|Page 1 of 6:||     |
|Index||51 reviews in total|
I started watching this sequel to Tombs of the Blind Dead, and at first was remarkably unimpressed. But by the final minute of the film, I had watched a stirring, atmospheric film that, by a slight nod, bested its original. Again we have the evil Knights Templar out for an evening of murder and mayhem at a village festival celebrating their deaths. The film drags a bit in the beginning, and the dubbing is rather poor on the Anchor Bay video(despite advertising subtitles instead). But once the leprous, rotting, decaying Knights break from their earthy pits to exact their vengeance on the villagers, the film starts and remains at a high, fast, tense, frightening pace with some wonderful filmed images. The basic premise of the film has a group of survivors holed up in a Church and what becomes of them through the dark night. The acting is fair, and the actor playing the mayor is humorous in a way. If you enjoyed the first film, I am sure you will like this sequel. I look forward with anticipation to watching the third and fourth installments of this gothic, moody series.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Templars are back in action, this time terrorizing a local village.
And while I found a lot to enjoy, the movie suffers because it is a
sequel. I suppose selecting a favorite depends on which Blind Dead
movie you see first. I happened to see Tombs of the Blind Dead (the
first in the series) before I saw Return of the Evil Dead. As a result,
a lot of the suspense and mystery surrounding the Templars is lost in
this movie. I already knew what the Templars were all about and wasn't
as shocked as I was with the first movie.
That's not to say there aren't moments of horror gold to be found in Return of the Evil Dead. Once again, the Templars rising from the grave is very well done. The scene where the villagers are trapped in the Plaza by the Templars on horseback is one of the best of first two movies. And Return of the Evil Dead has characters that are easier to care about. Add to that the requisite amount of violence, blood, and general creepiness and you've got a very solid horror movie.
It is hard to deny Amando De Ossorio's talent behind the camera--the man knows how to make even the most foreboding locales postcard-pretty. His writing, on the other hand, is a different story..."Return of the Evil Dead" is essentially a plot less rehash of "Tombs of the Blind Dead," with a liberal helping of "Night of the Living Dead" thrown into the mix. I don't have a problem with movies borrowing from each other, but "Return" is so bereft of story and interesting characters that the whole thing becomes kind of tedious. While "Tombs" didn't really spring to life until its impressive climax, Ossorio does a much better job integrating the resurrected Templars into the film--mostly filmed in mid- and long-shots set against dark sets, they exude more menace this time out (also drawing attention away from their creaky marionette movements); problem is, the action scenes revolving around the Templars go on far too long, diluting their presence. And underneath the surface, there isn't much going on here--a bunch of forgettable, cliché characters hole up in an unusually well-lit church to hold out against the Templar menace--subplots involving a greedy Mayor, a jealous lover, and a lost child ensue. Ho hum. To "Return"'s credit, the opening Templar slaughter is effective, as is a suspenseful child retrieval scene, and the climax is chilling. Too bad everything in between is beautiful to look at but aesthetically mediocre.
I didn't enjoy this as much as the first in the series but it is still worth seeing. For me this was less creepy and also lacked the vampiresque element of the blood sucking. I realise this was a bit out of place in the first, I just thought the sight of these skeletal marauders gathering round to have a mass suck was pretty effective. The sex and gore element is comparable but again not quite as traumatising but I guess this was to some extent a retread. Certainly a Night of the Living Dead element to a large section of the film when they are barricaded in the church and here I particularly liked the scheming Major ready to sacrifice anyone but himself and the coup de grace, the double exploitation of the little girl! See it yourself to find out. Great ending too, even if suddenly we are back to the vampire theme.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There is a bit of a spoiler below, which could ruin the surprise of the ONE
unexpected and truly funny scene in this film. There is also information
about the first film in this series.
I caught this film on DVD, which someone gave as a gift to my roommate. It came as a set together with the first film in the "Blind Dead" series.
This movie was certainly much worse than the first, "La Noche del Terror Ciego". In addition, many of the features of the first movie were changed significantly. To boot, the movie was dubbed in English (the first was subtitled), which I tend to find distracting.
The concept behind the series is that in the distant past a local branch of the Knights Templar was involved in heinous and secret rituals. Upon discovery of these crimes, the local peasantry put the Templars to death in such a manner that their eyes can no longer be used, thus preventing them from returning from Hell to exact their revenge. We then jump to modern times where because of some event, the Templars arise from the dead to exact their revenge upon the villagers whose ancestors messed them up in the first place. Of course, since the undead knights have no eyes, they can only find their victims when they make some sort of noise.
