Return of the Blind Dead
1973, Belen Films
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Alternately released as Return of the Evil Dead and Attack of the Blind Dead (in Spain), Return of the Blind Dead is the second movie in the four-part Blind Dead series by Spanish writer/director Amando de Ossorio. I first discovered the existence of these films while doing an online search for zombie movies many, many years ago.
The truth is, while the Blind Dead films are listed on various websites as zombies films, they really aren’t. If you want to get technical (And who doesn’t?), the resurrected and evil Knights Templar in these films are revenants, not zombies. Both are types of undead creatures, but revenants are usually specific individuals (there’s no voodoo, toxic gas or virus that randomly brings them back) that have come back from the grave with a specific purpose such as revenge.
Revenants generally don’t eat flesh but they have been known to drink blood. And they aren’t contagious like zombies are. If a revenant kills you, you’re just dead. You don’t come back as a revenant. Even Ossorio objects to these monsters being referred to as zombies. He considers them to most resemble “mummies that feed like vampires”.
Return of the Blind Dead has no direct connection to the first movie, Tombs of the Blind Dead. In fact, a different origin is given for the Knights Templar losing their eyes. But the premise is still the same, the demonic Knights rise from the dead to destroy anyone and everyone in their vicinity.
I remember the first movie being very creepy and atmospheric but that vibe is pretty much lost during this movie. The only thing that still looks creepy is the design of the ghoulish Blind Dead. Otherwise, this is a pretty nonsensical movie involving a love rectangle, a little girl with zero common sense, a ditsy blonde and a deformed creepy groundskeeper. The things these characters say and do just don’t make sense in this movie.
My other complaint is that the Blind Dead seem pretty fragile. Literally. Many of them have their arms raised in a fixed position and it seems like that’s part of the costume and not the actual actors’ arms being held up. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen the first movie but I seem to recall the Knights being much more action oriented. I know these guys are blind and that explains their poor swordsmanship but do they have to shuffle around so slowly and strike at doors so weakly?
So overall this is a pretty silly movie. It seems like these people should’ve been able to easily outmaneuver these blind and barely able to walk Templars. That said, I enjoyed it for what it was — a bad 1970’s horror movie.