Return of the Evil Dead (1973)

Return of the Evil Dead posterReturn of the Evil Dead (1973)

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

Return of the Evil Dead is the second film in the Blind Dead series.  As a small Portuguese village celebrates the anniversary of the execution of a group of Templar knights.  The Templars return and crash the party, blindly of course.  So instead of the knights seeking victims on their own burial ground as in the first film, Return of the Evil Dead brings the fight directly to town.  When they herd the townspeople like cattle in the town square, the stand off begins.

As I noted in the review of the first Blind Dead film, it is important to watch the original Spanish version of this film with subtitles, as this is the uncut and unedited version.  The English dubbed version is cut, and they always cut the good stuff.

Once again the Templars wreak havoc, but this time on a much larger scale as they invade a rural town.  And as before, Amando de Ossorio presents an excellent atmosphere and a zombie-like film with brains (single entendre because these zombies don’t eat brains…sorry to the fans of literary devices).  In fact, my favorite element of this film is that the Templars actually surround and close in on the community, blocking all exits, exactly like living knights would do in a time of war.  These are far more threatening than your standard zombies, these are living dead warriors…and very difficult to kill.  Another upside to this sequel is we get a chance to see what a zombie horse looks like under that conveniently concealing cloak.

Return of the Evil Dead

As is generally consistent among these films, the gore is there, but not in excess.  But as usual my favorite description of these films is a simple one: Return of the Evil Dead is epic.  As far as location goes, it trades the creepy burial ground and innate atmosphere that goes with it for the close quarters and claustrophobic feel of a small rural village in the height of its tourist population.  Overall, this film brings comparable atmosphere to the other Blind Dead films, but with a little more focus on the action.  It makes an excellent sequel to Tombs of the Blind Dead, as well as a great film on its own.

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