The Templars were a secretive order, from about the 12th century, coming out of the Crusades. They were only around for about 150 years, before they were suppressed in the early 1300s by the Pope and others. Because they were secretive, there were always rumors about their ceremonies, particularly for initiation. Also, because of the way the society was organized, you didn't necessarily have church officials overseeing things, which meant they didn't have an inside man when things heated up. And, because of the nature of their trials, they were tortured into confessions. The order was strongest in France, but did exist in Portugal and Spain, where the movies take place.
Where the first movie had a virgin sacrifice and knights drinking the blood directly from the body of the virgin (breast shots here, of course, this is a horror film after all), and then, once the knights come back to life, they attack their victims by eating them alive and sucking their blood; in this sequel, this all disappears. You still have the same scene (redone, not the same footage) of them sacrificing the virgin, but they drain the blood into a bowl and drink it from that. Thus, when they come back, they just hack people up with their swords or claw people to death, which I have to say is a much less effective means of disturbing your audience. There's also a time problem: in the first film the dating is much closer to the Templars, where here they are now saying it is the 500 anniversary of the peasants burning these guys at the stake, which would date it around 1473. And the way that the Templars lose their eyes is much less interesting as well. In the first, they have them pecked out by crows. Now they are simply burned out, and in quite a ridiculous manner.
Oh yeah, and maybe it was just me, but there seemed to be a lot of people from the first movie reappearing in this film (despite having died). Not really a problem, since the movie is completely different and not a sequel in the sense of a continuation, but odd none-the-less.
The highlight of this movie is the rich fellow who uses a child to distract the undead while he makes a break for the jeep. The child's father had already been suckered by this rich man into making an attempt to get the jeep, so he walks out and tells her to find her father. It comes somewhat out of the blue, and is easily the funniest scene in the film. Of course, why the child doesn't die at this point is beyond me, and disappointed for horror fans.
I couldn't possibly recommend this film to anyone. It isn't so bad that it becomes funny, so it just ends up being a mediocre horror film. The bulk of the film has several people holed up in a church, each making various attempts to go it alone in order to escape the blind dead who have them surrounded. When the film ends, you are not surprised at the outcome at all; in fact, quite disappointed. If you are into the novelty of seeing a Spanish horror film, see the first movie, which at least has some innovative ideas and not so expected outcomes.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I hated Tombs of The Blind Dead. It was downright boring in my opinion.
Needless to say, I wasn't looking forward to this one very much. I
wasn't exactly enthused about this movie either, though it was
watchable for the most part. Unlike Tombs of The Blind Dead, this one
is more action oriented. It has semblance of suspense, along with some
moody atmosphere at times. The photography is solid as well, as is the
locations they used. The gore isn't that great. We get a beheading, a
ripped out heart, eye are burned, and more. I'd say it was pretty
average. The Templars themselves are very cool looking. Despite how
ancient they look, I wouldn't want them after me. The acting is pretty
bad with unlikable characters. Tony Kendall is OK as our macho hero. He
hilariously no sells several punches to the gut at one point. Loretta
Tovar is a tad annoying as Monica. Her stuttering act was annoying.
Esperanza Roy is OK as well. Most of the people were dubbed, so it's a
bit hard to rate. Overall, it is worth at least a look. Those that
hated the first film, probably won't love this one, but they should at
least find it to be tolerable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The sequel to "Tombs of the Blind Dead" is not nearly as good as the original. Although some parts were true to the original film, other parts deviated substantially. In the first movie the "zombie Templars" moved around in the daytime and were supposed to have been blinded by birds eating out their eyes. The sequel has them awakening 500 years after their death and moving around only during the night and being blinded by having their eyes burned from their sockets. Additionally they didn't seem to be as cognizant of their surroundings as in the first film. Whereas in the first movie they could hear a person's heartbeat, in this one they seemed more uncertain once a person stopped making noise. At least, that's the way it seemed to me. Also of note was the fact that Lone Fleming had a part in this film as well as the original. In the first movie she played the part of "Betty Turner" and in this one she played another character named "Amalia". And while her performances in both films were adequate it just showcases yet another discrepancy from one film to the other. In any case, there was no improvement on the special effects, the plot or the dialogue and because of the additional inconsistencies noted earlier I thought this was a definite step back from the original. Possibly worth a look if a person hasn't seen "Tombs of the Blind Dead" but somewhat disappointing otherwise.
