Tombs of the Blind Dead/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Tombs of the Blind Dead from 1971 began amazing run of zombie knights called The Knights Templar. The first movie spawned three more sequels. The thing that grabs you right away about this movie besides the awesome 1970’s Spanish fashion is the down right creepy atmosphere that director Amando de Ossorio achieves through out the franchise.
Tombs of the Blind Dead followed the model created by Romero’s Night of the Living Dead by deplecting the attacking horde of horse bound knights as slow moving. Instead of a handicap, de Ossorio utilizes this feature to make the approaching Knight Templars into a nerve wrecking menace. The mummified Knight Templars were blinded by a revenge seeking population for witchcraft. How do they seek their victims then? The Templars hunt for their victims by sound. In several sequences the characters attempt to be as silent as possible as the knights draw near.
Tombs of the Blind Dead is product of the era it was produced. In many ways it is similar to early Universal or Hammer classic productions which emphasized gothic visuals. While also mixing in more in your face 70‘s style grindhouse visuals.
There are several inspired gore sequences through the film as de Ossorio plays cat and mouse with his cast. In this film you can clearly see the influence Italian/Spanish productions had on America’s Slasher craze in the late 70’s/early 80’s. The Templars hunt silent and unrelenting as their only goal is the murder of their prey. The ending sequence is particularly well put together as the fleeing survivor seeks refuge aboard a train. There’s even a shocking twist which one would never expect to find in the conclusion of an American production.
Reviewed by Greg Smith