Director: Raffaele Picchio
Starring: Aaron Stielstra, Alice Zanini, Francesca Pellegrini .Germany. 1h 27m
Based on : the short stories “El monte de las ànimas” and “La cruz del diablo” by Gustavo Adolfo
I have to say I’m one of those horror fans who was wowed by what is now considered retro or vintage horror and I still see 70-90 as a golden age. I do however look forwards, possibly with rose tinted glasses, to find modern horrors which are able to offer something which I find wholesome and non flashy, often I am let down by green screens effects, weak characters and narratives that really don’t go anywhere but there’s always an ounce of hope that when someone attempts to go back to a cult classic and renew an old franchise they might do it with some respect and not shit on a movies history.. alas after watching this abysmal movie I am still waiting…
I’m not one to dislike a movie just because it’s not my thing and I hate to piss on anyone’s hard work but I just couldn’t really get into the movie for its lack of imagination and originality, even trying to avoid the history this is just such a bad concept, but with the dismal acting and overall shoddiness it looks as if the potential revival of the Blind Dead series didn’t bring in any big backers, not sure if it’s due to the story itself or if there’s another factor holding back the potential for this sequel? follow up movie? Prequel? remake? it’s still not entirely clear to me what the movie was supposed to be?
Opening like Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972) there’s a secret esoteric satanic knights templar group who have their latest ritual foiled by the locals and swear revenge as they are roasted alive, now if you enjoyed the opening, it’s easily the highlight of the movie and stands out as being totally different from the next hour.
It seems the curse uttered from the charred lips of the devil knight has laid a curse on our planet and now a father and daughter navigate the post apocalyptic planet, savaging and living rough the accidentally run into a group who seem to have a strong hold, clean water and regular food (not sure where it’s coming from) but their freaky leader who speaks of prophecies worries the pair as they bed down with their new found friends. It doesn’t seem to draw on the older films that I’ve mused over so many times, but just jumps from esoteric italian horror straight to b movie sci fi end of the world cult nonsense and I do wonder if this is Blind Dead in name only.
Lacking a decent storyline, director; Raffaele Picchio shambles through the movie so slowly, maybe in an attempt for the atmosphere to sink in, but then doesn’t deliver much atmosphere either, most of the film seems to take place in some woods and an abandoned building, it’s nothing exceptional, but the characters aren’t really built up, there’s no real community just a hierarchy mostly based on fear, the aged leader makes decisions for the entire group who are happy to be lead like sheeple. it’s quite easy to see that there’s some kind of setup going on here, the group are prepping for some event and are a little too excited when their new guests arrive.
It feels very forced together and doesn’t flow too well, after the initial setup, it’s sometimes too difficult to just sit through, to be to be played out in a 20-minutes short, but to drag this out for so long with very little character development or narrative just seems cruel. The father and daughter attempt to fit in, keeping a eye on their new friends, as they don’t really understand the intentions, but slowly a ritual is set up and cloaked figures start to appear more frequently.
The cursed figures from the retro films just looked like clay covered zombies but it worked as the shuffled around exacting their revenge in their ruined sanctuary as they slashed young people to death for their medieval kicks. This new affair is just a few guys who could easily be extras at a Ghost gig, pristine halloween black capes and rubber masks..
It definitely works in one way, adding a completely different layer to blind dead series however it’s not one that we needed. It’s quite sorry to see that the franchise has come to this but I live in hope that someone has seen this shambles and attempts a real revival, something that maybe Panos Cosmatos could lend at hand to after his epic Mandy (2018) I feel he could add some medieval metal flare to this now blind dead in a pan series.
Related: Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972),
Lists: 12 films from 1972 Still Worth Talking About