The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue

The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue
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They tampered with nature - now they must pay the price...
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A cop chases two hippies suspected of a series of Manson family-like murders; unbeknown to him, the real culprits are the living dead, brought to life with a thirst for human flesh after government officials conduct pest control experiments using subsonic waves in the area.

Title:The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue
Original Title:Non si deve profanare il sonno dei morti
Release Date:November 28, 1974
Runtime:
Genres:Horror, Science Fiction
Production Co.:Flaminia Produzioni Cinematografiche, Star Films S.A., , Flaminia Produzioni Cinematografiche
Production Countries:Italy, Spain
Director:Jorge Grau
Writers:,
Casts:, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Plot Keywords:england, hippie, countryside, detective, farm, morgue, undead, zombie, video nasty
Alternative Titles:
  • Don't Open the Window - [US]
  • The Living Dead - [GB]
  • Invasion der Zombies - [DE]
  • Let Sleeping Corpses Lie - [GB]

The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue Reviews

  • Possibly the most underrated zombie movie ever made.
    by Infofreak on 18 October 2002

    45 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

    'The Living Dead At Manchester Morgue' is possibly the most underrated zombie movie ever made. It's certainly one of the most interesting as it's an Italian/Spanish co-production, but curiously set in England, and it predates both 'Dawn Of The Dead' and the subsequent Eurozombie boom led by Lucio Fulci et al. The zombies themselves aren't as gruesome and repulsive as Romero or Fulci zombies, but once you get over that you've got yourself one very watchable and entertaining take on the genre. The two leads (Cristina Galbo and 'Autopsy's Ray Lovelock) are both good. They meet while travelling due to a minor accident, become uneasy travelling companions, and subsequently find themselves caught in a nightmare of non-stop zombie action while being pursued by a ruthless cop (Arthur Kennedy - 'Fantastic Voyage') who believes they are Manson-like hippie serial killers. I enjoyed this movie very much and recommend it to fans of 1970s European horror. An unfairly neglected movie that deserves a larger audience.

  • Now THIS is a zombie movie!
    by The_Void on 15 July 2005

    33 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

    I've been a fan of zombie films for pretty much the same amount of time that I've been a fan of films, and I thought I'd seen just about all there is to see from the horror sub-genre. So you can imagine my surprise then when I came across this hidden gem! Let Sleeping Corpses Lie does everything that you would want a zombie film to do; it has gore, shocks, atmosphere, humour, intrigue and a typically thin plot line, which allows the film to put more emphasis on the more important aspects, rather than swamping itself in needless plot details. Of course, the film does somewhat cash in on the success of George Romero's zombie milestone; 'Night of the Living Dead', but really; it's almost impossible for a post-Night zombie film to not have that comment lauded upon it, and Let Sleeping Corpses Lie has enough about it to more than adequately rise above the Night of the Living Dead rip-off's. The classically styled zombie film story follows a group of farmers that create a machine to kill insects with ultra violet rays. However, this contraption does more than it says on the tin, as recently deceased members of the public start popping up, just around the same time that George and Edna; two people that came together after an accident, roll into town.

    Ray Lovelock takes the title role, and looks the part as a young London man. His style, along with very over the top dubbed in London accent work a treat, and his performance adds something of a sense of humour to the picture. Christina Galbó has less to do opposite Lovelock, but she does well with what she has and makes for a good heroine. The film starts off rather slowly, but the relaxed pace never makes the film boring, but it does add to the film when the horror really starts; as we're sufficiently on the edge of our seats by then. Director Jorge Grau creates a fabulous atmosphere through his English countryside setting, and I personally thought it made a very nice change for the zombie antics to be set in the English countryside rather than America, as they usually are. Despite the fact that this is an Italian film, the filmmakers have managed to implement a great British feel to the movie, and the movie feels something like a fusion between Italian and Hammer horror. This is certainly a plot line that Hammer would have taken on! The gore in the film is few and far between, but when it's on screen, you'll definitely know about it, as it doesn't exactly hold back! On the whole, I think it's criminal that this film hasn't won itself more recognition. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is a film that I wont hesitate to name as one of the best zombie films ever made, and it therefore comes with the highest recommendation!

