6.2/10
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106 user 93 critic

Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972)

La noche del terror ciego (original title)
PG | | Horror | February 1973 (USA)
In the 13th century there existed a legion of evil knights known as the Templars, who quested for eternal life by drinking human blood and committing sacrifices. Executed for their unholy ... See full summary »

Director:

Amando de Ossorio

Writers:

Jesús Navarro Carrión (additional dialogue), Amando de Ossorio
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lone Fleming ... Betty Turner
César Burner César Burner ... Roger Whelan
María Elena Arpón María Elena Arpón ... Virginia White (as Helen Harp)
José Thelman José Thelman ... Pedro Candal (as Joseph Thelman)
Rufino Inglés ... Inspector Oliveira
Verónica Llimerá Verónica Llimerá ... Nina
Simón Arriaga Simón Arriaga ... Morgue Keeper
Francisco Sanz Francisco Sanz ... Professor Candal
Juan Cortés Juan Cortés ... Coroner
Andrés Isbert Andrés Isbert ... Train Engineer's Son
Antonio Orengo Antonio Orengo ... Train Engineer
José Camoiras José Camoiras
María Silva ... Maria
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Storyline

In the 13th century there existed a legion of evil knights known as the Templars, who quested for eternal life by drinking human blood and committing sacrifices. Executed for their unholy deeds, the Templars bodies were left out for the crows to peck out their eyes. Now, in modern day Portugal, a group of people stumble on the Templars abandoned monastery, reviving their rotting corpses to terrorize the land. Written by Jeremy Lunt <durlinlunt@acadia.net>

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Taglines:

SCREAM So They Can Find You!!! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Blind Dead (Knights Templar) villains were unofficially resurrected in the 1975 entry La cruz del diablo, directed by John Gilling. The film was an influence on Mansion of the Living Dead, a 1982 film directed by Jesús Franco. More recently, the Templar appeared in the unofficial, shot-on-video sequel Graveyard of the Dead, also known as El retorno de los templarios (2009) and in supporting roles in Don't Wake the Dead (2008) and Unrated: The Movie (2009), two films by German director Andreas Schnaas. The short comic story "Ascension of the Blind Dead" appeared in the 2010 Asylum Press graphic novel Zombie Terrors Volume 1, written by David Zuzelo with artwork by William Skaar. In 2015, Emma Dark and Merlyn Roberts co-directed an unofficial short film sequel, Island of the Blind Dead. See more »

Goofs

During the films intro titles, the camera is looking around the "abandoned" ruins of the Templars monastery. In one shot, a van with a ladder strapped to its roof-rack can be seen going across a bridge in the background, at the top of the picture. See more »

Alternate Versions

Retitled as "Mark of the Devil, Part V: Night of the Blind Terror" by American distributor SRS Video. The box art features scream queen Michelle Bauer being held down by the Grim Reaper, although she is not in the movie. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Planet X: Episode #2.3 (2006) See more »

User Reviews

 
Nothing Short of a Masterpiece
28 July 2003 | by SquonkamaticSee all my reviews

I am shocked to see the comments on this film by the users of the IMDB. Shocked and saddened; Amando de Ossorio's BLIND DEAD films are the quintessential viewing experience for 1970's Eurohorror. This particular film is nothing short of a masterpiece, though brain cell count and attention span deficit disorders that run rampant amongst the youth of today could account for SOME of the negative comments logged. Still ...

