Saturday, January 13, 2007

Today in Eurotrash History

I always enjoy a trash horror film more when I know that it was inspired by some real events. Take The Knights Templar, for instance. These reel stars of the incredible Blind Dead series of films were inspired the by real Knights Templar, recognized on this date in 1128 as an Army of God.

If you ask me, anytime the words "army" and "god" get thrown together it's not going to be good for somebody. The Knights started out on the right foot by protecting Christians on their way to Jerusalem during the Crusades. Things got a bit dicey when the order began accumulating massive wealth and power. The order flourished until 1307 when the King of France and the Pope conspired to bring the Knights down, arresting its grand master and burning him – and other members – at the stake for such acts as practicing Satanism.

Centuries later, Amando d'Ossorio would take the legend of The Knights Templar and beef it up with additional supernatural elements to create The Blind Dead Series, a quartet of violent horror flicks with the reanimated, pissed off and blind Knights Templar as the villains.

Long available only in butchered and retitled versions, The Blind Dead rose again thanks to the fine folks at Blue Underground and their Blind Dead Box set. The flicks are nothing short of a revelation for the exploitation junkie and B-film freak who thinks they've seen it all. And while the flicks pile on every hoary clich̩ of the horror genre Рzombies at the window, hands clutching at victims through cracks in the door, feet caught in wooden stairs, twisted ankles, false shocks, stuck doors, creepy morgue guys and village retards Рthe zombie antagonists and atmospheric presentation make up for any minor shortcomings.

"While the Italians get most of the glory, the Templar films feature truly unique zombies," says BLIND DEAD expert and author David Zuzelo. "The Knights are bad enough when they're alive. Zombify them and it gets worse. We don't know what the agenda is but it's bad both in execution and results."

1 comment:

herman said...

I thought it was an interesting angle I read once when the Tombs of the Blind Dead were seen as a metaphor for the decaying Franco dictatorship in Spain.

The schoolgirl lesbian scene being an example of something that would have offended the ultra orthadox Catholic views of those who backed the falange party,

Agree entirely about the atmosphere of this film.

I ve still yet to get around to getting the box set to see the rest of the series though.