Horrorfest 2022 Presents: Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972, Amando de Ossorio)

Here’s what I learned from the cult 1972 classic Tombs of the Blind Dead. The undead Knights Templar ride a lot in slow motion, and it actually looks pretty radical and even a bit creepy despite appearing to be silly. They can’t see at all, yet they can find their victims by hearing their body movements and heartbeats. Some of their victims end up turned into freaky zombie creatures that can only be destroyed by fire. Oh they also are undead monsters that worshipped the Devil and committed virgin blood sacrifices. The Middle Ages were pretty crazy, I guess.

Anyways this is a really good movie, maybe even a near great one. The gore is very effective, the movie is well paced, and the finale is quite violent. Amando de Ossorio helped usher in the Spanish horror movie era, and also spawned multiple sequels, all of which I want to view at some point. I doubt they’re as good as this one, still I can appreciate a series centered around a bunch of sinister Knights Templar riding horses as they murder everyone in the nearest vicinity. Brutal.

Horrorfest 2021 Presents: The House That Screamed (1969, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador)

Although The House That Screamed is a slow burning movie, the movie still has plenty of violence and mayhem to satisfy fans of giallo and slasher movie type films, of which this movie is clearly both. I’m glad that I was unable to guess the identity of the killer, and I really liked this movie despite the characters being the user paper thin clichés that populate these types of movies. The boarding school setting works very well in the movie’s favor, and this flick is probably best known to fans of Elvira, as she featured the movie on her show back in the 1980s. Unfortunately this movie due to including a mother smothering her own son resulted in The House That Screamed being unfairly compared to Psycho, which is silly considering the two films are quite different in style and in tone.

The murders in this movie are pretty brutal, and there is one shot that is particularly gorgeous. You have issues of voyeurism, lesbian overtones and the oppression of those in charge of the school, all which come to a head at one point or another. I’ve seen better foreign slasher movies sure, yet The House That Screamed is a good slow burn and offers a fantastic and super creepy finale. I’ll never forget that ending, that’s for sure. Oh and I’m pretty convinced that Narciso Ibáñez Serrador’s film inspired or had an influence on multiple later, better slasher movies down the road. Alas there is a lack of house screaming, which is made up for human screams. Lots of human screams.

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