  • Stylish, but regretfully overlooked zombie fun!
    by Coventry on 2 September 2004

    30 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

    Corpses who seem to have risen from their graves infest an isolated piece of countryside and walk among the living again…Shortsighted and prejudiced critics might easily refer to this as another gem that tries to pick in on the success of George A. Romero's classic `Night of the Living Dead'. On top of that, `Let Sleeping Corpses Lie' is an early 70's Spanish/Italian co-production and those movies automatically get categorized as meaningless garbage. But, if you decide to ignore this movie due to these reasons, it's your loss. You'll miss out on one of the most imaginative and clever zombie films ever made! Jorge Grau's modest horror masterpiece is stuffed with ingenious findings, strong plot-twists and adorable black humor. And surprisingly great acting too, as Ray Lovelock (Autopsy) and Christina Galbo (What have you done to Solange) form a lovely horror couple. They're stuck with each other after a silly accident and continue their trip together. Ending up in a quiet little village, they discover that experiments with ultrasonic agriculture methods have disastrous effects on the nerve systems of primitive life forms, causing babies to act homicidal and the dead to live again. The dumb cops, however, have no ears for the warnings and the Inspector considers the couple to be Bonnie and Clyde-like Satanists. `Let Sleeping Corpses Lie' is an excellent horror film with a lot of style and substance. The film contains a lot less nauseating butchering than you might expect but the few sequences in which zombies are devouring their victims are pretty damn gory. The photography is beautiful and you should be prepared for a few impressive shocks that'll hit you like a ten-ton hammer. Highly recommended to all horror fans!

  • Has Atmosphere, Gore, and Intellegence
    by marquis de cinema on 19 November 2001

    19 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

    Non si Deve Profanare il Sonno Dei Morti/Let Sleeping Corpses Lie(1974) is a lively Italian/Spanish take on Night of the Living Dead(1968). Yet is not a mere rip off because of own brand of zombie horror. Director, Jorge Grau helps make this film a classic zombie pic on its own terms with atmospheric scenery, remarkable moments of horror, gore highlights, and effective surprise twists. In some ways a much more polish looking film than NOTLD. Acting in film is better than in the average zombie pic. Underrated zombie chiller that has recently gotten the attention it deserves with DVD release.

    The first zombie to appear on the scene is Guthrie. The attack on Edna by Guthrie is reminiscent of the attack on Barbara in Night of the Living Dead(1968). Guthrie, the zombie is only on the screen for the first half and the film could have used him for its entirity. Fernando Hilbeck has the perfect face and manner to be a menacing looking zombie. Guthrie is the most imposing zombie figure ever to step foot in a zombie horror picture. Guthrie is in the early stages of zombifcation which is why he doesn't look like the usual flesh rotting zombie.

    Beneath the gore and horror is a fascinating subtext on fascism. Fascism as represented by the inspector is shown to be closed minded and ruthlessly proud. Director, Jorge Grau lived in Spain during the reign of Francisco Franco which plays an influence on the fascist depiction of the Manchester inspector. Relays that fascism is at its most dangerous when hiding behind law and order. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie(1974) was not popular among British censors or Police because of its anti-authority stance. Fascist subtext is dealt with great power and intellegence.

    It was Let Sleeping Corpses Lie(1974) and not Dawn of the Dead(1978) that mainly influenced a rash of Italian cannibal/zombie films of the late 70s/early 80s. Lucio Fulci was one such director who was influenced by LSCL that he patterned his gothic zombie pics after the look of this film. DOTD influence is significant on the Italian zombie craze but not as high as people think. The editor and make up effects man for LSCL would become part of Fulci's entourage. Provides a medium between Night of the Living Dead(1968) & Dawn of the Dead(1978). The Italian zombie films of late 70s/early 80s owe a debt of graditude to this excellent made zombie pic.

