Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ossorio Week: Night of the Seagulls

Day 4 of Ossorio week and things may be looking up as we journey into the final installment of the Blind Dead series.  Will there be terror?  Will there be dread and chaos?  Will jiggly girls dominate the screen?  Will there be a decent plot and I and talking about a cemetery.   Strap yourselves in, make peace with your deity and hold on tight!   This is Night of the Seagulls a.k.a. La noche de las gaviotas
Pesky Mormons at the door!

Spoilers raaann… they ran so far awaaaaaaayyyyy…

We open our film with… you guessed it, a flashback sequence.  Seems to be the theme set from the second opus Return of the Blind Dead so this could mean we are in for some thrills and blood spills.   If it has a faster pace than the third film I am all in favor.    Our location is in Cataluna Spain with its various ruins and monasteries for excellent background, already a step up for a cheesy alleged 16th century Spanish Galleon that the Scooby gang would have torched.    An aide, presumably the guard of a noblewoman scouts on ahead to see if there is any danger in the night, and yes it is shot at night with a decent lighting array.   Yay!  Budget increased!!    In travel to this little village the man is slain almost immediately by the then live Knights Templar and the lady is to be (dun dun dun) sacrificed.   Not sure if that means the fair sex is more appealing to demons and rites of that nature or if it is just blatant sexism.   Take your pick.   The tone of the movie is already set at the 8 minute mark; in that there will clearly be a coherent storyline again.   With clearly an off-screen dismemberment and some impressive body part props I think we may be in for a horror movie after all. Yay again! 
Psst.. you fart?

500 years later… back at the same quaint little fishing village, Dr. Henry Stein (Victor Petit of Topical Spanish, Hora once, La respuesta, Clara es el precio and Trampa sexual) and wife Joan (Maria Kosty of The Family, Fine, Thanks, El divorcio que viene, Las chicas del bingo and My Friend Washington) are moving in as clearly his practice will not only be necessary but welcomed.     The town acts a bit standoffish and the Steins are a bit at a loss for words.   Might have helped their case if they didn’t announce how drab the town looked and clearly the inhabitants are primitive savages.  That's a lousy bedside manner, doctor.   Henry is quick to anger and clearly when good cheer doesn’t get you your way there is always manhandling.    After finding the elder doctor’s house Henry and Joan are invited in and the elder doctor looks more nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. 

We got some eerie music with a range of electric guitar and synthesizer to set the mood.   Sadly the Steins didn’t find a Crazy Ralph archetype to warn them off with mentions of a death curse or they would be spinning that Yugo outta there.   Henry sees the old doctor out via burrow and the elderly fellow tells him to not to pry into the town and never go out at night.   Abandoning the story arc created by Horror of the Zombies, Night of the Seagulls seems to bring all that was lacking in the third film such as: the shrouded horses, terrified villagers and in general well executed jump scares.  A little bit of stock footage from the first two movies is spliced and hell who can blame them when they looked as menacing as they did.

 It seems the Knights Templar now called roughly the Knights of the sea, and yet they escape their tombs riding out every seven years for seven nights to demand a sacrifice of a young maiden.   The kicker is the village seems to be perfectly fine with this notion that the lot of them garbed in black as some sort of cult straight out of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth.  So fine with it that the villagers themselves with a dark chapter of the lottery here, the Steins and Teddy (Jose Antonio Calvo of El mercenario II, Evilio, Torrente 2: Mission in Marbella and Torrente 4) the village punching bag/idiot finds out that one of the girls slated for sacrifice is Lucy (Sandra Mozarowsky of The Book of Good love 2, Beatriz, Hitler’s Last Train and Mortal Sin), a maid of all trades that frankly I really don’t know what her job title is.   Nevertheless her countless…um days of compassion and assistance must not be wasted.  On to save young Lucy!  
Fellas, we eat tonight!

The filmstock looks immaculate.  Not the hopeless grainy of the third film but a good solid print and of course the option of English voice dubbed or subtitles is presented.  Highly recommend the subtitles.  You get a better inflection in the tone of emotional states and hey you may learn a little Spanish.   No guarantees.   For some reason due to the windy cliffs our cult masses begin around 5 in the afternoon and are edited with late night shots.   Lighting may have been a bit of a hassle.  Getting a far amount of generators to run that many lights plus anchoring them down somehow.    Not quite as impressive as the first two but definitely a decent capper from the 3rd.    Maybe we can just view Horror of the Zombies as the Highlander 2 of the Blind Dead.