Monday, July 17, 2006

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (aka The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue) (1974)

This was a darn good movie, though it was clearly influenced by Night of the Living Dead. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (aka The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue) begins with lead characters George and Edna meeting by chance at a gas station. Edna accidentally backs her car into George's parked motorcycle, but offers to give him a ride. She convinces him to first give her a ride to her sister's house, but when they arrive all heck has broken loose. Edna's sister's husband is dead, and the police suspect both the sister, who is a heroin addict, and George and Edna. Edna's sister describes the man who killed her husband, which is also the same man that tried to attack Edna earlier that day.

The police force George and Edna to stay in town while the investigation proceeds, and they discover other odd things happening. At the hospital, newborn babies are especially vicious and it seems that a man who has been dead a week came back to life. The agriculture department is using low frequency radiation to kill parasites, and George believes that has something to do with the attacks and killer babies.

No one believes him though, especially not the police, who look down on his style of dress and long hair. Sure enough, though, George is right...the radiation is animating primitive cells in newborns and in the recently dead. From then on, it's a fight to stay alive for George and Edna, while also avoiding the police.

This was a very well done movie, with a creepy atmosphere and even creepier zombies. The noises the zombies make scared the pants off of me, not to mention their red eyes. Oooooh...! The desolate and gloomy English countryside only adds to the mounting dread.

The ending left me pretty shocked (and yet completely content). It's rare for movies to accomplish this for me, but this one succeeded and I loved it! Also, there is some clever social commentary on authority and "the Man" that I found quite meaningful. I've read that the director (Jordi Grau) grew up in Spain during the time of the Fascist regime, and I believe that definitely influenced this movie.

This film was quite surprising, as I had pretty low expectations for it. It delivered, though, and I highly recommend it!

Order it on Amazon!

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