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Let Sleeping Corpses Lie


Title: Let Sleeping Corpses Lie
Year Of Release: 1974
Running Time: 93 minutes
DVD Released By: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Directed By: Jorge Grau
Writing Credits: Sandro Continenza, Marcello Coscia

Starring: Cristina Galbó, Ray Lovelock, Arthur Kennedy
Taglines:
1. They tampered with nature - now they must pay the price...
2. What ever's out there will wait!
3. Your tearing flesh will scream for death!
Alternate Titles:
1. Breakfast at the Manchester Morgue
2. The Living Dead
3. The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue
4. Don't Open the Window

Review Date: 4.1.16

Shadow's Title: "Spanish Zombies in Derbyshire"

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DVD
Let Sleeping Corpses Lie 

Characters
George Meaning – An art and antiques dealer from Manchester who is looking forward to a quiet weekend in the country. Then he meets Edna who backs into his motorcycle, forcing him to hitch a ride with her. Things just go downhill from there and soon enough the pair of them are on the run from walking dead people as well as fascist police officers.
Edna Simmonds – She’s on her way to visit her sister in the country when a chance encounter and bad driving on her part pairs her with George as a travelling companion. She is the first one to deal with a zombie and no one believes her story. As the situation gets worse, so does her slim grip on sanity and before too long she’s ready for a straightjacket.
Katie West – This is Edna’s sister. We don’t know the circumstances under which it occurred, but Katie has developed quite the heroin habit. She doesn’t seem too interested in giving it up and her husband wants to have her sent to a clinic, calling for Edna to help persuade Katie to go. In hindsight, the clinic may have been the safest place of all.
Martin West – Aside from dealing with his heroin-addicted wife, he seems to love photography. There are photos plastered all around their house and he even goes out at night to set up timed cameras that snap photos every few seconds. It’s while engaged in this latter activity that he has a deadly encounter with a walking stiff…and I don’t mean a campaigning Republican.
Sergeant McCormick – Listed as “The Inspector” at the IMdB, everyone called him “Sergeant” and at one point Edna was calling for a “Sergeant McCormick” so I assumed it was him. A better name would have been Sergeant AssHat. From the beginning, he didn’t like George and Edna and assumed they were guilty, ignoring all the facts and twisting circumstantial evidence to suit his own theories.
Police Constable Craig – He gets the task of tailing George and Edna after they are suspected of having something to do with Martin’s death. He follows them to the cemetery where George had taken Edna to prove to her that dead people were not walking around. Of course George was proved to be wrong and poor Craig here ended up as an afternoon snack for a trio of zombies.
Dr. Duffield – He works at the local hospital and is mystified by the rash of violent newborn babies. Then George tells him about the new machine operated by the Ministry of Agriculture that uses “ultrasonic radiation” to kill insects by affecting their primitive nervous systems. Duffield thinks the two are related but can’t prove anything.
Guthrie Wilson – A local vagrant that recently drowned. The Ministry of Agriculture’s new machine is responsible for resurrecting him. Being a zombie brings with it quite a few things like dark red eyes, a taste for human flesh, enhanced strength, apparent super speed (how else to explain how some zombies get around so damn fast?), the ability to raise new zombies from existing corpses and an inability to be photographed.

 

The Plot Hold your cursor over an image for a pop-up caption

No, I want the truth, damn it!We open on the interior of George Meaning’s antique and modern art shop. All manner of things fill the place, including several dozen truly hideous paintings. If I barfed on a canvas after eating five pounds of skittles, it would look better than some of these things. George is packing up various items into a satchel - which include a small, primitive-looking statue - and soon enough is exiting and locking the place up. He places a sign in the window that states the shop will be closed for the holidays. Then he hops on his motorcycle and zips away through the city of Manchester.

We get numerous shots of him navigating the streets of Manchester which allows the filmmakers to highlight the fashions of the day as well as all the hustle and bustle of the big city. There are plenty of shots focusing on the pollution and detritus marring the cityscape as well as the crowds and busy streets. When he’s stopped at a traffic light, a woman standing on the sidewalk suddenly casts aside the long overcoat she is wearing to reveal that she is buck naked underneath. Then she proceeds to run across the street in full view of the waiting cars, her ample assets bouncing around something fierce. Nobody seems to really take much notice of her. They all seem bored and focused on their own miserable lives. I have to say that her streaking was quite unexpected and I found it quite the nice surprise. Alas, that’s the only nudity we’ll be getting in this movie. Intercut with these scenes of urban sprawl are brief glimpses of the pastoral countryside and soon enough George has left the city behind and is now cruising through the lush green fields of the English countryside.

George pulls into a gas station…er…excuse me, a petrol station to presumably fuel up his bike. He gets off and walks over to a stand that has canned drinks. As he is opening one and taking a drink, there is a crash and he turns to see that the woman in the car parked in front of his bike has backed right into his set of wheels. She apologizes and explains that she mistakenly had the car in reverse. On the good side, his satchel of antiques is unharmed. On the bad side, his motorcycle isn’t going anywhere. The station attendant looks it over and declares that it will need a new wheel, which will have to come from Glasgow. Since this is Friday, the earliest he will be able to get it is on Monday. With no other choice, George leaves his bike to be repaired.

George now turns to the woman who hit his bike and asks if she is going to Windermere. She says she isn’t going there but some place nearby. George says that she will take him there regardless and adds that it is the least that she can do. She agrees and they hop in her car, George announcing that he will drive and adding in some comment about not wanting to go the entire way in reverse. She says that he will be doing her a favor, as she has driven all the way from London and is quite knackered. He tells her to go to sleep while he drives. With that, off they go! Hey, he never even paid for that canned drink he opened and sampled!

Rather than sleep, she lights up a cigarette which he promptly takes from her and says thank you. She lights up another one and asks if he isn’t taking just a little too much for granted. He replies that he is not going to “jump her” and gives her his name. She tells him her name – Edna.

