October 5, 2014

Movie Review: Night of the Seagulls

There was a time when I would look at Amando de Ossorio's Blind Dead movies and just crack a joke, be bored, or both and then move on to something else. Fortunately, I have grown and matured since then. I am not saying they are great films or that everyone should like them, but they do have something to offer the horror fan. Granted, the third entry, The Ghost Galleon, is pretty bad, save for an excellent ending, and they generally do not make much sense (then there is the Planet of the Apes cut of the original, don't ask). With that said, I kind of dug Night of the Seagulls, the final Blind Dead flick.

This fourth go around finds the dead Templars back on land, not stuck on a ship like the third film, and with a little bit more of a plot than we are typically used to. Our heroes are Henry (Victor Petit) and Joan Stein (Maria Kosty). Henry is a doctor and he is going to a small seaside town to begin his practice following the death of the town's prior doc. Well, despite his good intentions, it seems the town has no interest in a new doctor, or any outsiders for that matter. The townsfolk ignore them or are just flat out rude.

At night the couple are woken by the screams of seagulls. It sees to be an odd time of day to be hearing them. When they look a little further, they witness weird procession of people dressed in black on the beach. What they don't know, and we do, is that they are tying up a sacrifice to the Templar Knights, who awaken from their graves every seven years and demand a sacrifice each night, for seven nights, before returning to their slumber, leaving the rest of the town untouched.

Well, Henry and Joan eventually find out when they take in Lucy (Sandra Mozarowsky) as a housekeeper. She lets them in on the secret of the nightly processions. The doctor and his wife decide to try and save one of the would be sacrifices. This gets the attention of the Knights and leads to a climactic siege.

Like all of the Blind Dead movies, Night of the Seagulls is a slow burn. There is a little reused footage of the initial rise of the Templars. There is a little gratuitous nudity. Lots of screaming. Plenty of slow motion zombies and zombies on horseback, accompanied by that reverby sound and an ominous score. It is far from a great film, but it does have solid atmosphere and I always love the look of these zombies.

While this does have more plot and better characters than usual, it still does not really explain much of anything. It is all about the atmosphere of the moment. Go along for the ride. Accept the bits they give you. Try not to think to hard about what led to this point. If you can do this, you may like this too.


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