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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.
"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.
Return of the Evil Dead is, in my opinion, a superior film to the
acclaimed original Blind Dead movie. This time around, the body count
rises tenfold and the galloping, sword-swinging Templars are multiplied
by nearly as much. Watching armies of ghouls race across the
countryside, waving their blades and wriggling their tiny skeletal
arms, can be truly chill-inducing.
This time around, a local celebration is invaded by the Templars, who take their vengeance on the townspeople - eventually chasing the mayor, a fireworks technician, his estranged lover, and a few horrified others to a nearby church. Barricaded inside, the survivors take it upon themselves not to stop the Templars, but simply to escape with their lives.
The performances are uniformly decent, although numerous day-for-night shots are so jarring, they take away a large portion of the needed tension. The effects are all done well, with a bit more grue this time around... but still a relatively gore-less affair. There's some nudity, a bevy of hilarious characters, and a thrilling (albeit unsuccessful) escape through an underground passageway.
Any way you look at it, this film is a step up from the thrilling original. If you're in the mood for some silly, creepy fun - look no further than this little gem. Return of the Evil Dead is an absolute blast.
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.
The blind dead Templars return again from the 13th century with this
creepy story.The film starts when the village's idiot(Jose Canalejas)
awakes the priests warriors from the tomb.Ancient Zombies return of
graves causing wreak havoc on the small community where are celebrating
centennial festivities ,terrizing and torturing the rural
population.There rules a tyrant Mayor(Fernando Sancho) and his
underlings(Frank Braña).They make a brutal massacre into village square
and the protagonists are surrounded in the church.Meanwhile the
starring (Tony Kendall) saves the damsel(Esperanza Roy )in disgrace.
This atmospheric horror movie contains eerie scenes when appear the living dead Templars .This is the following of the first great success and immensely popular ¨Tombs of the Blind dead¨ which to be continued by a trilogy: Return of evil dead,Horror of Zombies and Night of the seagulls. The Zombi-like are blinded by crows but they made human sacrifices and were executed and the clergymen return eventually to the life.They encounter their victims by means of screams and sounds. In the movie appear famous actors of Eurotrash and Spaghetti Western as Fernando Sancho(usual roles of fat Mexican),Frank Braña(habitual secondary in Sergio Leone Western),Tony Kendall( an usual player for Amando Ossorio as When the screaming stops and People who own the dark) and Lone Fleming,main actress in the original film:The tombs of the blind dead.Creepy and frightening music especially when the dead attack is created by Anton Garcia Abril . This lack budget film is regularly directed by Amando De Ossorio.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It is an odd decision to have this film open up with scenes of how the
Knights Templar became known as The Blind Dead, and then some way into
the running time, have those scenes repeated as flashbacks as someone
(in this case, 'village idiot' Murdo, played by José Canalejas) is
relaying the story of their origin.
However, this second film in the Blind Dead series sees Director Amando De Ossario once again making the titular creatures as revolting as cowled, decomposing skeletal zombies can be although their withered, twig-like hands rarely look anything other than gnarled gardening forks held by the actors beneath the rotting robes and look particularly ineffective when trying to grab various victims. In fact, the cadaverous knights can be astonishingly inept here: usually their agonising slowness adds to their menace here, a whole group of them completely fail to capture the terrified, screaming Monica (Loretta Tovar). It might be their most ineffectual scene and reduces their effect greatly. Later on, however, a horde of the Knights Templar storming the village present a far more persuasive presentation of their powers.
This is another enjoyable instalment in the series. Each entry manages to be more than 'just another episode', however, due to Ossario's inspiring passion for the subject, and 'Return of the Evil Dead' is a substantial project in its own right. It perhaps lacks the atmospheric chill of 'Ghost Galleon' and 'Night of the Seagulls', but the Knights' relentless, statuesque vigil throughout the night awaiting the emergence of the last few survivors makes for a morbidly enthralling scenario.
Less of a sequel, and more of a remake, this 2nd movie about the Blind
Dead re- hashes the whole scenario including the "origin" story, and
just remakes the first movie all over again with not very many new
This time it's a whole village that is terrorised. Due to the actions of an imbecilic villager, the log dead Templars are fed with blood and come out of their graves to wreak more havoc. The village suffers an invasion during a night of celebrations, and many deaths occur before the Templars are defeated.
The recycling of material from the first movie is very lazy. We have the same gory flashback to a sacrifice of a young girl (rubber boobs being cut up with a knife again), we have the slow motion clip-clopping horses, the moaning and clanking soundtrack and the macho fights over women by several boorish male villagers.
Luckily the film benefits from very real settings of the village and ruined abbey/castle, and the look of the ghouls themselves still packs a punch. The effects are not very good. In the "crowd" scenes, it's very obvious that some of the zombies are just immobile skulls on sticks with a tatty robe thrown over them - especially when they are beaten down and collapse immediately like a pile of cardboard tubes and coat hangers.
A few set pieces however really do work: firstly when the evil major uses a small child as bait (!) in order to selfishly escape from the monsters. This is a very effective sequence and the poor girl looks convincingly unhappy upon finding herself among the skeletal mob. Don't worry, the evil major pays heavily for this craven behaviour! The second effective sequence is the climax when the survivors attempt to creep past the blind dead as dawn breaks...this is great film making and works despite the rest of the films cheap effects.