The country road they are traversing is not very wide, so when they come up behind a truck from the Manchester City Mortuary, it takes up most of the road. With much honking of horns and waving of hands (including the two-fingered version of flipping the bird that is frequently used in British Commonwealth countries) George manages to race past the large truck on the side of the road. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want some hot head like that driving my car so soon after just meeting him for the first time. Edna is either very trusting or something of an idiot. Maybe both. Time will tell.

George tells her that in Windermere, all he plans on doing is meeting with some friends and then listening to the grass grow until Monday. When the road forks, he takes the road to Windermere, but she pleads with him to go the other way – to Southgate - which is where her destination lies. She mumbles something about her sister, but provides no further details. More whining on her part convinces George to take her there. I guess he figured it was that or have her whine, plead and nag him the entire way to Windermere.

We see the car pass through the town of Southgate and I must say, George really is flying. The roads are very narrow, especially between the ancient buildings and there is no way he’d have enough time to brake properly if someone suddenly stepped out from behind a corner and into the road. There would be a definite splat. I don’t even want to know what would result if he encountered a car coming from a cross street that was careening through town equally as fast and careless as him. They’d be picking up body parts for days in a case like that.

Edna is not sure exactly how to reach her sister’s place, as she has only been there once before and all the country roads look the same to her. Sure enough, they reach the end of the road they are on, which dead ends in the middle of a ravine with steep hills on either side and a wide stream rolling down the center. The only way forward is on a foot path. A sign says that the Lewis farm sits nearby, so George decides to ask directions to Edna’s sister’s place. He takes the car keys with him, not quite trusting Edna to not leave him stranded on foot, and then walks across a series of large stones to the opposite side of the stream. There he follows a dirt path up and over the top of the hill. Now alone, Edna gets out and lights up a cigarette.

The design team had to rethink their new weed wacker when the extended blades kept chopping off peoples’ feet.George follows the path until he comes to a farm. No one seems to be around, but then he spots a trio of men out in one of the fields. They have what looks to be a converted combine harvester and on the side are the words, “Agricultural Dept. – Midland Area – Experimental Section.” Two guys dressed all in white are showing the local farmer how to work some gizmo which looks like a funky radio dish that they are passing back and forth over the ground. George approaches and inquires into what they are doing. They explain that the gizmo is a new method that utilizes ultrasonic radiation to kill unwanted bugs and insects. They consider it safe, since it does not use any chemicals that could potentially harm people or livestock. George then asks the farmer for directions to the West place.

Back at the car, Edna is walking around, following the path around a corner in the ravine. Words like tranquil, calm, peaceful and serene could be used to describe the locale and indeed, I would love to call such a place home and get away from the big city (or in my case, medium size city). As she heads back to the car, she senses something and turns around, but sees nothing. She takes a few more steps and then spins around again. There, a short ways away is a man staggering around. He walks like he just came off a three day bender or as if he had a broomstick shoved up his butt and he was finding it difficult to ambulate properly.

The strange guy, who is wheezing something awful, like he just spent the last thirty years smoking five packs of cigarettes a day, turns and sees Edna. We see that his eyes are a strange reddish color. He begins stumbling after Edna, who quickly turns and runs to the car. She gets in, but cannot start it since George still has the keys. The strange guy comes up and reaches through the open window, grasping at her. She exits through the opposite side and runs across the stones that bisect the stream. Naturally, she only makes it about four or five steps before losing her balance falling into the water.

About now George and the farmer are walking from the other direction. Edna runs up the hill to them and calls to George, telling him that there was a man that tried to attack her. Of course, there is no one in sight now. Edna is near frantic and insists that there was a man there and gives a description of what he looked like and what he was wearing, adding that he was wet, as if he had just come out of the water. Upon hearing this, the farmer says that the description fits that of Guthrie the Looney, a tramp that used to sleep down by the river but who is now dead…having drowned himself a week earlier. Since the prime suspect is dead, the farmer thinks it is just another vagrant that has taken up begging for change. Having gotten the directions to Edna’s sister’s place, George leads her back to the car.

We now turn our attention to the house of Martin and Katie West, the latter being Edna’s sister. Martin is in a dark room, developing a number of photos. He emerges and hangs them along a line to dry. We see more photos hanging around the place and must conclude that he is either a photographer by trade or by hobby. He gathers up some things in a big man-purse and heads outside, where we see that it is now dark.

He follows some sounds and sees the door to an outdoor shed being closed. He enters and finds his wife. She claims that she was just after some strawberries so she could make a pie for her sister. He looks the fruit over and when all he sees is strawberries, she asks if she can go. There is a tense exchange between the two where we learn that it was his idea to call her sister Edna and that he wants her to go somewhere and she refuses to do so. She then storms out…without the strawberries. He follows her back to the front door of their home where she stands, crying. He tells her to get a hold of herself while he goes to set up the camera and flashes for the last series of photos. He then walks off down a nearby path into the darkened countryside.

Elsewhere, George and Edna are in her car and she gets the feeling that he doesn’t believe her story about being attacked by a tramp. They argue a wee bit and drive on, trying to find Martin and Katie’s place.

Speaking of Martin, he’s someplace where there is a small pond fed by a waterfall cascading down a hillside. He has set up lights and his camera and the timer is going off every few seconds, snapping a photo. The camera must run out of film because we see him remove it from its tripod.

Accidentally mixing up the sugar and heroin made for some shit tasting tea.Cutting back over to the house, we see Katie back out in the shed. Alas, she is not there to fetch the strawberries that were left behind earlier. No, she’s there to cook up some heroin and inject it into her arm. This is her big secret! She’s a heroin addict and that’s why Martin was concerned over what she was doing alone in the shed. The place he wants her to go and which she adamantly claimed she would not be going to, must be a rehab clinic of some sort. Anyway, as she’s loading her needle up, there is a squealing sound, like metal on metal. Thinking it to be her husband, she calls out to him, but there is no answer.

