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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THE DARK opens w/ Paul Naschy's character shooting pigeons w/ what looks like an elephant gun. We are then shown other characters, going about their daily lives, preparing for a meeting of Marquis de Sade devotees (!!). All of the men wear rubber masks (now joined by Naschy), and the women get naked. Just as the debauched festivities are about to commence, a rumble is heard, and emergency sirens begin to sound. Our heroes must stop their orgy, and find out what has happened. The phones are dead. As it turns out, a nuclear bomb has gone off. The men grab their guns, and set out to investigate. They enter a local village, where the citizens have all been struck blind. One memorable scene shows dozens of people wandering around, bumping into each other. Our sighted heroes are fine, until one of their number, in an unprovoked attack, stabs one villager, then shoots a half-dozen more! Naschy's character knocks his gun out of his hand, and another man strangles him to death. Back at their chateau, others are dying from radiation poisoning, while a man (the one who did the strangling) reverts to a bestial state, tearing off his clothes, and crawling around on all fours! Meanwhile, the villagers are restless. They've now banded together, bent on revenge! The de Sadists are soon under siege, and must use the chateau as their fortress / Alamo. Yep, TPWOTD is a unique take on the nuclear holocaust film. Extra points for originality! There are even some genuine chills! One of my favorite Paul Naschy films...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2014
First of all, this film doesn't deliver the gore and nudity that is present in other Naschy and Spanish horror movies from the 70s; if you're buying it for that reason, I wouldn't recommend it. In terms of nudity, there's very little. There's a little bit of unclear topless nudity in some scenes with women wearing some see-thru gowns, (not sure if you want to count that as nudity) and there's a short and tame topless sex scene. As for the gore, there's very little blood. None of the scenes when the blind maniacs kill are shown. A women is held down and shot in the mouth, but it cuts away. Other scenes when the blind psychos kill are not seen with only the aftermath being shown. Some of the slight bits of nudity and some of the violent content would have to be trimmed for a PG-13 rating, but it isn't recommended if you want nudity, violence and gore; although it's a well done late night flick that I really liked.

Some of the best parts of the film are during the first half hour. The film displays some nice scenery from the beginning, and it provides a nice suspenseful build-up. People begin talking that something is about to transpire, but it isn't made clear what's about to happen. Characters are introduced, and they travel to some exquisite and isolated mansion to play a bizarre game in the basement with women in gowns and the men wearing weird masks. Soon, everything shakes and sirens are heard when they are downstairs. They speculate to what exactly happened, but the attack has left many in a nearby town blind. When they travel to the town, one of the group murders some of the blind civilians; this doesn't happen until over a half hour into the film. Then the rest of the blind turn on the group. The film also doesn't have that claustrophobic feeling of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD because the attack on the mansion later in the film doesn't last long. The blind maniacs have only a limited amount of screen time. The film places a lot of emphasis on scenery, the characters, and making you wonder how it'll end and where they'll end up. Some of the dark sequences and scenery with the mansion and countryside give the film a nice atmospheric quality as well. It's slow in parts and also has music that may seem dated to many; it doesn't feel modern. Some of the dubbing is poor, but the acting is acceptable. Directing is 70s style without a modern feel. Some will like it, while others will think it's dated and slow.

The DVD quality has plenty of marks and scratches because the film print used is in rough shape. It's also missing assorted scenes because it's a grindhouse style film print, but these scenes are present in the tape version that's also on this DVD from Code Red. Sharpness and brightness are very good. The color and contrast are acceptable, but I thought the film would've been better with bolder colors and better contrast. The grindhouse widescreen anamorphic film print runs slightly under 80 minutes, while the VHS tape version on the DVD runs 82 minutes. The VHS version isn't well mastered, but you can see what's going on; it's still watchable. There's no chapter stops on the menu screen for either version.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 6, 2013
On paper this thing sounded right up my alley! An obscure "zombiesque" Euro horror from the Golden Age (1970s-early 80s)!! And its got Paul Naschy!!!

Dont be deceived, this is NOT in any way shape or form a film about, or involving, the undead.It's an extremely muddled "siege"-type story line(think "Assault on precinct 13", "Night of Living Dead" minus the zombies, etc). The story is just...Stupid. The "twist" ending is also just dumb.I dont know, after watching this i'm having an easier time understanding why certain films become so obscure,or even lost - they are obscure/lost for a reason! I am giving this one extra star for its combination of Euro-cult flavored "weirdness" and unintentional laughs. Those laughs are few and far between though, better have plenty of beer in the fridge! Dont say I didnt warn you...
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I've been wanting to see this one for quite a while but it hasn't been shown in years on either tv or cable. Well, I caught it on a friend's "Prime". It's terrible, so awful and bad, I mean just so muddled that you'll barely be able to make it to the ending.

I don't want to give anything away, but if you like stuff on the same level as Ghostkeeper (1982), Death Ship (1980), and Nothing But the Night (1973), then you'll find this stinker really lacking.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2015
really loved this.
in addition to Night of the Living Dead and Day of the Trifids, it also bares a strong resemblance to Pasolini’s Salo (120 Days Of Sodom, 1977). The retreat, the prescribed debauchery. and the De Sade reference.
It’s also an interesting representation of class in post-Castro Spain.
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on July 21, 2015
No
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2015
A total waste of time.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2014
Don't be fooled by the description of the source material on the package!, as true as it may be....
I was totally pleased with the picture and sound quality of this transfer! A very rare treat for Paul Naschy collectors!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2015
must have been bad as I don't remember it
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2014
This movie has been unavailable for years: Now available in both Amazon-On Demand and DVD. What a unique an ending!!
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