An abandoned medieval town, an undead Knights Templar curse, an unexplored love triangle, and one of the funniest scenes in horror cinema. La Noche Del Terror Ciego (or known in English as Tombs of the Blind Dead) is the first of the Blind Dead series created by the pioneer of 70’s Spanish horror, Amando De Ossorio. While the film may have its short-comings, the unintended humor and great effects definitely makes this film worth the watch. After all, who says cheesy equals bad?
My reviews will be spoiler free so that those who wish to see the films I cover will have a chance to experience the magic for themselves. The premise of Ossorio’s film revolves around Virginia and her lover, Roger, as they search for Betty in a medieval ruin said to be running with undead knights cursed after being a after being accused of witchcraft centuries ago.
Some of the hilarious aspects of the film I noticed are the use of jump scares. There isn’t as many as in modern scary movies, but one lead to an angry cat. I dare not spoil the most hilarious scene in the film, but I will say that it lead to me screaming in laughter, and screaming at the dumbass character who ended up locking herself in a way that most children could find their way out. Needless to say, I can only assume she ate a REALLY greasy sandwich in between shots.
The zombies, er’ I mean the undead Templar Knights, had been designed and executed rather well. The decaying faces and hands looked convincing in all-practical effects to rival their American counterparts at the time. Though, being covered in cloaks for most of their onscreen appearances might be cheating, but I digress. The horses the undead knights ride are dressed and painted to appear ghost or skeleton-like even in bright daylight! A portion of the film is even devoted to a unique and well-presented backstory on how and why the knights were cursed. However, in other international versions of the film, this scene depicting the knights is presented at the beginning of the film, before the opening shots of the empty ruins. Sadly, are there are some moments where the effects seemed lacking: i.e. a corpse in a morgue with makeup I can find at my local Spirit Halloween store.
How are the actors? The actors do their job well. The leading ladies are perhaps the best performers who carry the story as Virginia and Betty until their untimely deaths. Roger seems to be just ‘the asshole’ as in the majority of old-school horror, but what movie would be complete without the one who rightfully earns his place to be cannibalized. Even though you might forget their names, you will remember their line deliveries: awkward laughing, the over-exaggerated screams we all come to love, and need I mention miss butterfingers.
Ossorio has rightfully earned the success of the Blind Dead series, the first film alone has everything a vintage-horror fan can enjoy with an dash of Spanish flavor. Overall, I’d say this film is worth an add to your collection of Euro-horror movies, if not at least a rental just to check it out once. A full version of the movie is available for viewing on YouTube (Click Here to see it!) though some audio is missing at the very beginning.