Return of the Evil Dead

If I see one more shot of a sword tearing into a naked breast, I’m gonna kill myself. Because that’s what we get in Amando de Ossorio’s follow-up to his 1971 dead-knights-on-dead-horses classic, Tombs of the Blind Dead: Loads of virgin sacrifices, loads of splattered boobs. As if someone doesn’t have a million other places on their body that could be punctured by a sharp object. Variety, sir! And is it too much to expect that Senor de Ossorio would have actually taken the time to NOT make his breasts look like paper-mache volcanos with nipples?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Or maybe I’m not. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that it’s 1973. A local hillbilly hunchback (who clearly had an accident at hair and make-up: a white pancake face and unibrow don’t exactly scream realism) decides that the Knights Templar from the previous film should be undead again. Surprisingly smart and agile for a retard, he slaughters the resident village wench (in the boob, of course). Her blood flows. The Knights rise from their tombs and…hey, wait a minute!! Isn’t that the exact same knights-rising-from-their-tombs footage from the first movie? It is! Apparently de Ossorio was short on cash…and sense: he thinks we’re stupid, but whatever.

Anyway, the knights gallop (slowly) into town where the villagers are having a party (excuse me, fiesta) and skewer bodies in an awesome 3-to-1 knight ratio. It’s totally not a fair fight, which works for me. The survivors hole up in an old church, because nothing says “Jesus” like a good massacre. A few people make stupid mistakes and die…and then the knights die. The next morning. They just die. They fall over, dead. For no reason at all. End credits and full disclosure: This may not be exactly how it went down, as I was working on another blog entry at the time, but close enough.

Look, there’s no practical reason for this movie to exist, other than to give horror-freaks like me their fix of 1970’s Spanish exploitation. There’re knights, they have skull faces, they wear shrouds, and they ride horses that also wear shrouds. They (the knights, not the horses) stab people relentlessly with swords. There’s a little sex, a lot of nudity, and the Spanish dialogue syncing is gloriously off-kilter. Our hero, Tony Kendall, is totally handsome and bangable in his own totally handsome and bangable way, and his girlfriend, played by Esperanza Roy, is…um, not. They can’t act, they can’t sing, and they can’t dance.

Now, practicality aside, if all of that isn’t a good and true enough reason for Return of the Evil Dead to simply be, then too bad; I can’t help you. Clearly this movie isn’t meant for someone like you, and you should go watch something like–I don’t know–The Blind Side.

1973; starring Tony Kendall, Esperanza Roy; directed by Amando de Ossorio; 91 min; not rated (mature only); in Spanish w/ English subtitles.

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