She looks around and finds a trail of water leading into the shed and disappearing into one dark corner. There is the sound of labored breathing and who should come stumbling out of that darkness? Yup, Guthrie the loon. Now, I have a question before we go any further. Earlier, that farmer told George and Edna that Guthrie had drowned a week ago. Edna claimed that when she saw him, his clothes were wet, like he had just climbed out of the water. That encounter with Edna had to have occurred at least an hour or two ago, time enough for his clothes to dry somewhat. So why is he dripping water all over the place now? Did he take another dip in the river? I think the answer is yes. Look at it this way: he sure got here fast. Certainly faster than George and Edna, who are in a car. The only way for him to have reached this place ahead of them is if he ran like hell over the hills and fields , a feat I’m not sure a dead man is capable of performing, or he hopped in the river and either swam here or just allowed the current to bring him this way. I guess this is evidence that zombies may navigate via waterways. For some reason the often used phrase “he always travels the creeks” from The Legend of Boggy Creek comes to mind, even if that film dealt with a BHM (Big Hairy Monster) and not walking dead people. So where was I? Oh, yeah.

So Guthrie comes stumbling after Katie, who didn’t even get the chance to shoot up. Since he is blocking the way out, she is forced to use a shovel to break the closest window and climb out, calling for Martin the entire time. She hauls ass for Martin’s location and reaches it just as Guthrie catches up to her. They struggle and she manages to get away. Martin runs up and tries to fight Guthrie. His camera is dutifully snapping photos every few seconds, the flash lighting up the area and illuminating the three of them. To make a long story short, Guthrie kills Martin, but not before Martin bashed him in the head a few times with a rock, to no effect.

Guthrie comes after Katie again. She screams and runs away…almost directly into the path of the car carrying George and Katie. The headlights blind Guthrie, who turns and staggers away into the darkness. Edna tries to calm a frantic Katie while George walks over and finds Martin’s body.

Poof! Just like that it is daytime (we know this from the high levels of ambient light as well as the clear sky seen over the trees) and the cops are there taking photos of the crime scene. They are led by Sergeant McCormick, who is never directly referred to by name in this movie. I am only assuming that is his name because much later Edna will be calling for a Sergeant McCormick. Even the IMdB just lists him as The Inspector despite everyone calling him Sergeant. So for this review I will just refer to him as the Sergeant.

The medical examiner states that Martin’s chest has been caved in, with every bone smashed. This just proves to the Sergeant that they are dealing with a sadist and/or a lunatic. The Sergeant is a cranky man, and reprimands one officer for not having his uniform buttoned properly. George protests the need to keep him around for questioning as he didn’t even know Martin and feels as if he has nothing to do with the case, but The Sergeant refuses to let him and go and instructs one officer to continue with the interrogation.

The Sergeant walks back towards the house and now it looks like the sun is getting ready to set! Remember, George got directions to the West place while it was still very much bright outside, so it could not have been dark too long when they arrived…which was after Guthrie killed Martin. If it was daylight a moment ago and is now getting dark, that means a full 24 hours have nearly passed since the attack. Are you seriously telling me that it took all night and all day for the cops to come and investigate the crime scene? Wow, that sure is slow. I suppose Cops Slowly Investigate is what CSI stands for in hose parts (in reality, I think this one particular shot was filmed at a darker time of the evening while the other shots in this scene were definitely shot during the day). The Sergeant is then told some info from one of the uniformed cops. According to him, one of the neighbors has informed him that there was bad blood between Katie and Martin and they had been seen fighting more than once.

Heading into the house, where Katie is a nervous wreck and being questioned by another detective, The Sergeant asks how things are progressing. The other cop says that Katie’s story remains consistent and that she claims she and Martin were attacked by a man in black. Edna pipes in and says it was the same man that attacked her and asks the Sergeant why she should invent such a tale. The Sergeant thinks she would fabricate such a story in order to back up Katie's story.

“Try some of this tea! It tastes like crap but just add some sugar. Then watch out!”Edna tries to get Katie to have some tea and cookies…er…pardon me, digestive biscuits while The Sergeant looks over the photos Martin has hung on the walls, including several of Katie in the nude. He asks what the pictures are all about, but Katie claims she cannot remember. He implies that she and Martin fought a lot and were alone when he died. Edna wants to know how he could think that Katie could have killed her husband as it would have taken a very strong man to perform such a murderous feat.

The Sergeant now removes from his pocket the container of heroin belonging to Katie. When she sees this she gets visibly agitated and starts shaking worse than a porcupine on his wedding night, nearly spilling her tea and cookies...er…biscuits. The Sergeant claims that people on drugs can do things beyond that of normal folks and may not even recall doing it at a later time (yeah, it’s called acting like a colossal asshole). He wants Katie to admit to taking heroin the night before but she (rightly) refuses. Edna wants to know what motive Katie would have for killing Martin and at this point our earlier suspicions are confirmed. Martin was planning to move Katie into a clinic and this was the entire reason for Edna coming to visit.

About now George enters and tries to appeal to the Sergeant. He explains that he was just in these parts to visit some friends and relax. Naturally, this is like asking a vegan to sample your new beef carpaccio recipe. The Sergeant is not about to let him or Edna go, informing them that they need to book rooms in the local hotel so they can be available for further questioning.

As George and Edna head outside to her car, they see a police officer putting Martin’s camera equipment in one of the police cars. Edna suddenly remembers that her sister told her how the camera was snapping photos the entire time the strange guy (Guthrie) was following her and then attacking Martin. George has her distract the cop while he removes the film from the police car. He wants to have it developed privately, feeling that the cops would never admit to being wrong. They hop in Edna’s car and split.

