Tombs of the Blind Dead
A totally 70ies zombie b-movie from Portugal. It was my absolute fave when I was a kid, along with the sequels. I would watch them over and over again. Today, I really wonder why. I had so many better movies. Still do. And I bet everyone else does.
Is there a story? Yes. Berzano is a ghost village in the nowhere near Lisbon. This is where Virginia (occupation unknown), Roger (her just-a-good-friend) and her best friend from school, Betty (runs a store for shopping window dolls) meet. Not that it makes any sense that Betty shows up in the hotel where Virginia and Roger stay, because, well, she lives in Lisbon anyways.
It doesn’t matter. Because Virginia and Roger planned a camping trip to wherever, and Roger asks Betty to join them.
The totally 70ies background story is that Virgina and Betty had a lesbian affair in school. In the train, Roger starts to hit on Betty, Virginia gets jealous and jumps off the train because she’s so angry with both. Umm, ya. However, she finds the abandoned village and stays the night in the ruins. That, or something else, wakes up the Templar Knights, a group of knights from the 13th century that brought back the secret of eternal life from Egypt. The secret is: kill people, drink their blood, perform satanic rituals. Why that is Egyptian? Don’t ask.
Virginia gets killed by them, the police starts to investigate and blames a group of smugglers for the murder. For totally no reason, Virginia returns from the dead in the morgue, kills the perv night guard (or whatever he is), then goes to Betty’s store and dies in a fire when she tries to kill Betty’s shop assistant. Meanwhile Betty and Roger visited a strange history professor who is the father of the leader of the smuggler gang. Umm, the police investigator suddenly shows up after the professor told the story about the templars, to reveal that the smugglers are the killers.
Again, without further reason, Betty and Roger visit the smugglers and find Pedro (prof’s son) and his bitchy girlfriend, and talk both of them into staying in the ruins with them over night. Pedro gets killed first after raping Betty on the cemetary. Roger loses a hand when escaping the dead and dies a few minutes later from blood loss. Pedro’s girlfriend dies right after him, only Betty manages it to escape and reach the train. The train stops, the blind dead kill everyone, and somehow the train reaches Lisbon anyways with Betty as the only survivor.
Now, Betty. A face you just wanna kick. These horrible – even for the 70ies – clothes. That she survives so long is really pissing you off. All the time. You so wish that ugly thing would finally be killed by the blind dead. But alas, they are blind, they don’t see what you have to suffer.
Other notable mentions: When Betty stops the train and even gets help to climb on it… It is humanly impossible to be THAT slow. Yeah, you read right! That fugly bitch is to blame for everyone else getting killed! Because SHE is so slow!
Several scenes, especially the wake of the dead from their graves, and riding around on their horses, are recycled in all movies. You see each scene at least 3 times. With the same cheap and really bad sound effects, that is.
The blind dead, well, yeah, they look pretty funny. I think its not actors with make up. Its bad actors with skeleton masks and gloves. Adding to that, we have rubber bodies and slow motion, and thats it for FX.
Do I recommend this movie? No. I recommend all of them. They are so bad that they are already good again. The actors suck, the FX suck, the story barely makes sense – and that’s why you just gotta love this crap.
Return of the Blind Dead
Umm, I watched this for breakfast and already forgot most names. Sorry if I mix it up, but so does the DVD – the cover says “Return of the Blind Dead”, the DVD menu “Return of the Evil Dead”. I’m perfectly on topic.
Let’s try to get the cast together…
We are in Berzano again. 500 years ago, the villagers burnt the Templar Knights after catching them performing a sacrifice for the devil. The knights promised to come back for revenge, and their eyes were burnt to blind them, so they wouldn’t find the village anymore.
Here, we have Mayor Duncan, his bully/assistant (I forgot the name, he’ll be called Bully for the rest of the review), his fiancee Vivian; the young family Branco, Amalia and daughter Nina (or Nancy?); Bully’s wife (no idea, I call her Blondie now), the village idiot Mordu (Modo, Mudro…?) and Jack.
Its the night when the village celebrates their victory over the templars with a festival. For that, the mayor and Vivian hired Jack, who is an expert for fireworks. The difficult social network will play a role later, so I try my best here. Blondie (Bully’s wife) is not on the festival; she cheats her husband with her secret lover Juan (he also looks like that) in their house outside the village. Bully self lusts after Mayor Duncan’s fiancee Vivian, who is the ex girlfriend of Jack and decides to leave Duncan for him on the festival. Earlier that day, Blondie saved Mordu from some bullies.
