Director – Amando de Ossorio
Cast – Tony Kendall, Fernando Sancho, Esperanza Roy, Frank Brana, Jose Canalejas, Loreta Tovar, Ramon Lillo, Lone Fleming
Release Year – 1973
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Two years after writer/director scorched the horror scene with his undead epic, Tombs of the Blind Dead, he gave us a very positive and in my opinion superior sequel…Return of the Evil Dead. Once again this flick gives us a creative element to the undead horror sub-genre and comes along with plenty of scares and creepiness. Moving a lot quicker and giving us a lot more templar action, this is a fun flick to watch and proves that not all sequels of great films are crap.
500 years after the heinous blindings and executions of the Templar Knights, they fulfill their promise to return from the dead during a small Portugese town’s celebration of the date the Templars were killed. As the body count rises and hope of fighting off these undead knights is proven futile, the town’s remaining survivors lock themselves in the town’s cathedral hoping to survive this deadly night. Social breakdown between the survivors begins to occur and our protagonists Jack and Vivian must escape their crazy peers and battle the templar invasion at the same time.
Much like most other positive sequels that in my opinion surpass their originals, they take off quick and never let up on the carnage. This flick uses that tactic and it makes this a highly enjoyable film even if you have never viewed it’s predecessor. As a big fan of creative elements added to one of my favorite horror sub-genres, I once again loved the use of the Templar Knights in this film. They looked just as great as they did in the first film, and kept their very creepy blind mannerisms as well. Probably what I enjoyed the most about this flick is that we get A LOT of Templar action with lots of Templar Knights. My biggest knock against the first flick was that we did not get enough Templar action, well this flick seemed to have read my mind because the Templar action was increased twenty fold. We don’t go through a lot of development before the Templar action begins, and I enjoyed that. The pacing for the film is well done, and I believe it is mostly due to the increased horror we get thanks to the Templars. A pretty fair amount of gore is introduced to this film as well, something we did not get a whole lot of in the first flick.
Story wise this is almost the same overall plot as the first. We get a lot more characters thrown in, which I think also helped in this film’s pacing. The film follows a few different sets of people, so we are allowed to get two points of view towards this Templar attack. Pretty sweet idea. Heck, we even get to finally see that the horses the Templars ride are in fact undead as well, a pretty nice touch indeed.
Overall, this is a great undead film that I recommend to fans of the undead horror sub-genre as well as fans of Tombs of the Blind Dead. I believe this to be a very positive sequel that I in fact enjoyed more than it’s predecessor. Give this one a watch.