director Amando de Ossorio
The first sequel to Amando de Ossorio’s Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971) seems to be more popular than the original, which a lot of people considered slow and uneven. At this point, I’m inclined to withhold judgment until I’ve seen the other two later films because this series is just so unusual and outside the referents of other horror films, its own little subgenre of odd uniqueness.
These are not anybody else’s zombies, these resurrected knights templar, blinded before death, risen to wreak revenge on a town that lynched them for witchcraft and other horrors, real or imagined it’s not totally clear. Are they evil all along? True villains or were they victims of a Spanish Inquisition?
In this film, they rise up at the blood sacrifice of the local village imbecile, a unibrowed miscreant who oversees the ruins of their old temple while the villagers celebrate the murder of the templars 500 years prior. These knights pop up on their hooded horses and kill and kill.
There is something evocative and eerie about these zombie knights in their hooded ghostliness. I think if I’d seen these films as a kid I would have found them truly eerie. Even now they seem strange and hard to pin down exactly why they work. I think it will be informative to see the whole series of films for comprehension.