The first BLIND DEAD film does NOTHING to set it's scene, other than to show you Goya-esque views of a crumbling Spanish citadel ... One of the problems in assessing the cultural significance of a film that is 33 years old is related to how it is marketed, and by marketing the BLIND DEAD films as "Zombie Flesh Eating Gore Fests" is to miss Ossorio's point. Therefore the distributors themselves might be as much to blame as any one factor -- by trying to cash in on Zombie gorehounds and their easily parted with money, companies like Anchor Bay took a beautiful little movie and turned it into an instant reseller's nightmare. If plot is something you look for in your films, the BLIND DEAD movies will fall short. They will also fall short on the gore factor, since Ossorio was using the gore effects as ways to color his pallete of moods [see the first ten minutes of NIGHT OF THE SEAGULLS/NIGHT OF THE DEATH CULT for the most vivid example]. Ossorio was very much a director of moods and visuals rather than a strict, trudging story line that plods from A to B to C and then you're through. Like most European horror from the early 1970's, the stories are actually rather unimportant next to considerations like lighting, texture, color schemes and movement. If you watch a BLIND DEAD movie for a lightning fast paced blood soaked zombie fest OF COURSE you are going to feel like you wasted $15.

Ossorio was making parables about his time: I see this series as being very subversive commentaries on the Franco regime, with the Templar Knights summond from the grave at the start of each film as a way of representing the old values of Spain finding a voice amidst the artistic repression of their time. Spanish art has always been filled with images of horror & suffering, so it would make sense that an artist like Ossorio would choose the medium of his time -- film, rather than oil & canvas -- with which to bring forth his vision, and fill it with images of horror. But that doesn't mean that his objective was to make a mind numbing splatter film that would beat it's audience into submission with a meathook. If thematic relevance could be found for allowing a pretty supporting actress to be torn to shreds by vampiric Templars in a death ritual, well so be it -- that kind of stuff sells, and was permissable under Franco's dictatorship where straight out sexual content was not.

TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD [as we know it today] stands as one of the watershed films in mixing horror with eroticism: before Ossorio, the erotically tinged horror flick tended to be softer edged, not confront the viewer with TOO much carnage [though torture films were huge during the 1970's, especially in places like Italy and Germany where film makers were free to make films about whatever they wanted], and tended to end "happily". Ossorio's work changed all of that: we see graphic amputations, decapitations & other forms of bloodletting right next to the boobs, bikini lines and Go-Go boots. Ossorio had a great eye for beauty too, and packed his films with a bevy of gorgeous, beautiful Eurobabes who would have the most apalling things happen to them right on camera but were never "exploitational" -- the sexual content in Ossorio's work is treated as a plot element itself, not just inserted into the storyline to keep the attention of the jaded from slipping.

Several of the commentors are correct when pointing out that this movie is "slow", but I contend that it is slow in a way that emphasizes the poetic nature of his visions -- events transpire in a deliberate manner, with the action taking place almost like a walz or ballad. Is this a cultural sensitivity issue? Probably -- American consumers want MORE, FASTER, BIGGER and they want it NOW. To require an audience to sit through 25 minutes of a film before even learning why any of this is happening was apparently so unbearable that the original distributor of this film -- Paragon Video -- actually took it upon themselves to restructure the film so that the middle came at the beginning, and the film opens with a death ritual/blood sacrifice of a sexy woman to assure brain-dead Americans that they were going to get to see the boobs & blood that the films were marketed as delivering. And by doing so they not only did a dis-service to the movie, but shot themselves in the foot, since the action never again reaches that frenzied peak of luridness.

Anchor Bay Entertainment and Video Treasures did better with their "remastered" widescreen presentations, but still failed to grasp how to adequately market the films to what audience, and as such you can go to Amazon & score this tape for about eight bucks from a reseller [the out-of-print DVD containing both this and the second installment usually runs $30 - $50 and is considered tres collectable] and not even have to put up with a prior rental, since AB was marketing to consumers for home sales, not rental outlets. If you are interested in finding the pivotal moment of 1970's Eurohorror when art & entertainment met head on and brought forth one of the most widely respected series of the genre, this IS it.

If you are looking for a gut munching Zombie fest with splatterings and disembowlings, I am delighted to report that this isn't it. You don't check your brains at the door when you watch a BLIND DEAD movie, you use them.

If that is beneath you as a film consumer, you are indeed well advised to look elsewhere.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Spain | Portugal

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

February 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mark of the Devil, Part 4: Tombs of the Blind Dead See more »

Filming Locations:

Porto, Portugal See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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