Thursday 28 October 2010

hey hey do the zombie stomp

And - thud! - I watched a more or less mindless zombie flick last night, Tombs Of The Blind Dead, a 1971 Spanish film. Some attempt is made at an original backstory involving medieval knights, Egyptian ankhs and blood sacrifices, but basically it's pretty much the zombie film template with fresh meat delivered up to the slow-moving but unstoppable terrors, midnight resurrections and so forth. Much of it is beautifully shot with a great sense of atmosphere, like the scenes of the horse-riding undead knights galloping in slo-mo in a sort of eerie semi-twilight, but the film is undermined by gratuitous bits of sex and nastiness and a mediocre script.

For a film that largely keeps its more brutal moments off-camera there are some serious lapses in taste - an extended scene of the torture of a young woman by the knights in their pre-undead state (I believe it's called 'being alive') and a bloody scene of a mother and child being attacked by a zombie in a train. There's also a lesbian scene and a rape scene which could both have been omitted without losing anything save some cheap titillation - especially the second instance. For all of that, I quite enjoyed this film in parts, although it lacked the verve of, say, Fulci's approach to grue as well as not quite delivering the sheer WTF-inducing unintended charm of something like Lamberto Bava's Demons (although I don't know why I'm comparing a Spanish film to a bunch of Italian ones).

PS: Where the hell did the undead knights get their horses from? They're clearly not undead horses.


Yasmine Claire said...

and they are more like mummies than zombies!
so now what happens? we have a train full of seeing eye helper zombies for the knights templar?
though much as it did not appeal to me, I would like to see the sequel :)!

JP said...

I don't know - the sequel's bound to be much worse, isn't it?