Tombs of the Blind Dead

Weekly Alibi

DIRECTED BY: Amando de Ossorio

REVIEWED: 12-14-98

This Amando De Ossorio classic is packaged as part of a terrific double-feature DVD (with Return of the Blind Dead, which I'll review soon) from Anchor Bay, but is also available on VHS. Virginia and Betty, two old friends, run into each other at a swimming pool. As they're getting reacquainted, Virginia's studly boyfriend Roger (the suavest guy ever!) emerges from the pool and invites Betty to join them on a camping trip--much to Virginia's chagrin. As they tool along on the train, we discover that Virginia's got some history of the horizontal kind with Betty. When Roger flirts with the new arrival, Virginia gets huffy and jumps off the train, making her way to a nearby castle--a castle the locals superstitiously avoid. ... OK, I don't think I have to tell you that this old pile of rocks is home to--the Tombs of the Blind Dead! Virginia starts a fire, unrolls her sleeping bag, and before she can get even a few pages into her cheap novel, a shitload of creepy zombies are clawing their way outta the ground and shambling (or riding horses!) toward her. When her body turns up chewed and manhandled, Roger and Betty set out to get to the bottom of things. Tracking down a screwball professor, they get the poop on the zombies--actually the mortal remains of the Knights Templar, who were punished for their satanic misdeeds by being strung up, after which their eyes were eaten by crows! This leads to some especially freaky stuff, as the zombies can only track their prey by listening for them. Roger and Betty recruit the professor's son, a well known smuggler (!) to help them find the truth about Virginia's killers, and then all hell breaks loose as the walking dead shuffle into action. I gotta say, nothing gives me the heebie-jeebies like a good zombie flick, and while Tombs has some slow places and is relatively light on the gore, it delivers the atmospheric chills in bucketloads.

--Scott Phillips

Film Vault Suggested Links
The House by the Cemetery
The Beyond
Lizard in a Woman's Skin

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