Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tombs of the Blind Dead

This 1971 film is the first installment of Spanish writer-director Amando de Ossorio’s four-part zombie epic. The zombies are withered, wispy-bearded Knights Templars, who have made a pact with the Devil, drinking blood to become immortal. Unfortunately for them, they are also blind (the Devil is like that). ”Don’t let them hear your heart beating!” is the tag line. A young camper (María Elena Arpón) vanishes after wandering into the crumbling castle where the dead lurk, and her friends must solve the mystery of her disappearance. There are some genuinely scary scenes and a nicely grim ending, but this is a ‘70s exploitation film with gratuitous cheesecake and violence towards women, not a classic. Still, where else can you see blind zombie knights on horseback?

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