Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Night of the Seagulls (1975)

A small fishing community's hideous secret is revealed when a visiting doctor and his wife discover that the villagers have been sacrificing the town's virgins to the Knights Templar, who threaten to destroy everything in their path if they are not appeased. NIGHT OF THE SEAGULLS is the strongest of the three installments following TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD in Armando de Ossorio's famed Horror series. The Lovecraftian lore that is introduced in this episode makes for an exciting new twist in the Templar's long history. While there is a noticeable lack of gore compared to the earlier entries, NIGHT more than makes up for it with its lavish sets, gorgeous cinematography, and heightened suspense. Even the costuming used for the decrepit Knights shows a remarkable difference. On top of everything else, the film features a collection of haunting sound effects that deepen the intense mood set by the Ossorio's dreary visuals. Although the director never received the chance to remake the series as he had originally planned to do, he did manage to end it with a worthy send-off to one of the most memorable zombie epics of all-time.

Rating: 8/10.

If you liked NIGHT OF THE SEAGULLS, check out:
DARK WATER, NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF, DAGON.

9 comments:

  1. Wings next to the original, this is easily the best entry in the series. Being the Gothic Horror fan that you are, you really can't go wrong with the Blind Dead series!

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  2. I still prefer 'Return of the Evil Dead' over the other sequels. Call me crazy, but the atmosphere wasn't enough for me here. A second viewing would probably change my mind, but it's at the bottom of the four for me right now.

    By the way, Ossorio's other two films available on Netflix- Night of the Sorcerers and The Loreley's Grasp- are also worth a look too.

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  3. I thought Return was much too similar to the original, granted I only own the old Anchor Bay edited cut. I thought there was a lot more originality and creep factor in this one, but maybe a second viewing will change that for me too lol..

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  4. If you recall my post in 'Forgotten Horror Moments,' you may recall how much I love the scene where the little girl was pushed out amongst the Evil Dead.

    That scene alone makes me like it better than all of the rest. Not that the imagery of the Dead walking out of the water in 'Part 3' or riding the skeletal horses in 'Part 1' was bad either.

    As a side note, the fact that none of these are actually sequels annoys me. Especially when the set-up to 'Return' sounded like one. They attack the tone in 'Part 1' and it's under siege in 'Part 2.' Except that the Dead just rise a different time and attack the town. Why did they do that?!?

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  5. Maybe its a Spanish thing, since the Hombre Lobo series is the same way, with countless variations on the same story without any of them really being direct sequels? I'll probably be upgrading to the Blue Underground releases at some point for the first two films.

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  6. Personally, I think it makes perfect sense to make the films as stand alone ventures. It allows for additional creativity and also a means to not have to explain how the Templars go from a dilapidated monastery, to a ship at sea and then to a Lovecraftian fishing village. If you recall, the second film featured scenes lifted from the first movie of the Templars rising from their graves. The cut AB version is missing the sequence that acts as the catalyst for the zombies resurrection. Murdo attempts to rape a girl and murders her in the process resulting in the dead knights coming back to life.

    I like the fourth film a lot better than the third, but the first is always going to be my favorite. Sony released this to tape in the late 80's as NIGHT OF THE DEATH CULT, but the print bore the SEAGULLS title. I assume they changed the title on the box since it's doubtful people would have rented something called NIGHT OF THE SEAGULLS.

    Now if that other movie about the Templars would surface, THE DEVIL'S CROSS, that would be cool.

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  7. The reason I put this one off for so long (besides price) is that I assumed nothing called Night of the Seagulls could be anything but terrible. I would love to see The Devil's Cross as well, was it completed and was it de Ossorio? Going to have to do some research on that one!

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  8. Yeah it was finished. It was directed by John Gilling (PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES, THE REPTILE). Naschy had something to do with it, too. I've not seen it. I just looked and it's CROSS OF THE DEVIL (1975).

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