In town, George drops the film off at a local place to be developed and then the two go to The Old Owl Hotel to book rooms. Once there, George makes a phone call to the people he was originally planning on meeting, explaining his tardiness. While he is on the phone, Edna gets word that her sister has suffered a breakdown and has been taken to the hospital. Edna pleads for George to accompany her and he apparently agrees as the next thing we see is the pair of them arriving at the local hospital in her car. They enter through the front, but we are treated to a brief scene of dead people in refrigerated caskets being loaded up into a truck…the same mortuary truck that George and Edna blew past on the road the previous day.

Inside the hospital Edna visits Katie while George wanders around. He comes across a couple of the refrigerated caskets, albeit empty ones. A Doctor Duffield explains to him that when it comes to dead folks, all the autopsies and tests on organs and such all take place in Manchester, so the bodies need to be kept cool during transport. About now an alarm goes off and the Doctor says that it is “the nursery again," before rushing away. George follows and when they arrive at the nursery there is a nurse that is being helped away, having been blinded in one eye by one of the newborns. The baby in question needs to be sedated and there is blood on it from where it attacked the nurse. Before you worry that perhaps we’d wandered into a Larry Cohen film, we learn that this is the third baby born since the previous day that has been near homicidal in its aggressiveness. The doctor says that all the babies come from the same area around Southgate – near the river. George remembers the strange contraption being used on the farm to kill insects and tells the doctor about it. The Doctor says he would like to have a look at it, so…

…George and Doctor Duffield are out at the Lewis farm, speaking to the two guys in white that operate the gizmo in question. One guy explains that the ultrasonic radiation works on the insects’ nervous system, driving them mad. This in turn makes the bugs attack one another in a frenzy of violence until they are all dead. The current range is only one mile, but they are hoping to boost it up to five. Despite all this, they don’t see how it could have anything to do with the violent babies. The radiation will only affect things with primitive nervous systems. Human would be too evolved to be affected. George and Doctor Duffield leave and as they walk to the car, the Doctor notes how a newborn’s nervous system is still at a very elementary stage. George wanders why he doesn’t do something about it and the Doctor tells him that all they have is a hunch. Moving the bureaucracy that is government will take concrete facts, and even then the civic wheels would turn very slow.

“These nude selfies didn’t quite turn out the way I had hoped.”“I’ll be confiscating these nude photos for my collecti…er…the evidence file. Yeah, that’s it.”Later, George and Edna pick up the developed photos from Martin’s film. A strange thing has happened. In all the photos, Katie and Martin can be clearly seen, but there is no sign at all of Guthrie. The lack of Guthrie in some photos makes it look like Katie was attacking Martin. Edna is again adamant that she didn’t invent this attacker. She even asks the store owner if he has a picture of Guthrie, but he says no.

The Sergeant comes strolling in about now to collect the photos and once he has seen them, he says he now understands why Edna didn’t want anyone to see them, implying that she is trying to cover for her sister. George asks the Sergeant if for a moment he has considered that he is barking up the wrong tree. The Sergeant replies, “Not when dealing with people like you. You’re all the same, the lot of you, with your long hair and faggot clothes, drugs, sex, every sort of filth.” So we can see that the Sergeant is one of these types that hates the fact that the world is changing and utterly detests the culture of the younger generation. He leaves, but reminds George and Edna not to be skipping town.

George and Edna go to leave, but the shop owner remembers that there is a photo of the deceased Guthrie in the newspaper, taken when his body was pulled from the river. He shows it to them and sure as shit, it’s the same guy that attacked Edna and then later, Katie and Martin. Edna gets upset, but George is still not buying this story about the attacker being this dead guy. He asks the shop owner about it and is told that Guthrie’s body was taken to the cemetery and that no one had the money to bury him, since he had been vagrant. With that, George and Edna hop in her car and speed off. The Sergeant sees them leave and feels that they are up to something. He details an officer Craig to follow them.

We have now reached the movie’s halfway point. Take a drink just for the hell of it if you’re still hanging in there. I think I’ll have two!

Deciding that he needs to prove to Edna that a dead man did not attack her and then kill her brother in law, George heads to the local cemetery. When they reach a fork in the road, he veers right, but when PC Craig arrives at the juncture, he pauses and then heads left. Watching these people drive makes me wonder if everyone in those parts drives so recklessly. They are just zooming down these narrow country roads. It seems the potential is very high to hit another car, a pedestrian or even a stray cow.

So George and Edna arrive at the cemetery, which apparently is located on top of a hill. They pull over on the side of the road near a sign and small gate and then get out of the car. From there they walk up a steep, winding path to where the church and graveyard are located somewhere on the top of the hill. I’d hate to be a pallbearer and have to lug a heavy coffin up that path! It might just be easier to lower the casket in by helicopter rather than carry it up that slope. I could just see someone getting tired and losing their grip and the next thing you know, poor old Uncle Fred’s body is doing cartwheels down the path to the roadway far below. There doesn’t seem to be anything other than a foot path, so unless there is another route to the church and cemetery, someone had to haul all the building materials and gravestones by hand up this steep hill.

At the top all is quiet and peaceful like cemeteries are supposed to be (and I’m pretty sure this was filmed in a location that was not actually up that path they just traversed). George calls out, but there is no answer. They check out the caretaker’s cottage, but again, there is no one to be seen or heard. Locating a cellar door, they descend some steep stairs into the area beneath the church. Nearby we see a freshly dug grave.

In the cellar they find several coffins. George looks at each one until he finds the one with Guthrie’s name on it. He opens it up to reveal…that it’s empty. Edna wants to go, but something catches their eye. Not far away, stashed into an alcove is the caretaker’s bloody body. No sooner have they processed this find than the heavy door at the top of the stairs is forced closed. They both haul ass up the stairs and bang on it, but there is no reply from outside. There is a wheezing sound and they turn around to see Guthrie standing at the bottom of the stairs. I found a few things to ponder at this point.

Why did they not notice Guthrie earlier? I realize this whole cellar area is dark, but surely a dead guy who wheezes worse than Darth Vader after running a hundred laps is impossible to miss. There was no way Guthrie could have closed the door and then run down the stairs and hide in the dark before they could have seen him.

