Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Amando Ossorio Week:Return of the Blind Dead

Back again kiddies for Day two of Ossorio week as we journey further with a look at the continuation of the Blind Dead series. The story may just bring some new developments.   So get warm and snug in your sleeping bags and listen the tales of high adventure.  This is Return of the Blind Dead a.k.a. El ataque de los muertos sin ojos.

Spoilers can be an inconvenience….

Spa treatments of the 13th Century

Our film opens with of all things a flashback to 13th century Bouzano, Portugal.  An unruly mob of peasants of captured the Templar Knights and only by using sheer numbers.   The villagers plan on condemning these men for heresy, witchcraft and murder.   One of the knights swears revenge on the village for their persecution and you have to see the irony in that, now don’t you?    Prior to their deaths by fire each of the knights’ eyes are burned out via torch, on the off chance they can in fact raise themselves from the dead and seek bloody retribution. Then they are treated to a little fire, Scarecrow as they roasted alive.  I do not claim to be an authority on chainmail or a historian but the cloaks over the chainmail of our knights… well I can see the stitch patterns.  So it was either the work of demons from the Underworld or a Singer stitched it up hastily

    After that festive and happy scene we crank forward 500 years into the future as the village prepares for the anniversary since the Knights were defeated and the best way I know how to break into a celebration is to hurl stones at the village idiot.  Yes a gaggle of youngsters feel that is truly the best greeting for Murdo (Jose Canalejas of Django (1966 version), A Professional Gun, Horror Express, If You Shoot… You Live! And The Standard) the crippled buffon fends off stones until Monica (Loreta Tovar of Night of the Sorcerers, The Sinister Eyes of Dr. Orloff and When the Screaming Stops) and Juan with his Manos, Hands of Fate handlebar mustache (Jose Thelman of Tombs of the Blind Dead, Night of the Sorcerers, When the Screaming Stops and Night of the Werewolf) shoo the little scamps away. 
Due to extreme recycling laws, kick the can is replaced with Kick the Murdo

Back in town square fireworks technician and former military captain Jack Marlowe (Tony Kendall of The Big Bust Out, They Were Called Three Musketeers But They Were Four, When the Screaming Stops, Giant of the 20th Century, Cop or Hood and Thrilling Love) converses with the Mayor (Fernando Sancho of I Was a Parish Priest, The Return of Ringo and The Big Gundown) his secretary/fiancĂ©e Vivian (Esperanza Roy of The Girl of the Nile, The Garden of Delights, It Happened at Nightmare Inn and The Book of Good Love 2) and Dacosta (, The mayor’s faithful man servant er um I mean aide.   With an expedient backstory, you get the feeling of bad blood between Mayor Duncan and Marlowe as it would appear they love the same woman.  Gasp a love triangle!  Well we all know that will end with quiet, dignity and grace.

Vivian and Marlowe go for a walk in the region as they just happen to stop by the very same ruins were the Knights Templar is buried.   Murdo spies on them making out and then speaks of the legend of Knights Templar.  After they both scoff at him he makes a blood sacrifice of one of the local girls in order to raise our nefarious Knights and bring death and destruction to all those who mocked him.   From flashbacks to current rampages this entire movie has taught me if you an attractive girl you will be topless, stabbed and receive the Mola Ram heart treatment.

 Lot of tight pan zooms and really impressive handheld work here and in 1973 that means they were still using thePFX_Gll Panaflex that still was a load and lug up these hilly terrains.  Possibly Vista Vision but they would have had to pry that from Paramount.  Similar to the anamorphic lens getting high residue shoots with a wide scope shot.   The outcome is a bit more plot, depth in the story from the first but a bit more graphic deaths and yet a far amount of topless shots.  I still feel bad for Ossorio not getting the spectral horse effect he really wanted.  Instead their heads are covered with a foul looking shroud symbolizing they are as undead as their masters.   I am thinking if you did a few spliced shots of the horses in full gallop combined with some foam and fiberglass dummies the riders could sit on in exterior night shots you would capture the effect.     Mind you a very simple but easy costume effect is their undead portion later with just using canvas tarps, smudging and smearing their cloaks with mud, dirt and local cow flop I guess.   A bit ominous and imaginative I have to say I am kinda pumped to see how this tetralogy finishes.