Amando de Ossorio
Born April 6th, 1918 – Died Jan. 13th, 2001
With the recent announcement that Synapse Films is working on a new restoration of the original Tombs of the Blind Dead (1970), we thought it would be a great time to pay a little tribute to the creator of our favorite undead Templars, filmmaker Amando de Ossorio.
While he started as a journalist and producing radio dramas, once he got into the film business, it was making short films and documentaries. He started making feature films but it was in 1969 when he directed his first horror film, Malenka (aka Fangs of the Living Dead) which was a little cheesy but still had some great atmosphere. But it was the following year when he created his legacy, when he wrote and directed La noche del terror ciego, better known as Tombs of the Blind Dead (1970). Keep in mind, this was only a couple of years after George Romero set loose his flesh eating zombies unto the world, before Ossorio released his undead Templars that were feasting on the blood of their victims. With a unique twist on zombies and vampires, he gave us something that is still remembered and celebrated six decades later. Continue reading
The Loreley’s Grasp (1974)
Directed by Amando de Ossorio
Starring Tony Kendall, Helga Liné, Silvia Tortosa, Josefina Jartin, Loreta Tovar, José Thelman, Luis Induni, Ángel Menéndez, Luis Barboo
Back in the early 80’s, I went to a midnight screening of some horror movie called When the Screaming Stopped. I had never even heard of it before, but they were passing out barf bags, so how could this not be an awesome movie! Years later, I would discover that this was the re-titling of a Spanish horror movie from Amando de Ossorio, the very man who gave us the Blind Dead series. But the feature at hand was actually Las garras de Lorelei, or The Loreley’s Grasp. Looking back, this was might have been my first introduction to Spanish horror, and probably the first time my eyes laid upon the beauty was is Helga Liné. But more on that later. Since they were passing out barf bags, the movie had to be gory, right? And at that time in my life, gore was what I was looking for. The film did deliver, on many levels. It would be years later before I truly appreciated it for what it is. And that, is one hell of a fun time.
Another year and another trip down the slippery slope of cinematic mishaps, misfires, and just plan screw ups. Joining me once again was Dr. AC, who has become my ally and trusted companion on these trips to the ends of good taste and good movies, watching each other’s backs while we trudge along this journey some would call madness. But we feel that it’s our duty to tackle these turkeys by the giblets and show them just who is stronger! But let’s get on to the movies!
Killdozer (1974) – Growing up in the ‘70s, I was able to watch a lot of great made-for-TV movies that were being produced at the time. As well as some…not-so-good ones. A lot like the idea for Night of the Lepus, whoever thought that a bulldozer that becomes possessed by an alien force, causing it to seek out and kill workers on an island construction site, might have thought it was a great idea. But sometimes that spark of genius needs to be thought out a little bit more. Even more surprising when it was based on a short story by noted sci-fi writer Theodore Sturgeon, who ever worked on the teleplay.
The idea of a bulldozer being able to sneak up on anybody other than blind people who are too numb to feel the ground shake, it about as silly as you can get. But that didn’t stop them from making Killdozer. This is a great example of what could get back bade in that time. Western regular Clint Walker stars as a foreman trying to get his life and career back after a bout with alcoholism. So when the weird stuff starts to happen, he knows nobody will believe him. The film co-stars future TV star Robert Urich, James Wainwright, and the always memorable Neville Brand.