Just how did Guthrie close the door at the top of the stairs? As we will soon see, he has no accomplice up top, so did he fabricate some elaborate system of wires ahead of time that he could use from his hiding place to close the door? Did the door just shut on its own?

Why is Guthrie here? Hell, how did he even get here? For a dead guy, he sure does get around!

“Um…excuse me…do you have a bandage by any chance?”So George struggles with Guthrie and at one point he grabs the long handle to a shovel (without the spade at the end) and stabs Guthrie a few times. This of course has no effect on the dead guy. Something really strange now happens. Guthrie dips his hand in some blood - presumably the dead caretaker’s blood – and then lurches over to a couple of open coffins containing dead bodies. He dabs blood over the eyes of each corpse and before you can say “George Romero!” the two bodies (a man and a woman) begin to stir and climb out of their coffins.

As this is transpiring, George spies a ladder against the wall that leads up into an alcove. He pushes Edna that way and they climb the ladder. At the top is cramped space. He uses the shovel to bang on the inside wall, which seems to be made of stone. Guthrie climbs the ladder to get to them but George just pushes him back down. George breaks through the stone and holds Guthrie at bay while Edna climbs through. She finds herself in the freshly dug grave we saw a short while ago, though I’m not sure why one would need access to a grave from the underside, unless you were a member of the Martense family and had the munchies.

About now PC Craig has located Edna’s parked car and figuring she and George are at the cemetery, he parks his own vehicle and follows the path up the hillside. He reports his whereabouts to The Sergeant via radio. He walks on and hears Edna calling for help. He rushes to the grave and fishes her out. He leaves his radio on the ground as he tries to console her.

Below, George has been fending off the dead people and finally manages to claw his way to the surface via the grave. Craig wants to know what is happening but there’s no time. Guthrie is up top and pulling a large wooden crucifix from the ground (it has a very pointy end) and the other two dead folks have ascended the stairs and somehow got the cellar door open with no difficulties. You know, for dead folks who don’t move very fast, they sure did get up those steps quickly enough…and how did Guthrie get up top anyway? The other two took the stairs, yet he didn’t come that way. What way did he know about that George and Edna could not see? Was there a secret passage or something? With the dead folks closing in from two directions, George pushes Edna into the caretaker’s room and then pulls in Craig in the nick of time, before Guthrie can clobber him with the big crucifix.

They bolt the door but immediately realize that there is no other way out. Finding a rifle in the caretaker’s stuff, Craig opens a small hatch in the door and takes aim at their assailants. He shoots two of them but they are not fazed one bit. He and George then barricade the door with the caretaker’s furniture. Then they all sit down to wait it out.

At this point Craig comes to a realization about the people outside. “They’re dead, aren’t they?” he asks. George confirms this but has no idea what has brought them back to life. After a moment of thought, he realizes that he does know. It’s the ultrasonic radiation from that doohickey being used to kill insects. It worked at the hospital on the babies and their undeveloped nervous systems, so why not on those of the dead? He hastily explains his theory to Craig. The officer says that it explains Guthrie but not the other two stiffs outside. George says that they transmit life to each other through the blood of the living. HUH?

The dead folks have decided that there has been enough talking and not nearly enough killing, so they start to bust down the door. George and Craig push more furniture against the door, but it won’t hold for long. Then there is a buzzing sound from outside. Craig says that it is his radio, which he left outside. If he could just get to it or the car, he could summon help.

Showing just how slow things move around these parts, we now turn our attention to the Sergeant, who is about to soil his shorts in frustration because Craig won’t respond to his radio calls. We now learn that he is at the West house and that the coroner has just now finished examining Martin’s body. Just now? How long has Martin’s corpse been lying out in that field? The Sergeant is going to give the coroner a ride back to the hospital, but decides to make a quick visit to the cemetery first.

At the cemetery, the dead people are uprooting a large headstone. Craig decides to make a run for his radio and gets George to help him open the door. He runs outside and struggles briefly with Guthrie. A couple feet away is the male zombie, holding that big headstone. Craig pushes Guthrie away and then turns to grab his radio. The other zombie throws the headstone and it lands on Craig’s leg, breaking it. The officer crawls to his radio and gets off a quick message about dead people trying to kill him. Before he can get any more out, the dead folks are on him. One holds him down while Guthrie tears open his abdomen, pulling out his guts. With an agonized scream, Craig dies. George watches from the door as the dead people start feasting on Craig’s tender morsels, which includes plucking out one of his eyes for a succulent treat.

Better get the name on the tombstone spelled correctly or you might have some irate dead folks on your hands.George turns back to Edna and tells her that they’ve got to get out of there, but before too many seconds pass, all three dead folks are using that big headstone to bang on the door in a continuing attempt at battering it down. Bang! Crash! Pow! The feeble barrier is cast aside and all three zombies waltz into the room. George throws a lamp at them, which crashes to the floor and breaks open, spreading flames across the room and igniting all of the zombies. With pitiful wails and gasping moans, the three dead folks are reduced to charred meat. George and Edna waste no time in exiting the building and running like hell.

They get to the vehicles and he tells her to take her car and tell the police what has happened while he takes the policer car to where that Ultrasonic Radiation Doohickey is located, so he can shut it down. She worries about Martin’s body, but he tells her that the Doohickey only has a range of a mile or so. He says that he will meet her back at the farm. She leaves and is well out of earshot when he realizes that he doesn’t have the keys to the police car. They must still be in Craig’s pocket. With no way to start the car, he is forced to make the journey on foot. Why can’t he just run back up the hill and retrieve the keys? It’s not like there are any more zombies stomping around the cemetery to threaten him.

We journey briefly to the West house where we see a police officer standing outside by his car, working a crossword puzzle in a magazine. There is a wheezing sound and he looks up to see…the very dead Martin West approaching him. This means two things. One, the range on that doohickey has been extended and two, despite having been examined by the coroner, Martin’s body still has not been collected by anyone. Sheesh, how long do these people let corpses lie around before taking them to the morgue? Anyway, the officer looks up at Martin and gets one of those, “oh, shit!” looks on his face.

