Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 28th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Spain/Italy, 1974
Director: Jorge Grau
Cast: Arthur Kennedy, Christine Galbo, Ray Lovelock
DVD released: February 26th, 2008
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital Stereo Surround, Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: Two strangers brought together by fate encounter a small village that has been overrun by the living dead who thrive on human flesh and an inept detective who blames them for the villages’ recent troubles.
Over the years The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue has been released under numerous aliases like Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, Zombie 3, Don’t Open the Window and Do Not Speak Ill of the Dead. Director Jorge Grau’s The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue may not be as well known as George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead or Lucio Fulci’s Zombie and yet the film is equally as impressive as these two films in every way. Visually The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue Is filled with fluid, competent and stylishly photographed compositions that capture the right mood without ever overstating it.
The story moves along briskly with the zombie attacks being perfectly spread out and the film goes out with a bang with an all out feast of flesh in its final moments. The films MacGuffin a machine that sends signals to the recently departed which brings them back to life doesn’t ever feel too farfetched or unbelievable. One thing about the film that really stood out for me was how the two leads Edna and George always were able to see the zombies who just happen to not be around when the law or anyone else arrived on the scene. It is almost like what is happening is only in their minds and a few moments in the films like when a young girl tries to bring Edna water almost suggest this theory.
The two main leads Cristina Galbó as Edna and Ray Lovelock as George are all superb in their various roles. The performance that is most memorable is Cristina Galbó as Edna. She does a first rate of conveying her characters downward spiral into madness. Acting wise my only gripe is Arthur Kennedy as The Inspector whose character is just a tad too aggressive that in every scene he appears he totally changes the scenes overall tone. Composer Giuliano Sorgini’s score is eerie and atmospheric.
Ultimately The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue is a classic zombie film with its ample amount of carnage and its clever ending that will leave you stunned.
Blue Underground released a stripped down release of The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue under the title “Let Sleeping Corpses Lie” last April. They return to this title a second time carry over all the extras and a brand new Hi Def transfer. The film is presented in its original aspect ratio and it is anamorphic enhanced and flagged for progressive scan. Colors have never looked as lively, details look razor sharp and there are no problems with edge enhancement, compression or artifacts.
This release comes with three audio options A Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, a Dolby Digital surround mix and the film’s original Dolby Digital mono mix. All three audio mixes are in English. There are no audio defects and all three mixes present a clear and robust audio mix with the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix sounding the most dynamic of the three.
The extras for this release are spread over two DVD’s with disc one including the following extras the a director’s introduction before the film, International trailer, U.S. trailer, T.V. spot, Radio spots and a stills gallery. The bulk of the extra content is located on the second disc and the extras consist of four interviews “Back to the Morgue” with director Jorge Grau, “Zombie Fighter” with actor Ray Lovelock, “Zombie Maker” with Special Effects Artist Giannetoo De Rossi and a Interview with Director Jorge Grau from 2000. All the interviews give a solid overview about making The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue and the careers of those being interviewed. Blue Underground revisits The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue and this time around they give it a definitive release, highly recommended.