On the whole, though, it's only a remake of the original, which has so many original touches it was a hard act to follow. But follow it they did, and then again, two more times after this one!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Forget the naysayers - RETURN OF THE EVIL DEAD is everything you could
want from a cool Spanish horror movie. An attractive cast, fun
dialogue, a smattering of gore, fast pacing and exceptional photography
highlight Amando de Ossorio's own follow-up to TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD,
as well as the fact that the film is actually scary! Yes, the undead
Knights Templar are back in another separate story and with lots of
screen time to their credit they're just as terrifying as before -
especially when Ossorio dubs them in with weird supernatural cries and
creaking noises. Okay, so the story is familiar and the film holds few
surprises for the horror fan, but everything is done so efficiently you
don't mind the clichéd feel.
The opening is a superb mini-movie in itself, as we witness the Knights Templar cutting open the breast of a captive girl and draining her bright red blood into a bowl, from which they then drink. They're interrupted by the classic group of torch-wielding villagers, who actually put their torches to good use this time by burning out the eyes of the Templars in an extremely graphic fashion! The evil knights are then burned alive for good measure just as the credits begin to play.
What follows is familiar stuff: the Templars return from their graves (only fifteen minutes into the film, so no waiting around!), and attack an isolated house inhabited only by a man and a girl. He is throttled, she narrowly escapes by stealing one of the undead horses in an exceptionally thrilling - and frightening - scene, in which the space she has to escape keeps getting less and less until she's forced to jump out of the window onto a nearby horse. She escapes to the town square, where party revellers are enjoy plenty of booze and fireworks. Minutes later the Templars arrive and slaughter half of the townsfolk in an excellent-shot massacre in which you can almost smell the blood and steel, as it puts you right in the thick of the action.
After the actions of a brave few who put up a fight, the rest of the townsfolk escape into the countryside (later on, in another solemn and horrific shot, we see a field littered with the bodies of the dead, exemplifying the hopelessness of the situations our characters are in). A group of survivors escape on their jeep only to be pursued by the Templars on horseback through the streets of the village (an excellent chase sequence which was ripped off in JURASSIC PARK, with a Tyrannosaur replacing the zombies). They escape into the refuge of a church, and the film enters familiar NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD territory as the zombies surround the place and attempt to get in.
This is a pretty mean spirited film. For instance, one sub plot shows two characters painfully unblocking a tunnel for what seems like an age, and finally escaping into a remote graveyard only to be instantly killed by the waiting Templars for all their hard work. Loads of cast members are brutally murdered in graphically gory scenes which have been excised from the UK print (not sure why, as they're gory for the time but not THAT gory these days) for maximum impact. The interesting, twist ending (with more than a nod to THE BIRDS) has the Templars being caught in the rays of sunlight and literally disintegrating before the eyes of our heroes.
The group of survivors holed up in the church are an interesting bunch. Firstly, we have the hero as played by Italian star Tony Kendall, more at home in European spy and adventure flicks, who supplies the film with much-needed masculine energy and heroism. He's supported by a trio of Spanish beauties who inevitably end up being menaced by the zombies. Other folks include the village idiot, Muerto, an exceptionally creepy guy with one dead arm who spies on people making love; an ill-fated family; the selfish and cowardly mayor, who causes others to die in his own attempts to escape; and the mayor's right-hand, who has a change of heart and helps our heroes, before his sexual desires get the better of him and he attempts to rape the heroine.
The gory effects are cheap but hit home, thanks to a good use of shocking music at the right time. There's an excruciating hand-lopping sequence, a surprise decapitation, an impaling, and lots of dripping blood and other splattery stuff to enjoy. The effects of the Knights Templars, on the other hand, are excellent (with the exception of the two "guards" who are blown up by fireworks, and just look like scarecrows), and once again Ossorio uses slow-motion to capture and highlight the eeriness of his zombies as they rise from their graves with their skeletal hands and ride through the countryside on horseback. RETURN OF THE EVIL DEAD is a fine Spanish horror yarn, a good example of the genre and matching the best that Britain and America had to offer at the same time. Lots of action, lots of fun, and a jolly good viewing experience.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I first saw this in the mid 80s on a VHS. The shopkeeper told me that there is a prequel n sequels but not available with him. He assured me that this is the best in the series. N believe me he was right. Read many reviews here n all agrees with the video shop owner. The movie has plenty of genuinely chilling moments (and plenty of silly ones, too) and some effectively creepy zombies (skeletal caped figures wielding huge swords), Return of the Evil Dead is worth a watch if you dig this kind of thing. The film throws in some nifty splashes of gore including some graphic stabbings. The plot is silly. 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. This movie may have its flaws, but one must admit that the blind Templars are some of the creepiest creatures ever to appear in movies, and Amando De Ossorio does a great job using slow-mo and an eerie score to intensify this impression. The ending however is a complete disappointment there's no spectacular showdown featured, the crusaders were just killed by sunlight.
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