Meanwhile, George has set a new speed record for running, as he is now over at the farm where the Doohickey is being used. The same farmer and the same two operators in white are there. George tells them what is happening and appeals to them to turn the machine off, but needless to say, they are not buying his story about walking dead people who kill and eat the living. Then they tell him how successful the machine has been at eliminating insects and tell him the range is up to five miles now. I knew it! When George hears this, he freaks out and tries to shut the gizmo down himself by grabbing a pipe wrench and banging on various components. The other three, perhaps thinking that they have a crazy person on their hands and fearing for their personal safety, run to a nearby van and leave. It seems George is gonna have to foot it to his next destination as well.

At the hospital, we see Katie resting in bed. A cop asks a nurse if Katie has received any calls from her sister or “that man.” The nurse tells him no, so he returns to his desk and his radio to inform the Sergeant (who no doubt called and asked) of this. The Sergeant is desperate to find them and orders a house to house search and says to start combing the countryside. It seems the Sergeant and his buddies have arrived at the cemetery and found the mess there. He believes that George and Edna killed his man Craig as well as the caretaker, so he gives the order to shoot to kill if they resist.

WTF!? Shoot to kill? Is this guy a colossal AssHat or what? He has no proof whatsoever that George and Edna murdered those two people, yet gives the order to kill them if they resist? Has this guy even been through police training? What happened to guilty until proven innocent? That is a mighty big leap in logic to make based on some circumstantial evidence. To make matters worse, the coroner points out how two bodies are mutilated (the caretaker and Craig) while three have been burned to a crisp (Guthrie and the other two zombies). The Sergeant thinks George and Edna are drug crazed maniacs (despite having zero proof of ANYTHING), but the coroner now pulls straight out of his ass the idea that they are Satanists engaging in some sort of black mass! This is the exact sort of closed minded, willful ignorance that had people in the 1980’s convinced that Dungeons and Dragons was the Devil’s personal recruitment tool (when we all know it was break dancing). Added on to all this, the guys from the Ministry of Agriculture now appear to report that George attacked them and vandalized their doohickey.

Now that it is quite dark, Edna arrives at her sister’s place. She calls out for the Sergeant, but there is no answer. She honks the car horn but there is still no reply. She approaches the police car that we saw earlier when the cop was leaning on it, working a crossword puzzle. There is no sign of him, but his severed hand is hanging from the car door. Edna turns and behind her in the mist is her dead brother-in-law, Martin. He attacks her and injures her arm, but she pushes him away, dives into the car drives away, but not before he attacks again and she runs him over with the vehicle.

She careens down the road a ways and then stops. For some inexplicable reason she then gets out of the car and stands there in the middle of the road, in the dark. She screams when she thinks she sees Martin coming for her out of the mist, but it’s just George, who has managed to really get around on this night despite not having a vehicle. The poor guy must be just knackered.

“Please tell me you can manage the pump on your own. I need to find a restroom, I’m bursting for a pee.”The two get back in the car and head into town where they stop at a service station. There George leaves Edna with the owner and her daughter, telling them to call for an ambulance. Then he grabs a five gallon container of paraffin, puts it in the car and after telling the owner that he’ll be back in a few minutes, tears off down the road. The owner tries to calm Edna, but it’s difficult to do when the other woman sees Martin’s dead face whenever she looks at someone. Methinks Edna has begun that long slide into insanity.

George heads back to Martin and Katie’s place armed with the paraffin container. I guess he plans on burning Martin’s walking corpse to a crisp like the ones at the cemetery. He approaches a body lying out on the ground, but when he gets close, it jumps to its feet. It’s not a dead person, but a cop! Instantly George is surrounded by cops, who appear out of nowhere like a gang of ninjas. The Sergeant shows up and tells him that Martin’s body has been taken to the hospital for an autopsy. This begs the question, why wasn’t Martin up and walking around? For the cops to have shown up and taken the body away, it would have to have been flopped out on the ground, not moving. However we know it was moving at one point when it killed the officer left behind working his crossword puzzle magazine and then when it attacked Edna. Perhaps these zombies aren’t as dumb as people might initially believe them to be. Maybe Martin, knowing that he’d get a ride to the hospital, purposely flopped himself out on the ground and stayed still.

Anyway, it’s clear that the Sergeant thinks George is responsible for the death of Offcier Benson as well as the earlier ones. George tries to warn them of the danger of taking Martin to the hospital where there are dead bodies that he could bring back to life. Needless to say, the police think it is sheer idiocy.

Even though it is night, those guys from the Ministry of Agriculture have got their big doohickey fixed and up and running again. Remember, they had managed to boost its range to five miles, so there is a real shit storm coming now.

At the hospital, Martin’s body is being carried inside on a stretcher and we see his eyes opening. I suppose the reason he wasn’t moving earlier when the cops found him is because the Ministry of Agriculture’s doohickey wasn’t working at that time. When George damaged it and it stopped functioning, Martin probably dropped to the ground at that instant. Now that they have it running again, he has been restored to life…or unlife…or is it undeath? Whatever. What is certain is that Martin’s body is taken to the morgue where the lone technician on duty makes the very bad mistake of turning his back on it.

Over at The Old Owl Hotel, the Sergeant is questioning George about the antiques he had been travelling with, including that small statue we saw him packing up at the very beginning of the film. The Sergeant just thinks it is more evidence of George and Edna conducting a black mass. George tries to explain that he sells such things for a living and that he was taking them to some people in Windermere, but the Sergeant doesn’t believe him after “all that has happened.” Despite admitting to burning the bodies at the cemetery, George refuses to sign a confession which states that he killed two police officers. He gets a little loud in his condemnation of the police and their jumping to conclusions, ending his brief tirade by calling them the crazy ones and not him. This earns him a huge bitch slap from the Sergeant. One officer leads George away to clean him up (since his lip as now bleeding).