    Cemetery sequence is first sustained terror moment. Suspenseful scene where the viewer begins feeling the terror felt by George and Edna. Moment when George and Edna attempt to break outside a grave from inside the parlor room inspired a identical moment in House by the Cemetery(1981). Guthrie's touching of corpses to bring them back is a dark parody of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Some juicy gore effects are provided with the bloody death of a Police officer. Expertly handled by Jorge Grau with a feeling of the macabre.

    Although zombies are featured as villains, its the inspector played by Arthur Kennedy that is the true villain of the story. The zombies are not in long or sparse enough to be counted as screen villains. The inspector is a self righteous jerk whose unwilling to admit when he's wrong. Arthur Kennedy is convincing bitter as the fascist and sadistic Police Inspector. He uses villainous tactics in handling the case described in the film without willing to find out the truth. By shifting the role of villain to Police Inspector, the film becomes an anti-establishment film.

    Few interesting ideas pop up during course of story. First, there is idea of dead coming back to life via an agriculture sonic pest killing device which is an provocative one. Second, the notion of an ecological apocalypse is driven hard into the plot with frightful implications. What's implied here is that humankind is creator of its own destructive path. Third, story for one brief moment deals with the idea of babies born with unusual violent behavior patterns. These ideas and others are what makes it especial among European zombie films.

    Second sustained horror moment is hospital carnage sequence. An orgy of bloodletting and zombie mutilation runs amuck upon the seemingly quiet hospital setting. A big influence on the hospital climaxes in Lucio Fulci's The Beyond(1981) and Stuart Gordon's Re-Animator(1985). Moment in elevator when Katie is strangled by undead husband inspired the strangling of Meg by a zombie in Re-Animator(1985). Director builds up this scene slowly and ups the terror as time goes by. Memorable sequence ends in tragedy for two main characters.

    Let Sleeping Corpses Lie(1974) is infamously remembered for the ultra gory dismemberment of a hospital telephonist. Fantastic effects are employed by Giannetto De Rossi to make zombie mutilation of telephonist look realistic. Far more violent than anyone in an audience was used to from a horror film in 1974. It was gore moments like these which were the basis for Lucio Fulci using De Rossi for his gothic zombie pics. Filmed with effective editing and graphic novel imagery. A highlight among gore moments in Italian zombie cinema.

    Ends with one of the most satisfying surprise endings in horror film history. Final scene is something out of a Tales from the Crypt or Creepshow tale. Unlike Night of the Living Dead(1968), Let Sleeping Corpses Lie(1974) finishes off with a happy ending(poetic justice style). My favorite moment of Let Sleeping Corpses Lie(1974) is this one for obvious reasons. The look on Police Inspector's face as he is closer to meeting his fate is priceless. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie(1974) is a horror favorite of mine that has become more entertaining with each viewing.

  • The most overlooked and underrated zombie film ever
    by hippiedj on 1 November 2000

    19 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

    First of all, don't scoff at a 9 out of 10 rating for this film!

    Trying to say it doesn't stand up to, say, Titanic, for "quality" is ridiculous...by just rating it within the horror genre, this is a superior effort.

    Anchor Bay has released this film recently on DVD with a very informative interview with director Jorge Grau (since released twice on Blue Underground, the 2nd of its releases transferred in HD under the alternate title The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue). He does admit this film was made because he was asked to do something comparative to Night Of The Living Dead. Fortunately he did something more by actually caring about the project and the result is a film that still terrifies after all these years. For being made in 1974, that's a feat indeed.

    The film wastes no time in getting to the fun, and with just the right amount of setup about society's excesses whether it be pollution or morals, and then going further with the 1950s style of saying good 'ole radiation (our fault again) is stirring up trouble. Even though it was made around the same time and may only be a coincidence, the scene where babies are rebelling brings to mind Larry Cohen's film It's Alive!

    Aside from a familiar face in actor Arthur Kennedy (who was deliciously grizzled in his behavior), the use of not-so-familiar faces really lets you sit back and absorb the story and thrills. It was actually nice to see a lead actor like Ray Lovelock look, as Kennedy's character exclaimed, a "long-haired hippie" instead of the squeaky clean GQ faces of today's heroes. These characters were very real, very believable, and you did care what happened to them.

