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Tag: Ray Lovelock

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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Queens of Evil

by on Feb.28, 2010, under Daily Review

This is an astonishing piece of cinema, and one which deserves much more attention and praise. French/Italian production, it’s filmed with charm and elegance with a captivating plot, intriguing, gripping, mesmerising. A great cast, (Lovelock and Politoff are both outstanding) brilliant script and a tremendous storyline which leaves the view questioning with plenty of talking points regarding social and cultural issues, which would have been huge mile stones at the time of filming, yet still very relevant in today’s climate.

Ray Lovelock plays a carefree traveller, cruising the countryside on his motorbike, looking for whatever grabs his attention, free love and peace to all men. After helping a rich bloke (Guido Alberti) out with a flat tyre, he is involved in an accident, causing the rich fella to crash and die. Failing to flag down help, he hit’s the road heading to ‘Summer Lake.’ Spending the night in a barn, he is awaken by three beautiful women (Ida Galli, Silvia Monti, Haydee Politoff) who offer his food, shelter, fun and love in their ‘Snow White’ styled cottage, but this is only the first of a series of tests of faith for the young traveller.

Tonino Cervi’s second film as director, following up his incredible debut, ‘Today it’s me, tomorrow it’s you’ has a great eye for detail, capturing emotion through various lesser seen techniques creating a fine visual movie. The cast are small, yet offered great support with a fine script which questions reason’s for sin, women’s rights, social standards and structure and of cause, free love. It’s Final moments of the film are shocking and will leave the viewer thing with memorable scenes running through the mind.  The rich bloke with the flat tyre is back at the end, and his true identity revealed. A great quote from him goes ‘we need these people to understand the pleasure of their sin!’

The film also carries connotations of Grimm fairy tales, a travelling prince, cottage in the forest, castle in the woods, evil king, three beautiful princess’ and a series of tasks. The other similarity here would be ‘The Wickerman’ dealing with pagan values against modern social issues, with an outsider as the protagonist, unsure of his surroundings. Even the name of the town is suggestive.

Other highlights are the Bob Dylan style folk tracks played throughout the film, with vocals credited to Lovelock.

A great find. This won’t disappoint fans of 70’s euro horror.

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