Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (1974)

Isn't strange that you, and me, sometimes can't stop using a certain title. I know that The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue maybe nowdays is more known as Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, but I have a big problem using that title. It might be a more poetic a logical title (I mean, the living dead eating people at the Manchester morgue is just a small part of the movie), but I will never use it. 'Nuff said about that. 

They're testing a new technology out in the british countryside. It kills bugs and other terrible insects very effective, but the side-effect is that it brings dead people to life again! Ray Lovelock plays an art-dealer going to meet some friends and business partners. His motorcycle get's destroyed in a little accident, and the woman driving the accident-car, Edna (Cristina Galbó ) is forced to borrow her car to him so he can get to his meeting in time... but stuff happens and suddenly they're in deep shit far out in nowhereland... when the zombies attack! A grumpy old cop, played by a great Arthur Kennedy, is convinced that they young couple is behind all the mayhem, and uses all his power to stop them... not realising that the living dead is after his blood to!

The hype is true. After revisiting this movie after many, many years, I just have to agree with most other reviews out there. It's a great movie, slow and with a lot of atmosphere. It reminds me of older british horror, but with way more gore and blood, and some of the best zombies I've seen. They actually look like dead people! What makes this zombie-movie so good is the location, which a lot is filmed in the UK. 

It also is smart enough to build a tension. There's not much going on from the beginning, just character-work and setting the mood of the story. Then, after half of the movie there's cool zombies, bloody gore and some nice cozy frights. No, it's not mega-gory. But they stuff that are is great, and the effects are top-notch. 

The acting is overall very good, but Arthur Kennedy is most fun as a bitter policeman, filled with hate and violence. He's never happy once second, well maybe after arresting Ray Lovelock in a scene, and he's just so fucking stupid. He don't want to understand what's happening. He just want to arrest someone, go home and take a drink and then sleep and wake up to fuck someones life up again. Of course he get what he deserves! 

A little masterpiece.

1 comment:

mamoulian said...

Fine review! This one is truly a film savour slowly - a masterpiece, in truth. And I also use the title Manchester Morgue, because it' how I came to know it... Time for me to have a look at it again, I believe...