Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue(1974)
Two traveling companions, George (Ray Lovelock of 'Autopsy') and Edna (Christine Galbo of 'The Killer Must Kill Again'), come across a small town infested with the “living dead” that are satisfying their cannibalistic hunger on anyone they come across. Discovering that an agricultural machine using radiation waves is at the root of all the havoc, George and Edna fight for survival and their innocence as they are pursued by a relentless detective (Arthur Kennedy of 'The Antichrist' and 'Fantastic Voyage') who is convinced they are responsible for the ghoulish acts of violence plaguing the countryside.
For more about The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue and the The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue Blu-ray release, see the The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on October 23, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Fernando Hilbeck, Jose Lifante, Raymond Lovelock, Arthur Kennedy, Cristina Galbo, Jeannine Mestre
Director: Jorge Grau
» See full cast & crew
The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue Blu-ray Review
Blu-ray brings this "dead" film to life.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, October 23, 2009
The dead don't walk around except in very bad paperback novels.
The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, a.k.a. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, a.k.a. Don't Open the Window, a.k.a. Weekend With the Dead, a.k.a. Brunch With the Dead a.k.a. No Profanen el Sueño de los Muertos, a.k.a. Fin de Semana Para los Muertos, a.k.a. ad infinitum, might not enjoy the same mainstream recognition as the standard-bearers of the Zombie genre -- George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead, its remake, Shaun of the Dead, or even the brand new Zombieland -- but it's every bit as chilling, influential, and grotesque as the best the genre has to offer. This is straight Zombie goodness; it lacks the humor of a Shaun of the Dead but it does feature social commentary on the balance of power between man and nature and the generational gap that defined the era in which it was made, but it's not quite as overt as the commentary found in Romero's Dead films. Generally, however, The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue goes straight for the jugular -- or the brains or the intestines -- and delivers a heavily atmospheric, deliberately-paced, deliciously gruesome Zombie experience that, no matter what title it's going by today, remains a favorite of genre aficionados.
It was an idyllic afternoon, but the lives of two random individual will forever be intertwined when a young, sleepy motorists backs her car into a man's parked motorcycle. George's (Ray Lovelock) bike cannot be fixed for several days, so he insists that Edna (Christine Galbo) drive him to his destination. Unfortunately, Edna needs to go in a different direction to get to her sister Katie's (Jeannine Mestre) home, and George ultimately relents. When George and Edna cannot find their destination, George asks for directions from scientists working with an experimental agricultural device that utilizes radiation meant to replace poisonous chemicals in the unending quest to rid the crops of unwanted insects. Meanwhile, Edna is accosted by a stumbling man with frightening red eyes. She barely escapes and soon learns that her sister has recently encountered a similar man that killed her husband in a struggle. Unfortunately, a local police detective (Arthur Kennedy) suspects foul play, particularly considering George's long hair and Katie's drug addiction. When the bodies start to pile up, the inspector closes in on his suspect while George desperately tries to convince anyone who will listen that the newfangled agricultural device is actually reanimating the dead.
One of the many things that makes The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue a superior Zombie picture is its dire, grim, and generally nasty tone. Though the film's earlier segments don't take on such a downtrodden tone, the somewhat grayish-bland appearance does set a pace for what's to come, and once the film gets going it revels in a look that makes practically every frame appear grim, hopeless, and inhospitable, a look and feel that's just right for a Zombie movie. There's an overlaying sense of filth about the more grotesque sequences; the visual tone is almost enough to elicit false awareness from the other senses, particularly the sense of smell. It's a sign of a truly effective Horror movie when the visual atmosphere alone drives the other senses into believing that whatever is happening on-screen is truly palpable, and The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue does just that. It's a credit to Jorge Grau's strong direction that consistently keeps viewers on their toes thanks to his deliberate pacing that allows for strong characterization and story development that escalate the tension, violence, and scares that come later and are heightened by that nasty-feeling overtone. The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue is a superbly-crafted film all around, but its atmospherics and insistence on exploring true Horror overtones -- both of the physical variety and those less superficial themes that comment on man's relationship with both his environment and with one another -- prove just as important to the experience as the gore.
Speaking of gore, The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue delivers a hearty dosage in the final act that's as scrumptious as anything to ever find its way into a Romero flick. Zombies enjoy several meals consisting of various human innards, and on the flip side, there are several nicely-done effects of the flesh eaters getting their due at the end of a weapon. Still, the gore is but icing on the cake; Jorge Grau understands that gore is but a finishing touch, and that a movie cannot survive on grisly visuals alone. The film boasts a small but competent cast that deliver performances that match the mood of the film nicely. These aren't superheroes, sharpshooters, or any kind of survival expert. They're painted as normal people thrust into abnormal circumstances, and never once do they magically transform into efficient zombie-killing machines. The counterculture message that found its way into plenty of movies in the late 1960s and early 1970s is in full swing here, as George's running verbal confrontation with the stalwart and traditional detective ultimately proves just as damaging to the situation as the undead. There's a sense of realism to the picture, and even though the story -- that radically advanced radiation and agricultural techniques are to blame for the grisly goings-on -- might not be particularly believable in an absolute sense, it's a good a reason as any, particularly in a genre that really doesn't need a reason to begin with (though nothing will ever top "when there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth") but uses the plot as a springboard to speak out against man's impact on the natural order of things.
