Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue)

Great movie poster.  Blah movie.

Great movie poster. Blah movie.

Let sleeping corpses lie also known as the living dead a the Manchester morgue is yet another fairly well known European zombie flick, no doubt created in the wake of the success of Romero’s American zombie works.  Apparently someone was sleeping (get it, sleeping) when they were studying other zombie movies, because besides a few gnarly scenes, this walking dead romp is lacking in the fundamentals.

Gore specifically.  Sure, you can make a zombie flick without heavily relying on blood and guts to keep the audience interested, but it’s kinda like ice skating uphill.  The very nature of the dead coming back to life to eat the living brings all sorts of wild images into the imagination, and unless your a master at creating atmosphere and a tight, tense story, your going to have to have some seriously gross scenes to keep people squirming, and above all keep them caring.

Acting isn’t to fault here, as you might expect with a foreign, dubbed zombie film.  Our main duo do their jobs adequately, so much so that’s there’s really nothing I can complain about.  I just wish there was more for them in terms of harrowing scenes, violence, and atmosphere to react and be a part of.  The supporting cast isn’t really too important, but I should mention the inspector, who does a great job as being the “non-believer” prick type guy throughout the whole ordeal.

The plot is more than serviceable, as a pair of “hippie” types run into each other at a gas station, then later are accused of murder, for which the real culprit is of course, zombies.  According to this mythos though, zombies don’t show up in photographs, are sometimes referred to as ghosts, can speed up their shuffle walk when need be, and their only weakness is fire.

Directing is kept pretty modest, with a few interesting POV shots and interesting angles, but nothing really pops off the screen and grabs you.  In horror, there’s a major difference between watching and experiencing, and this definitely falls into the category of just something you merely watch.

I was expecting a lot more, especially since Sleeping Corpses has a strong online reputation and following.  For the zombie enthusiast, this is somewhat recommendable, but chances are if your ga-ga about the undead, you have already seen or at least heard of this one.  To the more casual fan, this is easily overlooked, as the European theater of film has literally dozens of superior walking dead titles to choose from.

As for the Inspector I mentioned earlier.  We do get an awesome quote from him though.

“You’re all the same the lot of you, with your long hair and faggot clothes. Drugs, sex, every sort of filth!”

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About Alex Seda

"I watched him for fifteen years, sitting in a room, staring at a wall, not seeing the wall, looking past the wall - looking at this night, inhumanly patient, waiting for some secret, silent alarm to trigger him off. Death has come to your little town, Sheriff. Now you can either ignore it, or you can help me to stop it." ~Dr. Loomis email alex
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2 Responses to Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue)

  1. ErinLashley says:

    I have to politely disagree. I believe you’re confusing Italian zombie movies and Spanish zombie movies. (And yes, I know some of this movie was filmed in Italy but the director was Spanish.) For one thing, this movie makes sense unlike Mr. Fulci’s much-lauded gorefests. Also, like the zombies in the Blind Dead series, these walking dead folks are afraid of fire and can be fooled by a would-be victim holding his or her breath.

    I like to see someone get ripped apart and eaten as much as the next person, but that’s not what LSCL was about. It plays on the 70s perception that the world is going to shit and the fact that humans are mucking about with nature is a big reason why. It’s about the fear of being vilified for being different, the fear of the world ending around you while no one believes your warning and ultimately the inability to protect the ones you care about from death. I think there is plenty of room in the zombie sub-genre for psychological horror like this. And how awesome is the scene when the non-believing inspector finally gets convinced?

  2. bulldozer86 says:

    Good call, I re-read my own review, and in hindsight, I understand more than I did the first go around. I guess with the lighting, the music, and the slight cheese factor, I am always expecting Balls-out Zombie flicks, busting at the seems with exploding heads and gut munching. I too like the heady zombie sometimes, but I’ll take Zombi 2 and Dead and Breakfast (totally something I should review for MS) over 28 days and LSCL. One thing is for sure, Zombie movies should be there own category in film, because there is so many sub-genres and styles of making a zombie flick, it’s staggering.

    Thanks for the comment and are you on the aim, gchat, or any of those things?

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