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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 ***
The first of three follow-ups to the popular Tombs of the Blind Dead. I haven't seen Tombs ...... or any other sequels apart from Return ....... VHS used to arrive late in Mumbai during that time n I saw this in the mid 80s. 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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In this superior sequel to "Tombs of the Blind Dead", the templars
attack an entire village celebrating a festival commemorating their
disposal hundreds of years ago. The body count is thus much greater
than the first movie, which featured only a small band of heroes and
anti-heroes against the skeletons on horses.
The violence is also much increased. This version features an impaling, a limb being hacked off, and in one particularly memorable scene, a beheading. The festival-attack scene is nowhere near as violent as it could be. I guess it is harder to use those kinds of special effects the more people are on screen? Either way, it is not until the end that the movie turns really violent.
It is also not until the end that the movie turns scary. If you watch a lot of horror movies, you know genuine fear is actually a rare emotion to feel during one's runtime. Like the original, Return of the Evil Dead manages genuine tension thanks to the impressive set up the movie ends with, and the minimalist, heart-pounding soundtrack. It is scarier than the original, and in my opinion, superior.
It also features a moronic, monobrow-having halfwit who reminded me of Gotho from Paul Naschy's Hunchback of the Morgue. The scene where he sticks his head out, only to be beheaded, unbeknownst to the lady he is trying to save - until blood starts flowing down his arm - is a work of art.
One thing that makes this movie more effective is its refusal to bow to the same old morality lessons Hollywood movies always feature (it is Spanish). Everyone knows that in mainstream American films, if a character acts brave, or puts themselves on the line for another, that character will survive the situation. In Return of the Evil Dead, they don't. This ups the tension, because you can see they're not playing by the same rules we're all familiar with, and you really don't know what's going to happen next.
The second in director Amando de Ossorio's "Blind Dead" series sees a
horde of fifteenth-century Knight Templars rise from the dead to take
revenge on the town that poked their eyes out and burned them alive
I saw Amando's first entry, TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD, on WOR-TV's "Fright Night" (Saturdays at 1am) as a teenager back in the '70s and even then I knew these films were most likely edited but I never expected the gore I got last night. My letterboxed DVD of RETURN (nice print, too) was English-dubbed but a couple of parts were subtitles only and it's interesting to see just what was excised for US television (and possibly drive-in release) at the time. The flashback where a Knight Templar sacrifices a woman by tearing her heart out and eating it would never fly on the tube back then and neither would the bare breasts. Speaking of WOR-TV in the "Me Decade", I also saw the ghost of SCTV- the fat mayor and the town hunchback reminded me of John Candy & Eugene Levy in "Dr. Tongue's 3D House Of Stewardesses" and another character was a lot like Levy's Ricardo Montalban impression. That said, the robed, rotting Templars galloping slo-mo in the misty moonlight was genuinely eerie. Undead fun, for sure.
Note: review and rating apply to the original 92 minute long Spanish
More action-oriented and less atmospheric than "Tombs of the Blind Dead", this sequel opens up the scope a bit by having the relentless Knights Templar take on an entire town, as the nearby town of Bouzano is celebrating the long ago vanquishing of these fiends. But soon the eyeless zombies will be rising from their graves to attack the citizens and put a bloody end to the festivities.
The central set piece, around the halfway point, is exhilarating. It features a fair bit of quick cuts and moving camera. Still, despite all of the violence, things never do get that gory, which will disappoint various horror fans in the audience. The plotting, also, is decidedly more conventional, with a bunch of disparate characters forced to hole up inside an old church in classic "Night of the Living Dead" style. And true to the nature of that films' story, the people here are at odds with each other.
Studly Tony Kendall makes for a believable hero, while Fernando Sancho creates an effectively loathsome character with his portrayal of the worthless mayor, a man who thinks nothing of making a little girl serve as a distraction for his attempted getaway. They're joined by the enchanting Esperanza Roy as the mayor's wife Vivian, with whom Kendall's Jack Marlowe has a history, Frank Brana as the mayor's sidekick, Luis Barboo as one of the villainous knights, and two holdovers from the first film, Lone Fleming (playing Amalia) and Jose Thelman (playing Juan). Jose Canalejas is deliciously creepy as the "keeper" Murdo; he's got a great character face.
The ending should have viewers all tensed up, wondering if our last survivors standing will be able to pull off their escape attempt.
This is about on a par with "Tombs of the Blind Dead".
Seven out of 10.
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