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A group of rich businessmen and military officers who are partying in an old castle are spared when a nuclear war ravages the earth. When they venture out into the nearest town to search for food and supplies, they find most of the residents blinded, and soon they discover the existence of a sinister group called The People Who Own The Dark. Written by
The People Who Own the Dark is effectively a reworking of the classic horror film Night of the Living Dead; also taking influence from British horror flick The Day of the Triffids. The film has a really great premise and I was looking forward to it for that reason; in spite of all the critical reviews I've read, but unfortunately the film really doesn't make the best of what it has to offer. It's partly down to the fact that it features a very low budget; but the uneven script, which means the film is good in places and very boring in others, doesn't exactly help either. The plot focuses on a party in an old castle. All the partygoers are rich businessmen, and their fun is spoiled by a nuclear war which, aside from shaking the building, also leaves most of the population blind. The inhabitants of the castle venture outside eventually but get into trouble upon meeting with the newly blinded citizens as they appear to have become mad from the trauma and set out to maim and kill those who still have their sight.
The film is directed by León Klimovsky and stars his long time collaborator Paul Naschy. The pair worked together on a couple of Naschy's rubbishy "Homo-Lobo" films as well as the decent Giallo A Dragonfly for Every Corpse. Naschy is one of the major stars of seventies horror; but his role here is very limited and really he's little more than a co-star, which is a shame because the best thing about Paul Naschy films tends to be Paul Naschy. The film does feature a fairly good atmosphere and the director helps the film by putting forward a truly hopeless feeling. The first half of the film really is very boring; the director merely shows us the central characters, none of which are very interesting, and the build up to the party is boring also. Things do get a bit better in the second half as the action starts to take centre stage; and while it's not as good as the films it takes influence from, it is at least fairly entertaining. It all boils down to a dark and depressing ending which is often hated; although I kind of liked it. Overall, The People Who Own the Dark is a disappointing horror movie and not worth going out of your way for.
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