Evil Knights Templar rising from their graves, riding skeletal horses in pursuit of tourists gone astray, ruined monasteries and deserted villages: Amando de Ossorio’s creepy, atmospheric Tombs of the Blind Dead has some of the most memorable imagery of the Spanish horror boom of the 1970s. Influenced by George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, de Ossorio nevertheless makes the returning dead his own: having had their eyes pecked out by crows after being hanged for their wicked ways, the Knights rely on sounds to hunt their preys. Released in the final years of Franco’s dictatorship, Tombs of the Blind Dead is not only a terrific eerie chiller, but also a subversive allegory for corrupt military and religious power oppressing and persecuting ordinary people. Tombs of the Blind Dead was followed by another three films on the blood-sucking Knights, all directed by the prolific de Ossorio.
Electric Sheep and Strange Attractor are proud to present a rare screening of Tombs of the Bind Dead at the Masonic Temple, Andaz Hotel Liverpool Street, London, on Saturday 29 June, as part of the East End Film Festival. Jim Harper, author of ‘The New Regime: Spanish horror in the 1970s and the end of the dictatorship’, published in The End: An Electric Sheep Anthology (Strange Attractor Press), will introduce the screening.
The screening ends a whole day of cult classics around the theme of secret societies at the Masonic Temple starting from 2pm: Sherlock Holmes hunts Jack the Ripper in British classic Murder By Decree, introduced by critic and novelist Kim Newman; a woman begins seeing strange apparitions in 1970’s giallo The Perfume of the Lady in Black; Jodorowsky’s Mexican circus grotesque Santa Sangre is introduced by its composer Simon Boswell; and finally, we descend into the Tombs of the Blind Dead.
2.00pm | Murder By Decree | Dir. Bob Clark
4:30pm | The Perfume of the Lady in Black | Dir. Francesco Barilli
6:15pm | Santa Sangre | Dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky
8:45pm | Tombs of the Blind Dead | Dir. Amando de Ossorio
In association with Titan Books, Cigarette Burns Cinema, Electric Sheep Magazine and Strange Attractor Press.
£3.50 per film | £10 for the day
Tickets available from See Tickets.
In May 2011, Electric Sheep took part in the East End Film Festival’s first celebration of Secret Societies at the Masonic Temple. Read our feature on the Freemasons and their connection to Jack the Ripper and listen to a podcast of our radio show on Jack the Ripper, the Freemasons in cinema and the links between crime and the occult with guests Strange Attractor Press publisher Mark Pilkington and Electric Sheep and Strange Attractor contributor Richard Bancroft. You can also listen to a podcast of a panel discussion on Jack the Ripper, witches’ covens and religious cults in film recorded at the Masonic Lodge. Speakers include Electric Sheep editor Virginie Sélavy, assistant editor Alex Fitch, Nollywood scholar Nicola Woodham, filmmaker and horror specialist Jennifer Eiss, and Jim Harper, author of Flowers From Hell: The Modern Japanese Horror Film. Includes clips from Murder by Decree, Season of the Witch, The Wicker Man and Rosemary’s Baby.