The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue

Critics Consensus

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81%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 16

71%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,426
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Movie Info

A new insect-killing device somehow backfires and manages to raise the dead from their graves. The newly created zombies terrorize the surrounding town in their search for delicious, warm flesh, as zombies are wont to do, in this Italian horror film.

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Critic Reviews for The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (1)

Audience Reviews for The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue

  • Jul 08, 2012
    A very serious (probably too serious?) zombie flick that tries desperatly to bring it's big themes to life without forgetting good tense scenes and gory moments. A very interesting culture clash between a young self-aware generation and the older one, contempt with conformism and rules that end up in a memorable ending. Probably a bit too long for it's liking and obviously has every b-movie problems, specially with the acting, but the big ideas and parallels come together well with the story without being too preechy or in your face.
    Francisco G Super Reviewer
  • Jun 24, 2012
    **** out of **** I think it's safe to assume that if you're a director working in the horror genre and you've got some Italian in you - even if your native country is technically America - then your movies are going to be something much less and more than normal. Jorge Grau is a Spanish filmmaker who in 1974 made one of the most overlooked yet important zombie movies of all time. A Spanish-Italian production, it would go on to be the one film from the director that everyone - well, everyone that knew his name - would remember. It spawned a cult fan-base dedicated to its preservation over the years, even with Grau still alive to this day to look over it with care. It was called "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie" in America, although it went by many names: just two more being "The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue" and "Don't Open the Window". Whatever you decide to call it, the film took after George Romero's early work in "Night of the Living Dead" and could be considered a colorized version of that film, although it does differ significantly from Romero's movie so that it may mark its own territory in horror history. Its audience has discovered it, devoured it, and left what's left of it out to dry for an entirely new generation of fans. Upon seeing it, I'm intent to assist in keeping its legacy going. Antique shop owner George (Ray Lovelock) is riding his motorcycle through Manchester, on his way to a new house that he and his friends will be fixing up for the next few days or so. At the gas station, his bike is busted by some woman's car. This was an accident, and the woman - Edna (Christina Galbo ) - offers, out of the kindness of her heart, to take George to where he is needed. But she'll have to drop him off quick; since she's got her own agenda for the day. Edna's sister, a recovering heroin addict, is having trouble yet again at home - with her addiction and her husband alike - and she must go to the house to comfort her and perhaps get her some professional help. When the two stop for directions to Edna's sister's house in the country, something peculiar turns up. Edna takes a stroll while George goes up to a farm house and asks for directions from some farmers and scientists testing a new crop pesticide, and what does she see? An odd, zombie-like man with reddish eyes; an odd, zombie-like man who also tries to attack her. Luckily, Edna escapes, although neither George nor anyone else will believe that there was ever a man; since there seems to be no evidence other than her words. They continue on their way to Edna's sister's house, where all sorts of weird shit is already going down. The zombie - since face it, that's what he fucking was - that assaulted Edna has made its way to her sister's residence and has already reached her and her husband (whom it kills) before the pair can even arrive. The police interpret these as murders, and since the zombie evades capture or documentation each time, Edna and George are wrongly accused as being the perpetrators of the crimes! Now, they are on the run; sort of like fugitives, in a way. Only zombies and the fuzz stand in their way. Grau directs with an iron fist full of style and spunk. His film is almost surreal in its madness; blending bloody battles with the undead and the beautiful scenery of the English countryside as though the two were a match made in heaven. Perhaps in his mind, they were, and always have been. The mind of a horror director works in mysterious ways; but Grau seemed to have the rare gift of being able to see the beauty in the destruction that he brings to the screen. I can honestly say there isn't another zombie movie out there quite like this. Not in terms of the narrative and characters, both of which are familiar; but it's amazing how much of an impact locations and setting can have on a film's quality. They certainly do this one a whole lot of good. But aside from the naturalistic visual panache, there's a dream-like quality to it. "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie" is a madman concoction made of man-eating babies, blood-red contact lenses, ominous houses by the cemetery, and somewhat half-baked crime drama. Strangely enough, it wants to be taken seriously and for once we can do as it wishes. There's humor to be sure, but seldom is it ever unintentional. This ain't no Midnight Movie. This is a fierce, violent, swift, and intelligent zombie film. Let's talk about the gore. There's plenty of it. And who made it all possible? Why, none other than the great and legendary Giannetto De Rossi. This guy is fucking insane, only fit to work with directors equally as messed up in the head as he is, but that makes him all the more essential for any horror movie. I would be honored to work with this man. He's more known for his work in Lucio Fulci horror flicks like "Zombie" and "The Beyond", although this is one of the more early projects for him. De Rossi creates glorious scenes depicting zombie feasts, the consumption of organs, and various assorted flesh wounds. He never ceases to amaze me. If its blood and gore you crave, look no further; for the Spanish-Italians are here to serve just that, and they're here to serve it well. Then there's the musical score, which is phenomenal; done by Giuliano Sorgini. It always contrasts so beautifully with Francisco Sempere's arresting camerawork. This is the perfect mixture of smarts, sleaze (in the opening scene, a fully nude women runs into traffic for no apparent reason, just because), and surprising class. There's some radical social commentary to be found here, even if we've seen it all before. Romero did pretty much everything that you could do; although I suppose there's still stuff out there just waiting to be imagined by some creative mind. Jorge Grau is elaborate in how he stages every scene; and there isn't a dull moment - or act - present. "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie" is brilliant, unforgettable, and underrated. It is a horror classic and an essential zombie movie; and it should be regarded as so. It has its admirers, although there aren't nearly enough of them. For the love of all that is good and grotesque; please go out of your way to track down a copy. It'll be worth your while, I can guarantee you that.
    Ryan M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 16, 2011
    Let Sleeping Corpses Lie or Living Dead at Manchester Morgue is an easily forgettable zombie movie. It doesn't offer anything that is memorable or that makes the movie worth the watch. The two main actors really annoyed me, especially the woman. Her voice got to me after 10 minutes of the movie and I just wanted the zombies to come and rip her open. The characters were stupid like in most horror films. But damn, just kick the fucking ladder down and they'll stop climbing up. I have three positives about Let Sleeping Corpses Lie. The zombies although not the best we've seen, look decent. And the settings are really cool and add a lot to the movie. If this was done somewhere else, I'd probably be giving it a one and a half. The third and final thing I liked about the movie was the ending. It was pretty fitting.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 04, 2011
    Living Dead At Manchester Morgue is one of the zombie genres greatest masterpieces. A near flawless film with a phenomenal story, the dead start rising after experiments with sonic waves. Released under several titles, this neglected zombie film has resurfaced once again under the supervision of Blue Underground and they have restored this film in all it's glory. Living Dead At Manchester Morgue is a must see film for zombie and horror fans alike. This film has been called one of the greatest zombie films ever filmed, and I have to agree. This is definitely one of the best zombie films and it shouldn't be neglected. The story at times is a bit uneven, but the film manages to provide enough zombie action to compensate for the films uneveness. This film is a classic of the genre and it's a film that zombie fans should check out if they haven't already. Living Dead At Manchester Morgue is a well crafted film that strong on atmosphere, and thats what makes it such a good, and effective horror film. Atmosphere is everything in a horror film, especially in a zombie film. Living Dead At Manchester Morgue is definitely one of the top zombie films ever filmed, and it stands as one of the best films of it's kind. A must see film.
    Alex r Super Reviewer

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