La noche del terror ciego (1971)

“La noche del terror ciego” (1971)

noche terror

IMDb

Slap the woman, and get bit

In no other type of film like the “b genre” is the original passion of its makers so directly transposed onto the audiences. It’s all there. Because so few mediation is involved in the production of these films, they are the faces of their makers, watching them is like being there when they were made.

Another great thing in these films is the almost complete freedom of its makers, regarding their audiences. I mean, given a certain genre, “horror” in this case, guys who look for these films expect a certain number of elements. But after those elements (usually visual) are granted, filmmakers can do whatever they want. Of course we have to put up with the poor production values, but that’s part of the ride. It’s the passion that matters, the fact that the film Was done counts. And of course, specially after so many years, all the fake production things, from the voices to the characterization is lovable, a sweet labor of people who love what they do.

So, just considering the horror genre, these films range from the “jump in the dark” scary film to the moody depiction of an environment. That’s what we have here. The film invests everything in granting a gloom the the old abandoned village, which actually is just a convent, not a village. Every scene outside that place talks about the place itself, how everybody seems to be frightened at the very mentioning of the name of the invented village makes you want to uncover its mysteries. So we have pretty countryside landscapes, characters circulating around for apparently useless reasons, a crap past story invested in the two major female characters, that involves lesbianism, certainly to allow them to shoot the flashback (there goes the sexy depictions that the audiences demand). Sex, old myths, esoteric tales, old mummies walking around.

And the convent. This is where the thing starts falling apart to me. That’s because they chose a great theme, templars, but than they fail to take the visual exploitation of a building to the level of the promise. Templars have a deep tradition of esoterism, the occult, and that reflects on several levels, and to our contemporary eyes, the most visible face of that esoterism is their architecture, what’s left of it. Now, if you don’t know, at a certain moment templars were hunted down and killed and officially extinct and repelled by every country in Europe, with the exception of Scotland and Portugal. Under different names, they continued in Portugal their activity, and indeed became anonymously fundamental in what followed, the sailing enterprises and the beginning of modern globalization in the 15th century. What they did was huge. So, more than any other place, Portugal has a great concentration of magic places, esoteric locations, templar influenced architecture. Trust me, i’ve been to many of those places and lucidly felt them, they are great. But in this film, Ossorio chooses to film everything in Portugal, except the only place that matters, the old convent, which he finds in Spain, and has absolutely no relation to the Templars. Shame on him. That’s what i complain. The convent location, except from the old standing arcs of a degraded church, there’s no interest to it, it’s old stones and old pieces of walls, with no apparent meaning. In Portugal, he shot near some great locations, how could he not use one of them? That would be something of a “cult”. But no, none of the circular ritualistic paths of the templar architecture. Imagine those blind mummies playing the rituals of the original knights? that would be spooky no matter how phony the voices sounded, or how fake the puppets looked like.

The machismo is screaming, and it would be laughable if it didn’t match the reality of Spanish (and Portuguese!) societies 40 years ago. Every man exists to dominate the women that surround him. You have the rough type, mustache, beats women, rapes them, and still gets to be desired by them. And you have the retro playboy who flirts with two at a time. Women are objects here, shirts get ripped off so that breast come out. Well, this is obvious exploitation, but the macho guy is not. It really was like that.

My opinion: 2/5

This comment on IMDb

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