    Not many films date well, but this one could have easily taken place now as 1974. The locations, atmosphere, and overall look of this film is gorgeous. The acting is very competent, the score accents the mood well, and I was very pleased with the uncompromising ending. What I was probably the most pleased with was the fact that it doesn't feel the need to distract you with heavy cussing and lots of nudity (as in films like Dan O'Bannon's Return Of The Living Dead).

    It also does not alienate the "over 35 crowd" like myself by pandering to MTV age boppers, the cast is mature and the characters more involved with their fate instead of being concerned with fashion and scoring some to get wasted (like the recent Idle Hands, don't get me started on THAT one). Most horror films these days just don't leave you feeling very satisfied, and I was ready to watch this one again!

    Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is probably the most overlooked and underrated zombie film ever, and do yourself a favor by giving this one a look. Don't try to compare it with others, don't try to dissect the logic. It pays off with it's genuinely creepy mood and you'll find yourself watching it more often than most of any recent favorites you might have.

  • A group of dead coming back to life terrorizes the countryside, cemetery and a hospital
    by ma-cortes on 30 November 2009

    10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

    This clever horror movie deals about a couple (Ray Lovelock, Cristina Galbo) afflicted by stalking, vicious Zombies (Jose Lifante, Fernando Hilbeck,Joaquin Hinojosa and many others) relieved by ultrasonic radiation caused by agricultural experimentation. Meanwhile a grumpy Police Inspector (Arthur Kennedy) is investigating the strange events.

    Gory, gruesome , and ghastly cannibal feast in which the stumbling flesh-eating stiffs are reanimated by means of radioactive waves and can be only destroyed by fire. Unrelenting shock-feast laced with touches of ecological denounce. Army of Zombies appearance roaming the countryside , graveyard and some people besieged inside a hospital deliver the goods , enough to be interesting. Jorge Grau's first great success is compelling directed with startling visual content . This frightening movie is plenty of thrills, chills, body-count executed by the eerie Zombies and photographed in glimmer color with lurid images and phenomenal results. This is a classic Zombie film where the intrigue,tension, suspense appears threatening and lurking in the foggy outdoors and every room, and corridors from a hospital. At the time considered the plus ultra of disturbing movie is less stomach-churning by nowadays's standards, yet its fundamental power to thrill remains undiminished. Agreeable performance by Cristina Gabo who made various Giallo and Horror movies as ¨The boarding school¨ , ¨What have you done to Solange¨, ¨The killer must strike again¨. This genuinely frightening story with correct utilization of images-shock is well photographed by Francisco Sempere in location of England : Manchester, Derbyshires , Italy : Cinecitta studios and Madrid . Creepie and eerie musical score by Sorgini. Jorge Grau who also made another good terror film titled 'Ceremonia Sangrienta' creates a rare Zombie thriller that manages to be both scary and skilfully made, deserving its cult status . Rating: Good, this is one more imaginative horror pictures in which the camera stalks in sinister style . An average budget horror movie that still packs a punch for those who like to be terrorized out their wits.

  • Excellent zombie film.
    by HumanoidOfFlesh on 12 February 2004

    16 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

    Jorge Grau's "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie" is a very stylish and atmospheric zombie film that chooses quality over quantity.It has only 7 or 8 zombies,but it's still one of the best zombie flicks I have ever seen.The film may be pretty slow-moving for some horror fans,but there are several exciting set pieces.The acting is excellent and there is some nasty gore on display.I liked especially the scene where one of the nurses has her breast ripped off before being ripped to shreds.The film is set in the English countryside and there is enough suspense to satisfy fans of horror."Let Sleeping Corpses Lie" is pretty much considered a classic by some,so if you like zombie films give it a look.A must-see!

  • Great Zombie Movie
    by Claudio Carvalho on 9 August 2014

    9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

    In Manchester, the owner of an antique shop George (Ray Lovelock) rides his motorcycle to Lake District in the countryside with a couple of antique pieces to a house where his friends are working. When he stops at a gas station, the driver of a Mini Copper Edna (Cristina Galbó) reverses her car and hits his motorcycle. George orders Edna to take him to Lake District to compensate the damage but she asks him to go first to Windermere since she needs to visit her problematic sister. Then she would lend the car to him. George drives Edna to her sister's cottage but they get lost in a dead end road. George leaves Edna in the car and walks to a nearby farm to ask for directions. He meets three men from the Department of Agriculture using an experimental machine to kill insects through ultra-sonic radiation in the range of one mile. Meanwhile Edna is attacked by a strange man and she runs toward George but the man disappears.

