Night of the Seagulls (1975)

a.k.a La Noche de las Gaviotas
The rather dull fourth and final part Amando de Ossorio's Blind Dead series. Blue Underground R1 DVD.

The Film

Dr. Henry Stein and his wife Joan have been sent to a small village to provide medical services to the local community - however, they find the people very unresponsive and often actively hostile. Joan is disturbed on their first night by chants and bells, and the couple see a strange ceremony occuring on the beach. Later, they discover that the ceremony is not just harmless tradition, but the sacrifice of young women to the evil Blind Dead...

Amando de Ossorio tried to take his Blind Dead series in new directions with the third film Ghost Galleon (1974), but it was an abysmal failure, and for the forth (and ultimately final entry) he returned to the normal small-town setting, this time with a "virgin sacrifice" plot. Unfortunately the storyline fails to capture the interest of the first two films and comes off as rather poorly thought out - even the simplest observations (why have the people never moved away from the town in 300 years, especially if the entire town was massacred one year?) are liable to pick huge holes in the plot, and even the origin of the creatures (usually well explained in the earlier films) is brushed over in a few seconds. The thematic idea of souls of the dead being trapped in seagulls is quite interesting, but despite providing the film with its title, seems to have no part to play in the plot and is only briefly mentioned.

With the exception of
Ghost Galleon, all of the Blind Dead films had hinted of their inspiration (George A. Romero's seminal Night of the Living Dead (1968)), but here de Ossorio goes into all out rip-off as the doctor and wife are beseiged in their house, having to board up the windows. The pacing in the series as a whole is generally slow, but Night of the Seagulls pushes the boundary into simply dull in many over-long and unnecessary sequences, especially the completely unnecessary shots of crabs crawling on the Knight's victims, and although they proved scary in Tombs and Attack, in Seagulls, even the attacks by the Knights themselves are dull here, making the idea that anyone could be afraid of these absurdly slow moving creatures seem daft. The ending is a poor and lazy anti-climax.

Direction by de Ossorio is average with some nice shots of the Knights riding along the beach, although he does seem to overuse the slow motion here, and the obviously tinted day-for-night photography leads to a lot of continuity problems. Although Antón García Abril is credited as providing the music, it all seems to be adaptations of his previous scores for the Blind Dead and some Paul Naschy films.

De Ossorio tries to return to the winning format of Attack of the Blind Dead but provides little more than a dull clone with a whole host of pacing and scripting problems. One for Blind Dead fans only and not a recommended place to start. 

In Brief

Anyone famous in it? No-one of note.
Directed by anyone interesting? Amando de Ossorio - a lesser known Spanish director who shot all four official Blind Dead films, as well as a variety of even more obscure horror titles.
Is it scary?Not really.
Any violence/gore? Some blood and gore.
Any sex? A few short topless shots.
Who is it for?
Fans of the Blind Dead series should enjoy, but not the best in the series.
Good Soundtrack?Spanish horror composer Antón García Abril with the same music as the previous three entries.

Similar Films

Follows:La Noche del terror ciego [a.k.a Tombs of the Blind Dead] - the creepy, but poorly written first film.
El Ataque de los muertos sin ojos  [a.k.a Return of the Evil Dead] (1973) - the superior sequel.
El Buque maldito  [a.k.a The Ghost Galleon] (1974) - a low ebb for the franchise.
Inspired by:Night of the Living Dead (1968) - George Romero's seminal zombie chiller.


Visuals Original Aspect Ratio - 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colour
The print is decent with good colours and minimal print damage but some strong grain and often light focus.
Audio Original Spanish and English audio - sound fine. The Spanish track plays slightly better.
Subtitles English - translates the Spanish track and reads well. The text is yellow.
Extras The disc includes:
  • Original US theatrical trailer. Relatively low condition.
  • A detailed poster and stills gallery. Manual scrolling.
AvailabilityReleased as a single disc as detailed here, or the same disc is available as part of the Blind Dead Collection boxset, along with a bonus disc and detailed booklet. 
Region Region 1 (USA, North America) - NTSC
Other regions? An Anchor Bay UK release contains a similar quality version of the the film without the Spanish audio track.
Cuts? The film is believed to be uncut. The print used is English language.



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All text in this review written by Timothy Young - 18th November 2006.
Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

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