Thursday, August 6, 2015

The People Who Own The Dark - A Post-Apocalyptic Nightmare

By Steve D. Stones

A group of rich capitalists and military men meet in the cellar of an old European castle to take part in a strange cult ritual conducted by a beautiful woman who lives in the castle. The men sit at a table in masks and are instructed to drink a potion mixed with wine while surrounded by young half dressed girls chained in shackles. As they drink their wine, an earthquake shakes the room tremendously.

After the quake, the group discovers that a nuclear holocaust has occurred outside the castle. Citizens wander aimlessly through town in sunglasses from blindness. The group forages the town for food and supplies.  Some of the innocent blind are murdered by the group.

Eventually the town's blind citizens raid the castle to force the occupants out, much like the zombies in Night of The Living Dead (1968) attacking a farmhouse with survivors inside.

It's not very convincing that a nuclear holocaust has occurred as the film progresses. Buildings are never shown destroyed, and cars in the streets look as if they could have been driven right off the showroom floor of an auto dealer. Streets are not littered with debris or destruction.

Plus, the title of the film is also confusing. Who are "the people who own the dark?" Is it the occupants of the castle who took part in the cult ritual? Is it the town's blind citizens wandering around disoriented? No scenes are shown during the night time, which further confuses the viewer in wondering who "the people who own the dark" are.

Actor Paul Naschy is the only well-known actor in the film. Naschy starred in a number of 70s European horror films. He also directed a number of horror films during his career.

Sinister Cinema in Medford, Oregon sells a good print of this film, both as an individual title or as part of their Drive-In Double Feature series with another 1970s film - The House With Laughing Windows. Happy viewing.

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