Despite a paper-thin plot, an abundance of cliches, and some terribly wooden acting, Tombs of the Blind Dead proved to be one of the most effective horror films I’ve seen so far this month. Two keys to the film’s success: the crumbling ruins where the Blind Dead reside, and the Blind Dead themselves.
Somehow, the crude makeup used to depict these former Satan-worshipping Knights is extremely effective. Perhaps it’s because we don’t get very many good, clear looks at them; there’s just enough peeking out of their decaying robes and hoods to give us the creeps. Perhaps it’s the unrelenting, Romero-like way they advance on their prey; perhaps its the unearthly patience they show as they pause and wait for their victims to make a sound, any sound, that will lead them to their death.
I don’t know what it is, but these guys were genuinely off-putting. Coupled with the incredible village set (which, for all I know, may have been actual ruins the filmmakers made use of), with its moonlit graveyard, crumbling towers and gothic spires, what Blind Dead lacks in, well, almost everything, it makes up for in sheer atmosphere. Seeing this at last has me chomping at the bit to see the other entries in the series.