A lot of European Horror films stand on their own and never get a
sequel. In the US there has been an abundance of them, in some cases
far too many. When a film is a big success a sequel seems like the next
logical step. Amando de Ossorio's 'Tombs of the Blind Dead' was a hit
in his native Spain and introduced new monsters to terrify audiences.
If the Templar Knights could rise from the grave once what could stop
them from doing it again? This time there would be a new setting,
characters, and even a different back story, but again Ossorio would be
at the helm. The result is not as good, but not all together bad
Pros: Acting is fine. Good score that's chilling at times. Beautifully photographed. Ossorio again gets some nice shots and creates a spooky ambiance. Moves at a good pace most of the times. A few effective shocks. The Templars are given more to do and are still scary. Ups the stakes a bit.
Cons: Even less plot this time. Pace lags at times, mostly in the second half. Most characters are one dimensional. Anticlimactic ending.
Final thoughts: Some seem to prefer this to the original, but I can't say I agree. It has more flaws than 'Tombs,' but overall is a worthy follow up. The villains of the title are still the kind of thing nightmares are made of. And it's without a doubt better than the next outing.
My rating: 3/5
Evil Knights Templar are put to death, eyes burnt out and burned on
bonfires only to return 500 years later on the anniversary of their
deaths to have their revenge.
With moments reminiscent of Night of the Living Dead the rest of director Amando De Ossorio's (follow up, remake or stand alone story of Tombs of the Blind Dead) is a slow burning, effective little Spanish horror.
The characters and story of El ataque de los muertos sin ojos are developed arguably further than it's predecessor and while the pace is faster it's still very slow. Your patience is rewarded with creepy visuals, killer blade welding zombie knights, fitting music, all with the backdrop of an eerie small town.
Although dated the idea of knights coming back from the dead is still appealing, there's plenty of hammer horror-esque bright blood on display and it has a seventies charm about it, flares, huge collars etc. The cast are more than adequate, notably unrecognisable José Canalejas as Murdo the hunchback-like village outcast.
The final act is satisfying enough and as the dawn arrives prior to the credits you'll feel relieved in a good or bad way dependant on your feelings of this atmospheric gem.
"Reutrn of the Blind Dead," is a slightly higher budget remake of Tombs
of the Blind Dead. Return maintains the intriguing premise and textural
richness of the first, while also achieving a slightly faster pace and
more accessible story. In all fairness, Return is a remake in spirit
only. The story arch and conflict differs very much from the first
film. In the earlier film, the director lavished time and extended shot
composition to create a creepy mood. This second installment develops
characters more and explores how some of the monsters may still be
This series has gained a cult following for a few reasons. First, the premise of long dead satanic knight zombies mixes history, occultism, and gory monsters. Such a mix is near perfection in the overly exploited zombie genre. Second, the stories are rather simple and straight forward. The director is clearly not attempting to create a nuanced and subtle piece of storytelling. Rather, the films are a notable for the visual and color textures. The zombies are a wonderful combination of desiccated flesh and bones wrapped in earth hardened tunics. In addition, these knights attack in force both on foot and on zombie horseback. The costuming and makeup effects are actually quite unsettling and some of the most original.
While the zombies are very fun, the lack of attention to story and development do hurt the film. The dialogue is simplistic and clearly serves to keep the pacing up. Whenever a movie sacrifices realistic scripting, the production as a whole suffers from wooden performances and characters the audience cares little about. Return, having made the above scripting sacrifice, comes off as very clichéd, poorly acted, and at times outright stupid. An important note is that, even with these negative points, the film still maintains a sense of excitement, horror and fun. Return is a "b" zombie film and all of the staff know it. In a sense, this film deserves to be judged by more lenient "b" criteria. By evaluating this film on less strict criterion, Return is a success. The Editing is well done and maintains a good exciting pace. The acting is wooden, which inevitably leads to unintended humor and laughs. The zombies are the star and clearly have been developed lovingly. The score is a mix of cheesy music and stereotypically creepy sound effects. This film attacks its goal with both a high degree of technical skill and an even higher degree of pride. Will this film ever make a come back and receive awards? No, it will not. Will this film stand the test of time and be referenced for many years to come by horror enthusiasts? Yes, it most definitely will. All in all, this is a fun film that has a unique if campy perspective on zombies.
On a personal note, I have really taken to this series. The premise, visual textures, creepy locations, and unplanned humor combine to make these films a pleasure to watch. These make great movie night fare when with horror buffs. In addition, this series provides a great many examples of the wonderful techniques used in earlier horror. A great many films of today are clearly influenced by the likes of the blind dead.
|Page 1 of 6:||     |
|Plot summary||Ratings||External reviews|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|