Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972)

Written by Milo_Jeeder on February 14, 2017

"La noche del teror ciego", tells the story of a legion of evil warriors who lived through the 13th century, known as the Templar Knights. These warriors wanted to live forever and the way to achieve that, was by drinking human blood and offering sacrifices to Satan. So The Templar Knights would gladly torture and use innocent maidens for their rituals and please their master. However, their atrocious deeds come to an end, when the Holy Inquisition decides to punish them, by hanging them in public. Several centuries later, in the 1970s, two girls named Virginia and Betty go on a trip together with a guy named Roger. After a pathetic soap opera incident, Virginia gets jealous of her friends and jumps off the train. Landing on a strange place, she finds shelter in some kind of forsaken fortress in ruins. Unfortunately, that place is also a shelter for some hideously frightening creatures that become alive during the nightfall until dawn. Those creatures are, in fact, the Templar Knights, who come back to life as zombies every night.

Director Armando de Ossorio didn't try to please a blood-thirsty audience that wanted brutal killings for an hour and a half. For the contrary, the body count may be humble, but "La noche del terror ciego" takes the zombie subgenre to a different level, in which the creatures are more dark, mysterious and frightening than gory and brutal. If you are a zombie lover, you're probably going to love this film and if you are not, you might be pleasantly surprised by this.

I have read on the message boards that there were a lot of gore lovers dissatisfied by the lack of blood and guts, but I think this film contains a pretty well-brought-up amount. My favorite scene in the entire movie is one in which one of the girls is trying to hide from the zombies. Since the zombies are blind, the girl stays in the same room with them and the only thing she can do to remain undetected, is staying absolutely quiet. But since she's so afraid and tense, her heart starts beating more and more quickly and all of a sudden, we see a close-up of her chest, pointing out that she's on the verge of either fainting or running for her life. The living dead knights hear those heartbeats and turn to the poor girl, who has no choice but finally running away in fear, trying to avoid the nightmarish creatures. This was perhaps one of the most atmospheric situations I have ever seen in a zombie flick. To be honest, most of the chasing sequences were practically faultless, but that one in particular had to be remarked. Reading the message boards, I also came across some people who also complained about a few unresolved questions like: "How could the zombies hear?", "Where did they get the horses?" "How come they were so strong if they were only skeletons?". The answer to all those questions could be: "this is a horror movie about living dead creatures and it's really not supposed to be realistic". To be honest, I think the zombies were more believable than the pointless lesbian story between the two girls, which didn't serve a purpose to the story. Then again, most couples in horror movies make no sense, anyway.