AMANDO DE OSSORIO WEEK: Return of the Blind Dead (1974)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was first on the site on September 24, 2022.

From Tombs of the Blind Dead to The Ghost Galleon and Night of the Seagulls — let’s not mention Curse of the Blind Dead — few images of Eurohorror are as striking as the Satanic and zombiefied Knights Templar riding out to their strange theme.

I kind of love that Spanish horror doesn’t seem to care all that much about continuity. How many ways did Waldemar Daninsky become a werewolf? Well, Amando de Ossorio tweaked the way the Knights came to be in nearly every movie, adjusting how they arrived and what they wanted, but the main idea is the same: they worshipped Satan, they were burned, they’ve come back to drink virgin blood.

As a village prepares for a festival celebrating the 500th anniversary of the defeat of the Templars — what a dumb idea — the village idiot Murdo sacrifices a young girl and brings them back from the dead. Any of the romantic drama between fireworks man Jack Marlowe (Tony Kendall) and his Vivian (Esperanza Roy), his ex-lover and now fiancee of the town’s mayor, will have to wait until the Knights kill everyone.

De Ossorio wrote, directed and designed the Templar make-up for this. The Spanish version, El ataque de los muertos sin ojos, has more gore, like the Templars straight up devouring a human heart. That’s how you do it!

If you’re someone that complains that this movie has day for night errors and has a slow pace that seems glacial, I’m going to hate you forever. This is doom metal on film. Tune in, drop down, drink blood, smoke up.

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