Horror of the Zombies (1974) is the third of four films in the Blind Dead cycle directed by Amando de Ossorio. It's also known as Ghost Galleon, Galleon of the Blind Dead, Ship of Zombies, Zombie Flesh Eater, The Damned Ship, & Blind Dead 3.
Though the background of the monk mummies is not entirely provided in this installment, from the earlier episodes in the cycle we know they're Knights Templar who centuries ago turned to devil worship & cannibalism & were banished by the Pope.
A beautiful model has disappeared & her roommate, a beautiful model, confronts a sinister beautiful model boss about it, & she arranges a secret meeting in an isolated place where she's soon being held captive.
Turns out the missing model & her friend who wants to be a model have been hired for a publicity stunt involving a new design of boat. They are "abandoned" on the high seas in shipping lanes so that it will become international news that beautiful models were in the middle of the ocean in the new kind of boat.
Instead, the models drift into a fogbank & find a ghost-galleon which they board. The set design for the poop deck is the least cheap looking thing about this cheap film, though when we see the entire ghost ship it's obviously only about eight inches tall & floating in a bathtub.
The ghoulish skeletal flesh-eating mummy-monks arise from their shipping crates in the hold where there's a shrine to the devil & Greek treasures. These are magic mummies because no matter how slowly they shamble, it just isn't possible for beautiful babes in mini-skirts or bathing suits to not be caught.
Another boatload of people arrive at the cordinates where the beautiful models were last heard from. Two fresh babes & three men find the fogbank, board the galleon, & get chased about by mummy monks that very night.
The mummies can be repulsed by a burning cross, & while they're back in their shipping crates, our cast drags the crates topside & tosses them in the ocean. The ship therefore spontaneously combusts (we get to see a tiny toy ship burn up in the bathtub) but two characters survive & swim to a nearby desert island.
The monks are still immortal so that night they walk out of the sea & our last two survivors are unexpectedly surrounded on the new Island of the Zombies.
I may make it sound pretty bad, but I guarantee it's even worse.
The even "cheapier" Vengeance of the Zombies (1973) likewise has been recycled under various titles, not limited to but including Revolt of the Dead Ones, Rebellion of the Dead Women & Walk of the Dead.
A tomb-robbing husband & wife team get locked in a crypt while outside a sorcerer in an ugly warts mask burns a wax effigy, raising the dead woman inside the crypt to kill the graverobbing couple. The resurged corpse then goes for a slow-motion run through the cemetery as the opening credits roll.
Our heroine Elvira (not Elvira Mistress of Darkness, but 1970s Italian bombshell "Romy") follows a goofy guru (Jacinto Molina) & completely believes in his magic tricks plus she's hot for his bod, which is a pretty nice one. Guru Krishna's regular girlfriend Kala (Mirta Miller) becomes dangerously peevish about their relationship, & eventually tries to convince Wart Mask Man to turn her into a zombie.
A series of weird events, some dreams, some maybe dreams, some not dreams, but universally ridiculous, begin happening to Elvira after her parents are killed by zombies & the wart mask sorcerer. In the "best" sequence Elvira is grinned at by zombies, nearly raped by a dork with goat horns pasted on his head, harassed by an evil guy who looks like Groucho Marx, while a girl painted gold stirs a bubbling cauldron. This tableau doesn't mean anything; since it could all be a dream it doesn't have to make sense.
Some standard giallo gore follows with the Psycho Killer In A White Mime Mask. Then we cut to the morgue where some zombies & the wart mask dude were napping, & they wake up & kill some guy not seen before or after in the plot, if you could call it a plot.
The story is pretty slim. Some of the scenes of grue are amusing, & may have seemed quite extreme in their day. The victims are all of the same English families who used to live in India, & a Thugee of a cult of Kali worshipping assassins is behind the zombie vengeance.
The sorcerer in the wart mask turns out to be the brother of the nice guru. The nice guru is a bad guy against his will because his hideously burn-scared brother controls him.
The sloppy-joe idea of a Satanic Hindu Voodoo Cult might have been quite entertaining in a kitschy sort of way, but the film is just too stupid & it's impossible to care about these characters. I came closest to caring about the wacky guru who would've liked to beieve his own purity philosophy & become a genuine good guy but he just can't because purity philosophy is bullshit but zombies are real.
Gosh I watch a lot of important films don't I.
See more zombies in the schlock classic:
Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959)
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