March 22, 2021 Curse of the Blind Dead (Movie Review)
Beginning in the ‘40s, Satanism and things of that nature were introduced into the film industry with such titles as 1943’s The Seventh Victim, then 1987’s Prince of Darkness. Thus began the Satanic/Occult Horror genre, and several films made in this specific genre grew strong followings. Over the years, there have been many great offerings for fans to latch onto, including 2015’s The Blackcoat’s Daughter. For 2021, Director Raffaele Picchio’s (Morituris 2011, The Blind King 2016) offers up Curse of the Blind Dead, but does it live up to the greatness of many of its predecessors?
Released both digitally and on DVD on March 2, 2021 through Uncork’d Entertainment, Curse of the Blind Dead is about 14th century Satanists in the Knights Templar who were captured in the midst of a ritual and brutally murdered by the locals. Before the knights were executed, they swore to return and haunt the village and nearby forests. Sounds interesting and will definitely catch the prospective viewers’ attention, right? Well, the remainder of the synopsis reads as follows: Centuries later, in a post-apocalyptic future, a man and his daughter try to survive both the undead knights and a sect commanded by a mad preacher.
Where to begin with this one? The film opens with a quote: “Non nobis, domine, non nobis, sed nomini, tuo da gloriam,” which is the Latin translation of Psalm 115:1, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us; but your name be the glory.” As the words fade, the viewer is led onto a well-done production set and immediately introduced to a woman who is tied down and in the middle of giving birth. This is also the introduction of the Knights Templar, as they are preparing to sacrifice the newborn baby as a part of a ritual. Interrupted by the locals, and captured to be executed for their barbaric crime, the Knights promise that they will haunt the village for this execution.
Everything in this first part of the film with the Knights is carried out pretty spot-on, with good lighting, decent camera angles, and believable sound. In fact, all of these things are good throughout the film, and even the music does a little justice for certain scenes. However, the storyline itself is not executed in the best of ways. This starts with the fact that nowhere in the film does it mention what made the post-apocalyptic world, other than one statement that included something like “before people went crazy.”
In this, it seems that confusion and misguided decisions are a running theme with Curse of the Blind Dead. As such, the feeling of incompleteness runs throughout the entirety of the film, leaving so many key questions unanswered. For example, how did the father—portrayed by Aaron Stielstra (Pale Blue Balloons 2008, 6 Bullets to Hell 2016)—and his pregnant daughter—portrayed by Alice Zanini (Il paradiso delle signore series, The Ermine and Lady 2019)—manage to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, what did they survive on? What happened to the unborn baby’s father? (Some may even ask if the father of the baby is Alice’s own father?) Sadly, not much is said about their relationship, other than the simple father/daughter in the synopsis, and an admittance made by the father within the film.
Despite all of this, the gore factor is not bad for a low-budget film and there are a few scenes that gore fanatics will truly appreciate, including an overly-elaborate (and unnecessary) thumb cutting scene. But beyond this, it’s sad to say that Curse of the Blind Dead is a letdown. Although the lighting, sound, production design, and music are all fairly well put together in a way that makes the film almost watchable, the story itself and the execution of that narrative are very confusing and non-justifiable. So while the beginning of the film is apt to catch the viewer’s attention, once the post-apocalyptic world is introduced the audience will be left confused and perhaps even bored. With only opening scenes that are worth a watch, Cryptic Rock classifies Curse of the Blind Dead as 2 out of 5 stars.