Perkins, the coroner, says that he disapproves of the Sergeant’s methods, adding that the Police should never resort to violence. The Sergeant then comments that he wishes they had more of a “free hand” when it came to “these criminals.” Yeah, I can just imagine. In his mind, George is 100% guilty despite a 100% lack of evidence. If he had more a free hand, he’d have probably shot him hours ago. If he had things his way, he’d be out throwing people in jail for jay walking and mowing them down with bullets for petty larceny.

We return to the morgue at the hospital where Martin has raised two more zombies. One shows recent signs of having had an autopsy and the other seems to be buck naked. All three are feasting on the remains of that one poor technician.

At the Old Owl Hotel, George is taken to a lavatory in order to clean up. He manages to escape by jumping out the window. He runs to a police car and speeds off down the road. The cops scramble to pursue, the Sergeant looking positively apoplectic as he shouts orders.

George drives to the service station where he left Edna. The owner says that an ambulance came and took her to the hospital. George now runs over to a pay phone and calls the hospital, speaking with a receptionist and asking her to put him through to Dr. Duffield. The Doctor is currently administering a sedative to Edna, who seems to be losing her tenuous grip on reality. As George waits for the Doctor to come to the phone, an unmarked police car races by the service station and, spotting the stolen police cruiser parked there, screeches to a halt and begins to rapidly back up. Knowing he has no time to waste, George jumps back in his stolen car and races off down the road. The cops in the other car back right into one of the gasoline pumps and I half expected it to explode, but they manage to not send the place up in flames. They quickly shift gears and continue their pursuit of George.

So, with Edna at the hospital, Martin and a number of other zombies at the hospital and George and the cops racing in that direction, it seems all the action is going to come to a head at…you guessed it, the hospital.

 

Note - It is at this point that the movie enters its final segment, so if any of you really feel the need to watch this film and not know the ending ahead of time, skip the rest of this section.

 

Travelling to South America to save money on cosmetic surgeries does not always pan out.The receptionist at the hospital isn’t fazed when George drops the line. She just goes right back to talking to her friend on a different line. She has no idea that Martin and two other zombies are stumbling down the hall in her direction. They bust into her little office and while the Martin zombie strangles her with the phone cord, Autopsy Zombie and Naked Zombie rip open her chest and abdomen to get to the meaty goodness inside. After a brief snack, they stumble out the door to see what else they can rustle up.

Not far away, Dr. Duffield is speaking with Katie (already a patient at the hospital), who wants to see her sister (newly arrived patient). He thinks it will do Edna some good so leads Katie down the corridors to the elevator, since her sister’s room is on the second floor. As they wait for the elevator, we see Martin and the other two zombies walking up rapidly behind them. They attack just as the elevator door – which is just a metal grate – opens. Katie throws herself inside while Duffield wrestles with the dead people. From somewhere Duffield now produces an axe. I suppose it was hanging on the wall near a fire hose and sign that says, in case of fire break the glass (a quick rewind confirms this).

Wielding the axe, Duffield backs up some nearby stairs and takes a swing at Autopsy Zombie. The axe takes off a chunk of flesh from the zombie’s chest, but doesn’t stop him at all. What it does do, is piss him off because Autopsy Zombie now grabs the axe from Duffield and swings it right into the Doctor’s head. Ouch. He's dead. Meanwhile the Martin Zombie has reached through the metal gate and gotten his hands around his wife’s neck and strangled her.

A quick cutaway shows George being chased by the cops, still en route to the hospital. Then we see Katie entering Edna’s room. Edna tells her not to worry about her, but as Katie draws near and into the light, we see that she’s a zombie! Wielding some sort of sharp instrument (looks like a pair of scissors), she attacks Edna, who manages to fend her off and free herself from the restraints she was in despite being stabbed in the upper arm/shoulder area. She tries to flee the room but in come the Martin Zombie and the Naked Zombie. Boy, is she screwed.

George finally arrives at the hospital and runs inside. He sees the receptionist’s body and calls out for Edna. She must hear him because she calls back. He runs toward the elevator and sees the Autopsy Zombie chowing down on Dr. Duffield’s body. George grabs the discarded axe, wraps the blade in a thick wad of gauze and douses it with alcohol (all found conveniently on a nearby table). He lights this on fire and approaches the Autopsy Zombie, who is now descending the stairs towards him. Meanwhile, Edna is backed literally into a corner in her room by the other zombies.

“Must. Reach. Thermostat.”George lights the Autopsy Zombie on fire, who goes up in flames faster than a dried up Christmas tree. He races on and arrives at Edna’s room to find her stretched out on the floor, the zombies hovering over her. He lights them all on fire and in seconds the entire room is burning. He pulls Edna up and out of the room. In the hall he embraces her but then sees that her eyes have taken on the dark red coloration that all the other zombies have had. She tries to attack him, so he pushes her back into the burning room. As the flames engulf her and she sinks to the floor, she reaches a hand in his direction and there is that brief second where both George and the audience wonder if she really was zombified or just acting out in her fear. Either way, she’s dead now.

And sadly, so is George. Several gun shot rings out and George is tossed around like a puppet on a string as the projectiles riddle his body. Down the hall, the Sergeant still has his handgun raised and as George looks at him in agony and disbelief, he shoots George on last time. George falls over, dead. I’m sure the Sergeant is sporting a tremendous boner at the sheer excitement of having finally gotten to shoot George. He walks over to him, kicks over his body and says, “I wish the dead could come back to life you bastard, because then I could kill you again.” Be careful what you wish for!

