AKA Blind Dead IV
Also posted at http://www.revenantmagazine.com/)
It’s about time I complete the quadrilogy of Ossorio zombie\mummy\skeleton\vampire movies, with the final film in the series – Night Of The Seagulls. The box set has been calling out for me to finish it off and now is as good a time as any, particularly as I have been viewing mostly modern zombie horrors of late and feel the need to delve back in time.
Having been rather disappointed, albeit mildly amused by the last film The Ghost Galleon, Ossorio was back on form with his last Blind Dead film. Starting out more-or-less the same as his previous efforts with a flashback to the days of the original Templars and their dastardly acts – again involving kidnapping a young lady, ripping off her top and cutting out her heart to drink the blood. However here they are feeding the heart to a goblin-fish looking statue for some in-explained reason, presumably involving everlasting life.
Cue present day, and a freshfaced GP and his wife are moving into a scummy fishing village to start up as the GP for the local residents, but receive a rather hostile welcome. It turns out that outsiders are not particularly welcome, probably because the villagers have a tendency to sacrifice their young women every 7 years to the Templars (who are now just skeletons residing in the massive nearby castle). Apparently every 7 years 7 women have to be sacrificed over 7 nights otherwise the Blind Dead horsemen will rampage through the village slaughtering the population. How the villagers discovered this was necessary is beyond me though, the Templars can’t speak or do anything other than ride horses and chop up ladies. Maybe they clubbed together to write a threatening letter to the village laying out their plans? Who knows.
Anyway, the doctor and his good wife discover what is going on thanks to the local village mong who spills the secret to them. Naturally they feel this is a bit of a bad situation so they go and investigate which surprisingly causes the Templars to get a bit miffed, who then attack the whole village.
Almost all aspects of the Blind Dead series are present and correct. Zombie skeletons rising from the tombs, slow stalking of victims, chained up women with their norks on show, and the horsemen riding in slow-motion through the surrounding scenery. However one aspect that is missing is the creepy music that used to accompany the templars rising up and riding out on the hunt. This sadly means that the film seems more daft and while still atmospheric it is lacking the chill factor of the first 2 films.
Still, there is enough going on here to ensure that the series ended on a much better note than if Ossorio had stopped after the bizarre 3rd film, and it gives me the appetite to go back to the first film to remind myself how the series begin. However as a stand alone film it’s just too remeniscent of the (at the time quite recent) Wicker Man to be truly original.
Gore Score D
Norks Score C-
Originality Score D
Overall Score D+