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El Buque Maldito

Ghost Galleon
Horror of the Zombies / Das Geiserschiff der Schwimmenden Leichen / Blind Dead 3 / La Noche del Buque Maldito / Ghost Ships of the Blind Dead / Ship of the Zombies

Spain 1974
produced by
J.L. Bermudez de Castro for Ancla Century Films, Belén Films
directed by Amando de Ossorio
starring Maria Perschy, Jack Taylor, Bárbara Rey, Carlos Lemos, Manuel de Blas, Blanca Estrada, Margarita Merino
written by Amando de Ossorio, music by Antón García Abril

Blind Dead

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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When model Kathy (Blanca Estrada) has gone missing, her best (model-)friend Noemi (Bárbara Rey) goes to her boss Lilian (Maria Perschy) to find out what has happened to her. At first, Lilian is evasive, but evetnually she admits that she and businessman Tucker (Jack Taylor) had Kathy and starlet Lorena (Margarita Merino) marooned on a small boat in the middle of the ocean as a publicity stunt ... but now that Noemi knows about it, she has to be held prisoner by Tucker and his men ...

Of course, the publicity stunt goes wrong eventually, when the two girls get into a fog where there isn't to be one and later cross paths with a cenutries-old galleon ... and decide to enter the ship - bad idea, because the ship is manned by the Blind Dead - blind and walking but essentially dead Templars (or rather their skeletons) who were evil satanists when they were still alive -, and the Blind Dead have a predilection for killing visitors to their ship ... so soon enough, Kathy and Lorena are no more.

Back at home, Tucker and Lilian decide to man an expedition to find the girls, consisting of themselves, Noemi, the scientist of the group Professor Gruber (Carlos Lemos) and greedy skipper Sergio (Manuel De Blas).

In no time at all, this quintet encounters the same fog the girls did - which according to the professor is actually something from another dimension - and soon enough they also come across the galleon and board it as well. Noemi is beheaded by the Blind Dead the first night they stay on the ship, but the others are luckier, not only are they not beheaded, they even find the Templars legendary treasure in a hidden chamber. And they manage to fight off the Templars all night. The next day, when the Templars are back in their coffins, they throw the coffins overboard and think this puts an end to that matter. Then they realize that the shore is right around the corner and decide to swim there ... all but the Professor who can't swim - tough luck, because as soon as the others are off the ship, Satan decides to burn the ship to a cinder since nis Templars won't use it anymore ...

Of our three swimmers, Sergio, who insisted to take the Templars' treasure with him - despite the fact that it pulls him down -, eventually drowns thanks to his own greed, but the other two make it ashore .... but, they have to realize in shock, so have the Templars.

 

La Noche del Terror Ciego/Tombs of the Blind Dead was as effective a horror shocker as they get, thanks to its creepy monsters, shocking effects and bare-to-the-bones (if trashy) storyline. Its sequel, El Ataque de los Muertos Sin Ojos/Return of the Blind Dead, depended more on a traditional horror story with all its advantages and disadvantages.

This film however, the third part of the Blind Dead-series, is Eurotrash at its purest: The story is amazingly far-fetched and gives the director plenty of opportunity to show scantily clad girls (there is no actual nudity here), the effects always boarder the ridiculous (especially the miniature of the galleon of the Blind Dead looks pathetic), the Blind Dead totally fail to impress (they look like sleepwalkers in mediocre Halloween masks), the gore is toned down and the bodycount low (for budgetary reasons I suppose), and al the characters seem like nothing more than cardboard cutouts.

... and I totally loved the film, because of all its shortcomings that make it a great example of European horror in the 1970's when there waas a certain devil-may-care attitude about the genre not found in American counterparts or even in contemporary horror cinema.

REcommended, but only if you like trash movies and don't expect a masterpiece.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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