[My Schlock Treatment intro, originally broadcast on Briz 31 TV 05/12/10]
As a film, Return Of The Evil Dead is much more suspenseful than a skeleton army in sackcloth should engender. The very appearance of the undead Templars and their modus operandi (blind but not deaf, my sweet pointed coccyx!) require a very serious leap of faith on the part of its audience, and yet, with those iconic soiled hoods and grinning skulls, they can't help but disturb. De Ossorio recycles many of the first Blind Dead's aural and visual tricks, such as the jarring slow-motion shots of the Templars on zombie horseback reinforcing their otherworldliness, and the soundtrack dripping with low moans and pitch-shifted bells. The set pieces are nothing short of fantastic: the village square massacre, the fate of hunchbacked cripple Murdo, and in an obvious nod to another Hitchcock film The Birds (1963), the young girl's heartstopping walk through the zombie sentinels (ALWAYS remember that in the case of an undead Armageddon, children are the weakest link). There are moments of intentional humour – the scenes with the governor and his saucy maid are nicely handled – but overall the tone is grim to the point of apocalyptic, and like other Spanish horrors of the early Seventies, equal parts gothic atmosphere and modern gore-soaked shock tactics.