The rather dull fourth and final part Amando de Ossorio's Blind Dead series. Blue Underground R1 DVD.
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 Deadfilms 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.
Anyone famous in it?
No-one of note.
Directed by anyone interesting?
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
Is it scary?
Some blood and gore.
A few short topless shots.
Who is it for?
Fans of the Blind Dead series should enjoy, but not the best in the series.
Spanish horror composer Antón García Abril with the same music as the previous three entries.