By Eric Polk-
[Oh yes, now we are talking! Zombies films are becoming a dime-a-dozen, but many of them do not have the originality nor the heart of this, imo, classic horror film. BTW, I love the dvd box set it comes in!]
[Reprinted from Eric's MySpace page, May 27th,2009]Tombs of the Blind Dead is a rather obscure Spanish horror film from 1971. It is the first of a quadrilogy directed by Amando de Ossorio. It has developed quite a cult following over the years and had I not heard it mentioned in the movie "Free Enterprise", I would have missed it altogether.
The plot basically starts with a two girls and a guy on a train. The two girls had a brief intimate encounter in college and one of them jumps of the train as images from that encounter flood her mind.
She winds up in an old, abandoned temple. Well, the fact actually is it's populated by long dead, long rotted blind Knights Templar's who arise from their tombs and yes she meets her demise at their bony hands.
The twist on this glorified zombie tale is the undead are blind and hunt their prey by sound. Rather unique for this style of genre. In the backstory, we learn this group had returned from the east, armed with magic spells and a hope human blood would make them immortal.
There is one rather chilling scene in the flashback sequence where they inflict damage on a nude, bound woman....I wont go any further but it is intense.
The final sequences are typical of any zombie film in which the knights run amuck on a train, hacking and slashing their way to victory.
Overall, this movie is a bit uneven. The costumes the Knights wear are awesome...if you can get past the fact they were a precursor to the ringwraiths in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and they ride horses...i dont think a horror movie has done that since.
The gore is satisfactory but not quite overdone.
[I did say this film is a bit uneven, but upon further review, I'm backtracking that statement.]