Night of the Seagulls – original title: La noche de las gaviotas – is a 1975 Spanish supernatural horror film written and directed by Amando de Ossorio. It stars Maria Kosti, Victor Petit, Sandra Mozarosky, Julie James and Julia Saly.
The film is the fourth and final in Ossorio’s Blind Dead series and has also been released as Don’t Go Out at Night; Night of the Blood Cult; Night of the Death Cult; Terror Beach and The Blind Dead 4.
The film starts in medieval times when a young couple is attacked by Templar knights. The man is instantly killed, the woman is carried away to the templar’s castle where she is ritually sacrificed.
In the 20th century, a doctor and his wife move to a very primitive coast town, where they are met with distrust and hatred from the locals. It does not take long before the couple discovers the town harbours an ancient evil: Every seven years undead templars will ride from the sea for seven consecutive nights to demand the sacrifice of a young maiden. The doctor and his wife then try to save one of the maidens, Lucy from her horrible fate, aided by the local village idiot…
“There is a bit more blood in this one than in The Ghost Galleon, but much less than Return of the Evil Dead and for the first and only time coming from the Templars themselves. The movie does pick up at the end and gives the viewer a good climax and some great imagery, but the trek there is a slightly tedious one.” Brett H., Oh, the Horror!
“The film’s strong point is its assortment of arresting visuals: the sight of the white-robed knights stealthily emerging from the darkness in the opening flashback, the various shots of the women’s bodies as they lay in a deserted cove surrounded by crabs and the creepy image of the deformed prowler’s face at the window as Joan unpacks her luggage are a few select highlights.” James Gracey, Behind the Couch
” …Ossorio tried to ring the changes by introducing various outré details – a fleet of stunningly slow-moving crabs that consume the sacrificial remains, or the pints of blood that gush (inexplicably) from the Templars’ eye sockets when they expire. But the real ace up his sleeve this time is Julia Saly – by far the best of all the Templars’ sacrificial victims, she replaces the usual sadistic-erotic posturing with a brilliantly convincing display of real panic and fright.” Jonathan Rigby, Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema
“Though slow at times with less than convincing dubbing and a very old-fashioned feel, Night of the Seagulls manages to be interesting. The mysterious sleepy village has an authentic feel of sorrow and pain, and its isolation has resulted in something unnatural and horrible to take place that has remained unnoticed by the rest of the world. This almost feels a bit like something out of a Lovecraft tale…” At the Mansion of Madness
Spanish Horror Film by Antonio Lázaro-Reboll, Edinburgh University Press
The film inspired a song by the New York City Oi band The Templars, and a song by UK doom metal band Cathedral.