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This review is from: Return of the Evil Dead [DVD] [1973] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)

El Ataque de los Muertos Sin Ojos (The Attack of the Dead without Eyes) known on the English speaking market as RETURN OF THE EVIL DEAD is the second entry in Amando de Ossorio's BLIND DEAD quadrilogy that started with TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD. It also is the best sequel, although not quite as good as the original in my opinion.
None of the original cast reprise their roles and the actors here are superior to those of TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD. The sequel also raises the bar on violence and gore - it still isn't a splatter movie, but quite bloody for it's time (1973) - while Tombs... only explained through dialogue how the zombie templars came to be, Return... now offers a detailed visual (although the story varies a bit from the original). The effects are dated, though, don't expect them to have the same impact they had in the 70s.
The minimalist story isn't that grand either, a a rural Portuguese village is celebrating the 500th anniversary of the templar knights' execution when said death knights make a(n) (un)happy return.
While THE BLIND DEAD series never was up for the best story award, their assets lie elsewhere: the eerie gothic atmosphere, the set and the unique, well made zombies that look a far cry better than the ones in the original DAWN OF THE DEAD. I also like what Ossorio did with the zombies, whenever they are shown riding their (undead!) horses, it is shown in slow motion. This is very effective and looks great!
A final word of warning though, the BLIND DEAD series is not a very well-paced series. If you bring some patience with you, you will be rewarded. They offer quite an interesting backstory and are very different from typical zombie movies.
The third and fourth sequel are not as good - especially GHOST GALLEON. If you did not like this one and the original you will hate those two.
The UK Anchor Bay version of RETURN OF THE EVIL DEAD only features the uncut Spanish version of the film and a Spanish DTS 5.0 audio track that is missing on the US release.
4.0 OUT OF 5.0 STARS


Reviewed version: 2005 Blue Underground US DVD
Feature running time: 87 mins. (English dubbed, cut): 91 mins. (Spanish original, uncut)
Rating: Not rated (MPAA) / 18 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 (anamorphic)
Audio: English 2.0, Spanish 2.0
Subtitles: English (for Spanish version only, subtitles cannot be switched off)
Chapters: 24 (English version), 26 (Spanish version)
Extras: Theatrical trailer, Poster & Stills gallery, Alternative "Planet Ape" beginning
Region: 1 (locked)

Picture: C
Audio: B
Extras: F
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4.0 out of 5 stars Return of the Evil Dead, 13 May 2013
A. J. Harrison (UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Return of the Evil Dead [DVD] [1973] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Former navy captain, Jack Marlowe arrives at the historical village of Bouzano to perform a firework display to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of the evil Knights Templar. However a hunchbacked caretaker as risen the Knights from the grave so the villagers must defend the town against the blind killers.

This was the first of three sequels Amando de Ossorio made to his hugely successful Tombs of the Blind Dead. Out of all four films I would say that this is my personal favourite.

This is superior in all departments to its predecessor, here we have a better cast including, Tony Kendall, Fernando Sancho, Frank Brana and Esperanza Roy, a more action packed script and far more tense and exciting scenes.

Tony Kendall who was the star of the popular Kommissar X films, is the films protagonist. He is a former soldier and he has not only arrived in town to do a firework display but he is also their to restart his affair with Vivian the wife of the cowardly Mayor Duncan played by the great Fernando Sancho. In one scene Sancho uses a young girl as a decoy so he can escape from the Templar's but he plan back fires and he is killed.

There is a lot more action here than in the first film and we get a lot more gore and violence too, in one scene a man has his head decapitated, another has his hand cut off before he is hacked to death and a man is impaled on a spear.

The film starts off a little slowly and but once the Templars lay siege to the town it's a none stop thrill ride. A must see.
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