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The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue

by on Mar.01, 2010, under Daily Review

As zombie movies go, this is by far, one of the best. Using its own plot device and culture rather than impersonating or picking up where Romero left off. A great cast have plenty of form to sink their teeth into with a great plot and script and amazingly beautiful locations in which Spanish Director Jorge Grau has room to play. Perfectly paced with very solid, steady camerawork. This is very near perfection.

The story follows an antiques dealer, George (Ray Lovelock) from London who, after closing up shop for the weekend, heads for the Lake District on his motorbike, for his lake cottage to enjoy some country air with peace and quiet. Whist filling up at a petrol station, his bike is hit by Mini, driven by the beautiful Edna (Cristina Galbo). There lies the groundings for the perfect team to get to the bottom of this Zombie tale. Whilst driving to their destination, George discover a farm using a new experimental sonic insecticide, meanwhile Edna is attacked by a crazy man who, as it happens was the old tramp Guthrie (Fernanodo Hilbeck) who drowned recently in the lake. Could the two have something in common?  

The film covers social prejudice also, with the two main characters, George and Edna, continually dismissed by the locals and police as good for nothing hippies, whilst these are the only two doing anything about the emerging terror. Whilst also bringing to light the problems of using artificial solutions for the farming of our produce and the effect of chemicals upon unborn babies. All this to think about whilst flesh eating zombies rip their way through the countryside, church and local hospital. Brilliant.

As mentioned, the acting is brilliant, allowing some memorable and believable characters. Lovelock and Galbo are mesmerising, with such screen presence, but many of the supporting roles are equally as intense. Katie, Edna’s sister played by Jeannine Mestre is very good, Aldo Massasso as her photographer husband, but the local Police Inspector is amazingly good. Arthur Kennedy take the role and brings the character to life with real guts. Some great lines offered ‘Button up man, you’re wearing a uniform, not pyjamas’ and ‘you’re all the same with your long hair and faggot clothes’.  

A great double twist to the end of the film also makes for great viewing. This is a real cult classic.  

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