While the village prepares the festival, Jack and Vivian make out somewhere outside the village – in the ruins where the templars are buried. There, Mordu surprises them when they talk about leaving the village together and start a new life. He tells them that legend about the templars and all, then they all go back to celebrate.
The festival begins, and Mordu – who considers himself a friend of the templars – waits in the ruins for their wake. They do wake, but clearly not require his help to find the village – there’s a huge noisy firework to guide them, so they simply ignore Mordu. Meanwhile, Blondie got a visit from Juan. When the templars knock on the door, she fears its her husband, but alas, its not. The templars kill Juan, Blondie escapes through a window and with one of the undead horses. She reaches a train station and convinces the guy in it that the legends are true. He tries to call for help, but no-one hears the ringing phone because of the – firework. Blondie runs off into the (quite bright) night.
In the village, the mayor meanwhile noticed that his fiancee is making out with Jack on the dancefloor, and commands his bullies Bully, Branco and Guy 3 to beat him up. Before this can really start, Amalia (the wife of Branco and secretary of the mayor) finally answers the phone, decides the train station guy sounds like he needs help, and the brawl is already over. The mayor and Bully talk to the train guy, and then hear a breaking window. The templars reached the stations and killed the guy. Branco and Bully go to look what’s wrong there.
Vivian and Jack try to use the chaos to leave the village, but run into Blondie who passes out on the street. They bring her back to the village, where Branco and Bully also arrive and confirm that the templars are really on the way and they are all a bit in a deep shit. The mayor tries to call the gouvenour, but he thinks the entire village is drunk.
The templars arrive, and the villagers try to fight them with various gardening tools. Branco, Amalia and their daughter can barricade themselves in the church; almost everyone except the main characters gets killed. The mayor, Vivian, Jack, Bully and Blondie try to escape in a jeep, but are soon surrounded and find shelter in the church, too.
There, they find Mordu in a closet. Then… they talk a lot, and finally the mayor tries to flee somehow. He tries to talk Bully into helping him, but Bully suddenly became very loyal to Jack for no reason and declines. Using the old “its for your family” story, Duncan talks Branco into his plan – distract the templars with fire, reach the jeep and flee. The plan doesn’t work and Branco dies. Meanwhile, Mordu lured Blondie in another room and told her that he will help her escape because she helped him earlier that day. They start to dig through a secret tunnel; no-one notices they are gone.
Now, Duncan does something quite clever. While Amalia is sleeping, he sends her daughter outside to call for her daddy. The screaming child distracts the templars enough and Duncan reaches the jeep – which sadly won’t start and makes more noise than the kid. So the mayor dies instead. Good plan, bad luck.
Now, Amalia notices that her child is missing. They all search and finally see her outside on another building. Clever Duncan pinned her to that door with a dagger, so she can’t come back to the church. Jack, who is a perfect allround hero, sneaks out to get her. The brat makes too much noise, and draws the attention of the templars. To save her child, Amalia runs out with a torch to distract them; it works – at least for Jack and the kid; they make it back to the church; Amalia dies.
At the same time, Mordu and Blondie reach the exist – too bad the templars already wait there and kill both. Bad plan, bad luck. Now, Bully decides its a good time to rape Vivian. But before it comes to that, Jack interferes and more or less accidentally kills Bully by pushing him on the lance of a statue. It doesn’t really bother him. Its getting day outside, and they “can finally see” the dead. The night had been damn bright, so it comes a bit surprising they didnt see them before.
Anyways, Vivian and Jack decide to escape. Jack tells the child that she only dreamed her parents died, and for real, they have a surprise, so they blindfold her and will lead her to the parents. Outside, between all the dead templars, that annoying brat takes off the blindfold and starts to scream. But oh surprise, nothing happens. The templars just fall to the ground and are really dead. Jack, Vivian and Brat walk into the dawn and a probably pretty shitty future.
Is this worth to watch? Yes, totally. The acting is below any known rating; the story makes a bit sense, the dead are cheap as usual, and a lot scenes were recycled from Tombs of the Blind Dead. We get to see weird 70ies fashion and awful hairdos. What more could you ask for? Great movie, even better than the first part!