    In Windermere, Edna's sister Katie (Jeannine Mestre) has an argument with her husband Martin (Jóse Lifante) and he leaves the house to take photos of a waterfall. Katie is addicted in heroin and prepares a shot while Martin is outside. However she is attacked by the same man that attacked her sister and she runs to the field where Martin is. The man hunts her down and kills Martin, and Katie flees and meets Edna and George that are arriving in their car. They call the police and the arrogant and bigoted Inspector (Arthur Kennedy) believes that Katie killed her husband. George and Edna try to find evidence that Katie is innocent and Edna discovers that the attacker is a man that has drowned in the river. George finds an absurd and heads with Edna to the cemetery to see the corpse of the man, and the inspector sends a police officer to follow them. Soon they discover that they are under siege in the cemetery by living dead. Will they succeed to escape from the group of zombies?

    "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie" is a great zombie movie directed by Jorge Grau. This is the first movie from this director that I have seen and the beginning of the story shows his concern with the environment, showing the pollution everywhere in the area of London. Ray Lovelock and Cristina Galbó show great chemistry and have good performances and Arthur Kennedy is irritating in the role of a ruthless inspector. This movie was released with several alternate titles, and I bought a used collector's tin from Anchor Bay Entertainment and unfortunately is missing a couple of pages of the booklet. My vote is eight.

    Title (Brazil): "Não se Deve Profanar o Sono dos Mortos" ("It Shall not Desecrate the Sleep of the Dead")

    Note: On 13 September 2015, I saw this film again.

  • NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD Spanish-style
    by eegah-3 (eegah@hotmail.com) on 7 March 2001

    12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

    There's just something about early 70s Spanish horror that oozes with a palpable feeling of decay. Even though this was shot in England, the post-dubbed dialogue gives it away as being shot by a foreign language crew. Very convincing corpse makeup for a film of this vintage and great atmosphere from the cemeteries of England. There's also an anti-establishment strand in the plot with our innocent hero being persecuted by the cops just because of his long hair and remarks about religion being out of fashion with the youth of the day. There are some similarities to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD but this film is no rip-off but rather a very respectable horror film in the style of or inspired by the earlier film.

  • A Living Dead masterpiece
    by fertilecelluloid on 27 December 2004

    16 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

    The opening ten minutes of this film present a skewed, cynical perspective of society. As our "hero" rides through London on his way to the countryside, Spanish director George Grau feeds us endless images of choked traffic, smoke spewing from grates, commuters filing onto buses like zombies and, finally, a quick shot of a naked woman dashing across a busy street. We notice her, but nobody else does, they're too damn occupied with their own busy lives.

    It's a theme revisited in 2004's SHAUN OF THE DEAD, another zombie film with intelligence behind it, but in LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE, it's purely subtext, but it's subtext that works on us like a spreading virus.

    As George Romero suggested -- in "Night of The Living Dead" -- that radiation from a downed satellite may have been responsible for the revival of the long gone and recently deceased, Grau is more overt as he links what looks like a piece of farming machinery to the resurrection of the dead.

    This film's effectiveness is due to its deliberate pacing and detail-oriented direction. A principle that horror is unexpected in the sunshine is applied to the film's first half as the stumbling dead begin to multiply.

    The final showdown in a hospital (The Manchester Morgue) has a graphic, savage nature to it that restates the subtle subtext.

    Like great Spanish horror directors before him, George Grau brings a respect for the genre to this moderate masterpiece and his sincerity overcomes the occasional plot snag.

    Horror is about fear, and not just fear of the unknown, it's also about the fear of knowing too much.

    Perhaps it is best to glide through life like a zombie, oblivious to the changes around you.

    LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE was a milestone for horror movies.

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