“Tombs of the Blind Dead” was originally released in 1971 and is a Spanish horror film. Its original Spanish title is La Noche del Terror Ciego, which means “The Night of the Blind Terror.” The film, while panned by many critics, helped to reinvigorate the Spanish horror film scene in the 1970s.
The film experienced some underground popularity upon its initial release, but sat forgotten on video rental shelves until in the 1980s it started to gain a strong underground following. This popularity grew over the years until the film was finally released on DVD.
The film revolves around the Knights Templar (a fictionalized version of a real-life order that was dissolved in the 14th century following charges of witchcraft and heresy) coming back from the dead as reanimated corpses bent on revenge. However, the corpses are blind because their eyes were pecked out by birds while their hanged bodies rotted on the gallows.
Despite being blind they have exceptional hearing and are able to hear the human heart beating, thus making it nearly impossible to hide from these hell-bent creatures.
Meanwhile a young couple on vacation takes a train journey, but his girlfriend argues with him, jumps off the train and spends the night in the ruins of an abandoned monastery where the Templars are buried. However, this is the worst time possible as this is the night that the Templars rise from their tombs and kill her.
The rest of the movie follows the efforts of the victim’s boyfriend to find out what happened to her.
He runs into a slew of characters along the way, but many are quite forgettable and are simply used as set pieces to pad out the thin plot. Eventually he returns to the monastery with others where they are forced to confront the Blind Dead.
There is some gore in the film, but by today’s standards it is quite tame. However, it should be noted that there is a bizarre rape scene in the film that has no real purpose for existing, so if you are sensitive to this, you may want to skip the film.
Overall it is far from a scary movie, but is a great example of making movies on a budget. The costumes and eerie isolated setting make the film a bit more unsettling than it otherwise would have been and transports it to a foreign location.
“Tombs of the Blind Dead” is great movie for fans of European horror or classic 1970s underground movies.
Derek Warren is a cult movie fanatic, collector, craft beer enthusiast and all-around nerd. He can be reached via email at NEPABeerGeek@gmail.com
Final Verdict: “Tombs of the Blind Dead,” despite all its flaws, is a true horror classic. There are some scenes that seem a bit unnecessary, but the makeup for the Templars and doom inducing setting make this a re-watchable film. It also spawned three sequels that are equally enjoyable in a fun way.
Where can I get it?: “Tombs of the Blind Dead” is widely available on both DVD and Blu-ray, through retailers such as: Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, Target, and Barnes & Noble. It is also currently streaming on: VUDU and Amazon. The film is also available in a great collection with all other films in the series.