vrijdag 24 juni 2011

Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971)

I've been screening mostly eighties horror lately, so I felt like trying another zombiefilm from the seventies. And to be honest, they're not so different in the end. Tombs of the Blind Dead seemed to be the perfect choice. It's the first instalment in the 'Blind Dead' series by Amando de Ossorio. Will this trigger me to watch the rest of his dead work, or will I let them rest in peace?

It's exactly what I expected it to be. Not on top of my list, but definitely close. The film is fairly well-shot, making it easy to watch. It's not as trashy as, for example, a 'Zombie Lake', but it's always close. Keeping a fair balance between sincere horror and funny clumsiness. The line between laughable cheap and entertaining horror has always been very thin, and it's not any different this time around.
The story behind the (blind) undead is pretty cool. Spanish templars tortured and killed a bunch of people back in the 13th century. It caused an uprising among the people. They hung the templars and then left them behind, enabling the birds to eat out their eyes. Even in the 20th century, the legend of the tempelars is still alive. It's a cool backstory which I normally don't care about too much.

The first half hour is probably the best. We see how Betty, Roger and Virginia (an old, lesbian friend of Betty) go on a trip together. Betty becomes jealous of Roger and Virginia. Even so much that she decides to jump of the train. Waving them goodbye and wishing them a lot of fun. Have fun while i'm out here in the middle of nowhere close to an old burial ground! Yeah right..
Of course she can't find any other place to stay for the night so she decides to sleep somewhere in the ruins right next to the burial ground. At this point it's pretty spooky, but also very cheesy. The first undead appearance is memorable and making them ride on horses is a brilliant move. The mid part switches back to Roger and Virginia who're trying to figure out what could've happened to her. Not the most interesting, and that's a shame.

Thankfully, the ending is worth it. They meet up with Pedro, a criminal who's now a suspect, and his 'girlfriend'. They all visit the exact same spot where Betty died. I don't have to explain it much further as it all follows a familiar path. The dark ruins feel threatening and the zombies look amazing. I guess you can compare the zombies from 'Burial Ground' with these.
I'm curious as to what the other parts of this serie have to offer. If it's anything like this...I'm in! If it wasn't for the midpart, I would've rated it even higher. But the cool, fast paced beginning and similar ending has made it more than just worth my while. It was the fun you'd come to expect after so many zombieflicks.

Score: 85/100


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