The Blind Dead Go Ape!!! Revenge From Planet Ape (1976?) at Screen 13’s Last Stop Cinema
Brownsville TX – 1-21-77
The world of Late 70’s Exploitation had many moments of WTF, but this one is pretty insane. Someone had the idea to actually re-market The Blind Dead (The Tombs of The Blind Dead) into something that rode on the success of the Planet of the Apes series complete with an insane opening. Although it is a scam release that capitalized on the success of the PLnet of the Apes series, it also looks like that it was following the trail of the 1976 King Kong in sneaky Exploitation fashion, too. This piece of Cinema history is not new to fans of both the Apes and Blind Dead series, but it makes it for one hell of a story!
The Late 70’s was filled with scam releases like this – and one can say that the clamp-down on Tax shelter film budgeting in The US in Late 1975 could be a reason (and also a spark for Canada to go gonzo up until the Mid 80’s with it’s Tax Shelter mania)
For some more information about this, The Scene turns to an Apes Wiki page. There might have been more plays of this in 1978 according to the accounts in this article, although as you can see here, the “Revenge” possibly started in 1976.
San Antonio 2-18-77
San Antonio 2-19-77
Considering it’s “Beyond Motion Pictures” release complete with the AIP-looking B found on a one-sheet, I only can imagine that Hallmark, the original distributor of The Blind Dead who deserves a whole book to it’s history, was the one behind this. While their IMDb listing made it’s “Last Stop” with the X-Mas Massacre release of Last Stop on the Night Train (originally a Bryanston release – another company that deserves a history), I think I spotted the name on a 1979 Martial Arts trailer (or maybe that film was a “A Newport Release” – a claim found on a couple of Hallmark films) while the big Three Houses of Hell show was playing a lot, so it’s the biggest possibility that they had some kind of shadow presence through the Late 70’s before they faded away quietly. Throw in the Judd Parker/Central Park Films releases also connected to the Last House onthe Left company,and I think we have a winner as to who did this incredible foolery.
I’m sure that it even played with an authentic Planet of the Apes film in some areas as well!
Biddleford, Maine 10-9-76
More later, I hope!