Well, in keeping up with the subject of my last post – and oddly enough the X-Mas spirit as well! – make sure you check out Return of the Evil Dead! In between George Romero‘s classic Night of the Living Dead and the gorier Italian-produced onslaught of the late 70s/early 80s, Spanish director Amando de Ossorio produced a truly unique vision between 1971 – 1975 with his Blind Dead quadrilogy.
Debuting with Tombs of the Blind Dead he gave the horror world a different kind of zombie: A legion of the Knights Templar, executed for heresy and practicing satanic witchcraft that rises from their graves to wreak havoc on the living. Nothing more than mummified skeletal remains after rotting away for half a millenia, they’re blind and hunt the living not to feed, but to seek revenge. The second installment in this series is my personal favorite and takes place in a small Portugese village celebrating the 500th anniversary of executing the knights, who rises during the festivities to seek revenge. A perfect sequel it’s high-paced with trimmed dialogue, more action and an overall refined concept.
Heavy on the gothic influences (and the fourth, Night of the Seagulls, actually has hints of H.P. Lovecraft) it’s oddly enough one of those flicks I always pop into the DVD-player during the X-Mas Holidays. The third, The Ghost Galleon, deserves mention as it has more creepy sequences, but thanks to a stingy producer the “galleon” looks like a damn bath tub toy duck, ruining the overall feel. I don’t know if it’s still available, but Anchor Bay released the great The Blind Dead Collection 5xDVD box set back in 2005, and if you’re a fan of the zombie genre make sure to check it out.