the slowest zombies in movie history who approximately take five minutes per step – enough time to flee, really. Not even a leg in a cast would be an obstacle – the time it takes the Templars to take their next step, you’re gone. Except they mount their horses but even then they move in slow motion. Probably they’re quickened by their evilness or the sight of them simply freezes our heroes to the spot so they can do nothing else than stay where they are while the evil Templars creep towards them. This is not only proof of the victims’ astonishing stupidity but also of a great deal of patience – there’s no other horror movie in which the victims wait patiently – while screaming their heads off – for being slaughtered.

The movie, however, offers a lot more and proves to be a treasure chest of rare gems. There’s a totally unimportant, but for the male audience highly interesting lesbian scene in the beginning – filmed with scrim diffuser (of course) and, of course, a flashback, either remembered by our young, stupid heroine or her slightly more intelligent friend. Said lesbian scene is used at the most inconvienient spot – at the beginning. This could mislead the unknowing audience into thinking that this masterpiece was actually a softporno. Ossorio is wasting all the erotic stuff in the beginning – well, to give him credit, there’s also another flashback featuring a nameless yet bosomy peasant girl who’s falling victim to the bloodthirsty Templars, including the dramatic tearing of her peasant gown. That’s about everything the movie has to offer as far as real action is concerned. The non-visible slaughtering executed by the Templars hardly counts as action. Maybe the problem is that I only own the cut version of the movie. But I doubt that the uncut version turns the slow Templars into Speedy Gonzales – an assumption that has been confirmed after Arte, a TV-station, broadcasted the uncut version of the movie. There’s a little more blood, but that’s about it.

That set aside, the acting qualities are really poor but let’s be honest here: It wouldn’t be a trash movie if renowned actors would sign a contract to be in this sort of stupidity which, by the way, hasn’t seen less than three (!!!) sequels.

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