Monday, August 11, 2014

Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972)

Original title: La Noche del Terror Ciego

Director: Amando de Ossorio

Writers: Jesus Navarro Carrion, Amando de Ossorio

Composer: Anton Garcia Abril

Starring: Lone Fleming, Cesar Burner, Maria Elena Arpon, Jose Thelman, Rufino Ingles, Veronica Llimera, Simon Arriaga, Francisco Sanz, Juan Cortes, Andres Isbert, Antonio Orengo, Jose Camoiras, Maria Silva, Britt Nichols, Pedro Sempson

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Who are these unholy savages who hunt out their victims by sound alone?

Plot: In the 13th century there existed a legion of evil knights known as the Templars, who quested for eternal life by drinking human blood and committing sacrifices. Executed for their unholy deeds, the Templars bodies were left out for the crows to peck out their eyes. Now, in modern day Portugal, a group of people stumble on the Templars abandoned monastery, reviving their rotting corpses to terrorize the land.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Probably.

Every time I watch this (last night was the third time in a dozen years) I struggle with wondering if I'll ever watch it again.  See, it's a slow picture (which I'm OK with) but I can't figure out if de Ossorio is deliberately slow by allowing a metric shit ton of longer than necessary scenes or if he's just padding the picture to get closer to that 90 minute run time.  It could go either way.  This story can be told easily in half the time and it feels like there should be more to it.  BUT, and this is a huge but, the atmosphere is rich (I just LOVE the music incorporated with the moaning voices), the dead knights are clearly the inspiration for Peter Jackson's Ringwraiths in LORD OF THE RINGS 1-3 and the ending is all kinds of incredible and mental.  The knights in this thing are badass to the nth degree.  They look amazing and frightening and they ride horses in slow motion.  I have no idea why but they do.  They come out of their tomb, ride horses in slo-mo a few feet and then attack their victims.  The thing is it's so cool and badass that you let that head-scratcher go right on by. I've yet to see the sequels but that's something I'm going to remedy very soon and go through all of the extras in the kick ass coffin box set.

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