October is finally here boils and ghouls! As I’ve said before, this is truly my favorite fucking month of the year. Something about the weather and leaves changing… Oh, and Halloween of course. With that, all this month we at The Horror Syndicate are bringing you leeches all new content you can suck your teeth into. In past articles, I’ve discussed Fulci, Argento and others. But today I wanted to wax on a little about possibly one the most underrated and truly underappreciated directors in horror. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Amando De Ossorio.
De Ossorio was born in Coruna, Galicia, Spain in 1918. For those of you who haven’t heard of the man, he was one of the foremost Spanish horror filmmakers during the 1970’s. explicitly known for his “Blind Dead” 4-film tetralogy. Ultimately, he only directed 20 films before his death in 2001, with most of those films not even being horror. But the imprint he made on the horror community, in my opinion is massive.
In 1971, De Ossorio came up with an idea for a horror movie. A group of excommunicated Templar Knights, sacrifice virgins to their cause. Only then to be caught, blinded and murdered by the townspeople. Soon they rise undead and wreak havoc aboard ghostly horses, tracking their victims by the sounds of their heartbeats. This idea turned into the 1972 film Tombs of the Blind Dead. If you want to read my review for Tombs you can find it here.
After Tombs was a smashing success in Europe, De Ossorio dove head first into the horror genre for the next few years. Churning out three more Blind Dead films, Return of the Evil Dead (1973), The Ghost Galleon (1974) and Night of the Seagulls (1975). Including two other horror flicks in this same timeframe, The Loreley’s Grasp (1973) and The Night of the Sorcerers (1974). That’s SIX movies in fours years! De Ossorio was quite busy in Euro Horror.
The Blind Dead films alone to me are enough to forever cement De Ossorio into ‘my’ Horror Hall of Fame. Sure, he may not have directed very many films and a couple weren’t that great. But the Blind Dead films although slow, ooze with atmosphere that other directors could only dream of achieving. A sleek and tense atmosphere from the slow-motion ghostly horse ride chases, to the ominous death chants throughout and to the blood-gushing deaths abound.
Like many European horror directors, the budgets were limited and finances waned into the 1980’s, eventually causing De Ossorio to retire from filmmaking in 1984. He died of natural causes in 2001 at the age of 82. So if you’ve made it this far into the article and still have no idea who I am talking about, immediately finish reading this paragraph and go look up Amando De Ossorio and his Blind Dead Tetralogy!!!!