Sunday, March 14, 2021


Out this month on DVD and VOD (note the punctuation in the poster!):

Curse of the Blind Dead--One of the most vivid and terrifying nightmares I can remember from childhood featured specters from the advertising for a 1972 Spanish-Portuguese horror film called (in English) Tombs of the Blind Dead--just the advertising, mind you; I didn't see the movie until I was in college.

The title characters were hooded Knights Templar who had come back from the dead to stalk the living, sometimes, alarmingly, on horseback. They were eyeless, so if you stayed very still, they might go shambling past you...unless they heard you breathing hard, or your heart beating, at which point they would pause, and slooowly turn in your direction...

It was creepy.

After a medieval prologue in which we see the Templars blinded, Raffaele Picchio's new reboot or remake or whatever it is, made in Italy but in English, sets the story in a post-apocalyptic future. A pregnant young woman and her father take refuge with a religious sect occupying the monastery where the Templars performed depraved rites back in the day, and soon find themselves prisoners. It's a fairly unpleasant hardcore shocker, with lots of moaning, keening women in labor, infanticide, and extreme though not necessarily compelling gore effects.

It gets a little more engaging, I suppose, when the Blind Dead at last get up and around and back in the action. Even here, though, the ghouls in Curse aren't as scary, for my money, as the ones in Tombs. They're too overt, somehow; they lack the chilling implacability of the 1972 film's. But that could, of course, be the lens of childhood for me.

It did seem odd, though, when a couple of times in the new film we see the action from what appears the Blind Dead's point of view, suggesting that they actually can see, just not very well. But I guess the title Curse of the Legally Blind Dead just didn't have the same punch. 

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