A peek back at the 'Blind Dead' films
One of the pleasures of being a zombie fan is looking back on a forgotten cinematic (cough) treasure. One of the most idiosyncratic zombie films to follow in the wake of the classic 'Night of the Living Dead' was Amando de Ossorio's 1972 Spanish potboiler 'Tombs of the Blind Dead' -- a truly unique take on zombies that spawned thee sequels.
The film features a fictionalized version of the Knights Templar -- in real life a religious order of knights that fought in the Crusades and were found guilty of heresy (the fact that they were rich and their coffers were emptied could suggest a profit motive behind the persecution). The movie operates on the pretext that they were in fact devil worshipers and come back at night as blind, blood drinking skeletons in robes that hunt by sound (crows ate their eyes out after they were hung). This film contains gore, lesbians, smugglers and an attack on a train.
The knights themselves are great. They wield swords, ride zombie-fied horses and are genuinely creepy -- they seem like malicious cousins of the Ghost of Christmas Future.
The film is sleazy, dated and derivative but made with real style at times. Ossorio builds atmosphere (particularly with the soundtrack). The climax is genuinely suspenseful and grim.
"Citizen Kane' it is not. But bored zombie fans seeking a diversion could do far worse.