The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue is revived on Blu-ray with a good 1080p, 1.85:1 transfer. It's important to note that this isn't the stuff of eye candy, but the film's intended tone is wonderfully realized here, particularly considering the era from which the film hails. The transfer is generally clear, nicely detailed, and appropriately grainy to lend to it that wonderful cinematic look. Much of the action takes place during daylight hours and around a lush English countryside. The many greens are richly colored, though some longer-distance backgrounds tend to look a bit smeared and indistinct. However, appropriately up-close objects, including pebbles and rocks on a pathway, are nicely rendered and sharp. Fine detail elsewhere is about as good as one might expect of a low budget film that's more than three decades old; stone and brick exterior walls are nicely textured, and various indoor shots showcase a nice array of wonderfully-detailed objects. Flesh tones are presented naturally and blacks are never overtly problematic. All in all, this is another splendid transfer from Blue Underground.
The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue delivers a serviceable DTS-HD MA 7.1 lossless soundtrack. Despite the 7.1 monicker, listeners shouldn't expect the next whiz-bang surround sound extravaganza with this one. It's limited to the source (and the original monaural track is included) so it's generally front- and center-channel heavy. Several high-pitched screeches in the film do threaten to scatter the pets and pop the eardrums, but there are very few other instances of loud and discrete sound effects. Atmospherics are limited to the front half of the soundstage, too, and as a rule the back channels remain virtually silent throughout. The undead moan and groan with a hint of bass in accompaniment, and there are several low-end beats to the score that aren't particularly clear or robust but do help to set the tone of the film and prove somewhat unnerving. Dialogue is often problematic; there are obvious lip synch issues and a lot of dubbing, but no particularly distracting issues relating to dialogue discernment. All said, however, this is a basic sort of soundtrack but it's about all one could -- and should -- expect of a low budget, mid-70s Zombie flick.
The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue scares up a nice selection of extra materials. Back to the Morgue: On Location With Director Jorge Grau (480p, 44:51) features the director revisiting the shooting locations and describing the action that occurred at each place. He also discusses the film's ecological themes, its many titles, props, the script, and more, all intermixed with corresponding scenes from the film. The piece is presented in Spanish with English subtitles. Zombie Fighter -- Interview With Star Ray Lovelock (480p, 15:41) features the actor who portrayed "George" recalling his career with special emphasis on The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue. The piece is presented in Italian with forced English subtitles. Next is Zombie Maker -- Interview With Special Effects Artist Giannetto De Rossi (480p, 16:05). Again presented in Italian with English subtitles, the effects guru speaks extensively on his work in The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue; this proves to be the most interesting supplement on the disc. 2000 Interview With Director Jorge Grau (480p, 20:27) is a solid retrospective piece that features the director reflecting on several aspects of the film a quarter-century after the fact, including the performances of the actors, the development of the sound effects and music, the special effects, and more. Also included is the film's international trailer (1080p, 3:51), U.S. trailer advertising the film as Don't Open the Window (480p, 0:27), a TV spot (480p, 0:32), several radio spots accompanied by a poster gallery (480p, 2:08), and a separate poster and still gallery (480p, 2:53).
The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Though best known around circles populated by genre aficionados, The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue -- or whatever one might choose to call it -- comes close to matching the superiority of the best of the mainstream Zombie pictures that have made the genre popular and accessible to more general audiences. Though the film starts off rather slowly, its deliberate pace allows for the crafting of a superior story that makes the film's bloody third act all the more intense and gratifying. Supported by strong effects and a wonderfully chilling atmosphere, The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue is a bona-fide classic of its genre, and this Blue Underground release will hopefully allow the film to gain a new following from viewers that might only now be taking an interest in Zombie pictures thanks to the recent influx of superb mainstream efforts. Boasting a strong 1080p transfer, a passable lossless soundtrack, and a fine helping of extra materials, The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, a.k.a. A Must Own Blu-ray comes highly recommended.
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue in the search box below.
Similar titles suggested by members
The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue Blu-ray, News and Updates
• The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue Announced for BD - July 3, 2009
Blue Underground has announced that they will bring 'The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue' to Blu-ray on October 27th. The film, also known as 'Let Sleeping Corpses Lie' and 'Don't Open the Window', will be presented in 1.85:1 1080p VC-1 accompanied by a 7.1 DTS-HD ...
The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.