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Zombie Film Review:

Return of the Evil Dead

Director: Amando De Ossorio

Year: 1973

Tagline: Have they heard your heart beating?

Aka: The Return of the Blind Dead

Review: The second of Amando De Ossorios Spanish zombie films. This one takes us to the 500 th Anniversary of the blinding and subsequent burning of the devil worshipping templar knights and their vengeance upon the town that killed them. Once again they are killers rather than feeders, ride dead horses and use swords, but they are dead, slow, amble around and gradually hunt down and slay the living… Zombies… Sword wielding yes, but zombies !!!

Zombie Quality: **

See the review of ‘Tombs of the Blind Dead' as the make up and costumes have simply been carried over to a different film set!

Zombie Behaviour: **

Could point you straight to the above comments about checking out our review of the TOTBD, but I won't. Once again the film is filled with choking, sword hacking and horse riding, all performed by our undead knights, making you think that they are probably not zombies. On the other hand, there are tonnes of them (obviously not quite enough extras due to the scarecrow Templars), they shamble with their arms outstretched, they kill people and they are dead, which in my book makes them the Living Dead with a capital Z… Not your usual working formula, they are a strong type of zombie in their own right.

Zombie Threat: **

Unless you happen to be celebrating the 500 th anniversary of the destruction of some evil knights in the small Portuguese village where the film is set, you should be safe! The other fact is that for the dead to rise from their graves, you would need an evil caretaker to be performing human sacrifices on bare-breasted villagers at the same time, making them deadly if you face them, but also almost impossible to meet…

Gore Content: ***

Some really lousy claret being flung around in the first half of the film and a protracted sword fight with hardly that much claret in it means that you might think you would be disappointed, but the hearts being ripped out, some really good swords being run through people and good solid arms and heads being hacked off, means there is gore, but the finish of the effects means that they have lost something over the years, but considering that this was made 6 years before Dawn of the Dead, they aren‘t half bad. It's very easy to forget about effects in these films before they were influenced by Savini.

Overall Quality: ***

This film is good… Well, I enjoyed it and it has a certain Euro-NOTLD feel to it. It has dated, there is no doubt about that but the overall ambience of the film is good, with not 1 but 2 square jawed Hispanic heroes, a slightly more mature leading lady and an evil mayor as well. Though not containing the more traditional zombies, this is still a film with appeal and with an almost War of the Worlds style ending and panning shot at the end, this film, to me, just seems better than it should be.

Special Award: The biggest haymaker punch to an undead Templars Jaw goes to ‘The Captain' and his successful return to the Church.