When I was given my letters I went through a pain-staking process of picking films that I felt needed more attention in the horror community. Well, the process wasn’t painful, but it was quite time-consuming. To me, the Halloween season is all about discovering something new, something that you never thought existed. Something that may be hiding around that dark corner. Something SCARY. As a child, my little brother and I around Halloween would rent a pile of VHS tapes and binge watch them over a weekend. We were always looking for something new and bizarre to creep us out.
So far my letters have brought us a double dose of Lucio Fulci. B is for The Beyond (1981) and L is for A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (1971). Both truly remarkable, yet completely different films. So in keeping with the obscure and underrated we set our sights to Spain for my next letter for the ABCs. We are talking about Amando de Ossorio’s Eurohorror masterpiece Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972).
Tombs was originally titled in Spain, La noche del terror ciego, it translates to “The Night of the Blind Terror”. The film begins with a young couple Roger and Virginia who are vacationing. They run into an old friend of Virginia’s, Betty. They plan to meet together the next day for a pleasant country side train excursion. After a bout of flirtatious jealousy, Virginia heatedly jumps from the moving train. She then retreats to an abandoned village up in the hills, where she is later stalked and murdered by band of hooded ghouls. We soon find out that the abandoned village is haunted by a ghostly group of rogue Templar knights, who were excommunicated from the church for devil worshipping almost a 1000 years ago. Can the Blind Dead be stopped?
Tombs of the Blind Dead has more or less gone mostly unnoticed over the years. It has a dedicated fan base, but has never garnered more popularity than that. But do not be mistaken, this atmospheric film truly is what the Halloween season is all about. The overall mystery and mystique. The wonderfully dark and bleak imagery cast over the Spanish landscape. The Templar knights are truly horrific looking as they slowly stalk their prey with their eerie death moans. The film was successful in Spain and went on to spawn three sequels Return of the Evil Dead (1973), The Ghost Galleon (1974) and Night of the Seagulls (1975) creating the Blind Dead Quadrilogy.
This Halloween season, be sure to check out this film. I thoroughly enjoy it every time I get the chance to watch. As the old clichéd saying goes, “They don’t make ’em like they used to…”, this film really is an outstanding example of a different era of film making. An era that tried to scare you through ambiance and tone, not through flash and gore.
We’re almost finished with our ABCs of Horror daily content segment for the month of October! Keep checking back to learn all the rest of our horrific lessons. What will the letter ‘U’ have in store for us tomorrow?
Thanks for reading boils and ghouls, STAY SCARED!