RETURN OF THE EVIL DEAD

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Directed by:
Written by:
Starring: , ,

[1973]

Several hundred years in Spain, the evil Knights Templar had their eyes burned out and then were set alight by the inhabitants of a village.  Fast forward to the present day, it’s the anniversary of the Templar’s death and the villagers are holding a festival to celebrate.  New in town is Jack, who discovers his ex -girlfriend is now the wife of the Mayor.   As the love triangle heats up, bullied hunchback Marco kidnaps a woman so her blood can revive the Templars.  Soon the nasty Blind Dead are on their way to disturb the festivities…….

I have no idea why this first sequel to Tombs Of The Blind Dead isn’t called Return Of The Blind Dead,and in fact I’m not sure it it’s actually really a sequel.  Considering that things are shown in this which contradict happenings in the first film-for example when the Templars are executed they have their eyes burned out but in the first film it’s said that vultures took out their eyes, and the location where the Templars are buried is different.  I would say it’s more of a partial remake and maybe all four films are just different versions of the same basic premise rather than following on from each other.

Anyway, despite having the same bogeymen this is quite different to Tombs, it’s a much faster paced film for a start, the first movie being pretty slow [though not always in a bad way].   Instead of turning up for two long sequences, here the Blind Dead are revived about a quarter of the way through and are then on show for much of the rest of the film.   This is both good and bad-they’re terrific menaces, especially with that chanting music and jingling sound effects, but are perhaps less frightening in this film because they are on show so much.   The sequences of the Blind Dead hacking their way through tons of villagers get a little repetitive and director Amando De Ossorio tries to cover up his tiny budget by frenzied cutting, but for much of the time all you see are arms waving swords and these scenes just don’t work that well.

Far more effective are some of the smaller scale sequences, such as a really nail biting bit when the nasty Mayor tries to escape using a young girl as bait, and there’s one rather poetic scene near the end when some people are escaping through the village by early daylight, trying not to make a sound and the Templars are standing still like creepy statues, a really atmospheric and also extremely suspenseful scene.  As with the previous film, De Ossorio shows great talent in a lot of scenes, but then falls down many occasions, such as with another totally unneccessary rape scene [although tamer and not ‘finished’], while the acting, while better than that of Tombs, still isn’t that great, a particular shame when there are a lot more characters.  You don’t really give a damn about the film’s love triangle either, though it’s not given much screen time.  The gore opens well with a horrid eye burning and continues with a heart ripping, but after that it’s just quick and unconvinving arm loppings and beheadings and the like, nothing at all shocking.

This is a more American style film and is perhaps more derivative.   It definately has a Night Of The Living Dead influence and reminded me quite a bit of The Birds too, I also think it influenced The Fog.   I think I preferred Tombs to this, it felt more strange and original, but this is far more coherent and is probably a more entertaining watch, if hardly a classic.   The next film, The Ghost Galleon, is supposed to be dreadful.  We shall see……………
Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Dr Lenera
About Dr Lenera 2019 Articles

I’m a huge film fan and will watch pretty much any type of film, from Martial Arts to Westerns, from Romances [though I don’t really like Romcoms!]] to Historical Epics. Though I most certainly ‘have a life’, I tend to go to the cinema twice a week! However,ever since I was a kid, sneaking downstairs when my parents had gone to bed to watch old Universal and Hammer horror movies, I’ve always been especially fascinated by horror, and though I enjoy all types of horror films, those Golden Oldies with people like Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee probably remain my favourites. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a bit of blood and gore every now and again though, and am also a huge fan of Italian horror, I just love the style.

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