Dawn comes and a sizable crown has gathered around the hospital to see what all the excitement was about. Reporters try and get a statement from the Sergeant, but he refuses to say anything. He gets in his car and has his driver take him back to the hotel where he can a good night’s sleep. On the way he talks with a fellow cop and mentions all the “persuasive rot” and thinks that maybe people will learn something from his example here. Yeah, what they’re going to learn is that they cannot trust the local cops at all. For all his talk about criminals, the Sergeant here has been the worst armed thug in the entire movie. As they drive down the road, they pass the Ministry of Agriculture’s doohickey going the opposite direction and talk turns to it and the benefits it will bring.

The Sergeant returns to his room at the hotel and as he begins to relax, there is a wheezing from the corner. From out of the darkness comes George, only now he is a zombie! George closes in on him and the Sergeant quickly produces his weapon and fires all of its shots into him, which of course do no good. George gets his hands around the Sergeant’s neck and using the enhanced strength that zombies seem to have, kills him.

Okay, dead folks, back to sleep.How did Dead George get there? Wasn’t someone watching over his body at the hospital? Did anyone notice that it was missing? How did Dead George know that the Sergeant was going back to the hotel? Hell, how did he even get there so damn fast? He beat the police car! He must have been absolutely hauling ass through the hills and trees to arrive there so fast. Even at a full run, someone should have noticed that his body had gone missing long before he got to the hotel. And how did he even get inside the Sergeant's room? You'd think someone would have noticed a bloody corpse as it waltzed through the front door, up the stairs and began picking the lock to one of the rooms. While it was satisfying to see the colossal AssHat McCormick get his comeuppance, it really strains believability to think that Dead George got there so fast without anyone knowing.

A final shot shows the Ministry of Agriculture’s doohickey out in the field, operational again and working it’s mojo on everything nearby.

 

The End.

 

Review

This movie is a nice change of pace from the usual zombie films that graced silver screens in the 70’s and 80’s. While those decades did bring us George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, which followed up on the conventions established in his original Night of the Living Dead and which have been almost universally copied since then – mainly, idea that the walking dead having a compulsion to attack and devour the living – it was the glut of Italian zombie flicks from that era that commonly define the genre. And let’s face it, a lot of those films were crap. Oddly enough, while the setting for this film is merry old England, and there was a creative approach taken in explaining how the dead were returning to life, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (or whatever title you wish to apply to it), was still a joint Spanish/Italian production.

I suppose because the bulk of the creativity came from Spain, the movie doesn’t look or feel like the Italian-made zombie flicks of later years. In other words, it does not feel like a production that was rushed and cranked out as quickly as possible and actually has had some attention to detail as well as real thought lavished on it. For example, many of the shots show an eye for showcasing the setting as well as the action. In more than one example, the camera will linger on a location after the actors have moved off-screen. We will get a slow pan, as if waiting for something to happen, before cutting to action elsewhere. This helps convey the idea that something is going on behind the scenes, some place where we the audience cannot see, but at any moment could burst into foreground with frightening clarity. It helps create both mood and tension and I found it to be one of the “cooler” aspects of director Jorge Grau’s approach. Likewise, the beautiful country locations are used to great effect, looking gorgeous at times and creepy at others. Even when tendrils of mist are not swirling across the ground and the sun is high in a clear sky, Grau is able to coax a feeling of dread and unease out of what would normally be idyllic locations. Another subtle way of reminding us that true horror is not always something far away and that it can exist right in our own back yard.

Like so many of the zombie films that came after it, this film is not exactly overflowing with likable characters. That said, they’re not a group of giant assholes, either. Well, the character of Sergeant McCormick is certainly a raging asshat, but the others are just mildly annoying in comparison. George, who is supposed to be the hero of the story, comes off as something of an annoying, anti-establishment hippie. Early on we see his reaction to a radio story and his subsequent comments on the environment. His initial reaction to the Ministry of Agriculture’s machine is thus predictable: he thinks it’s another polluting machine. While these views do not automatically equate with annoying, it’s his personality that may rub someone the wrong way. He comes across as opinionated, presumptuous, impatient and just somewhat condescending at times. In another movie, he might be considered the film’s resident asshole, but here he is our main protagonist and we have no choice but to root for him, especially once the character of Sergeant McCormick enters the scene. Then George is positively heroic in comparison and his final fate becomes all the more tragic as well as infuriating for the audience.

Then we have Edna. I think the best way to describe her is doormat. It seems everyone in this picture walks all over her and she just stands there and lets them. It begins when she accidentally damages George’s motorcycle and he forces her to give him a ride. From that point on she is just a dog on George’s leash, going where he wants to go and doing what he wants to do. Even when she insists that what she saw was real – a confirmed dead man up and walking around, attacking and murdering people – she is mostly ignored and humored. George finally tries to prove her wrong solely in an effort to shut her up. Of course she ends up being right about the walking dead people and rather than feel vindicated, all this does in begin her gradual slide into emotional instability. In the end I found it hard to not feel sorry for her, because so much of the movie’s events were out of her control. All she was able to do was react to what was transpiring around her. Through the actions of other people she wound up in that burning hospital room and her demise I think engenders the most sympathy from the audience.

Finally, we come to the only other character that really matters: Sergeant McCormick. As noted elsewhere, he is only referred to as “Sergeant” by everyone throughout the film, though there is one instance where Edna is calling out for a “Sergeant McCormick”, which I believe to be him, as no one else is referred to by that rank anywhere else. If that is his name or not, the truth of the matter is that the character is presented as being quite the colossal asswipe. He is definitely a member of the old school, looking with disdain upon the younger generation and their way of doing things, whether it be the way they dress or groom themselves. In his mind, George and Edna are automatically guilty of something simply for being part of a generation that is more open in its attitudes on sex and drug use. Of course, George’s own lack of foresight and poor decision-making only makes matters worse for him and Edna and cements in the Sergeant's mind that they are bad people that need to be stopped, with a hail of bullets if need be. The Sergeant’s closed-mindedness doesn’t help the situation, either. He finds two dead bodies in a location he knows George and Edna to have been at and he just assumes that they are the murderers, despite a total lack of anything other than circumstantial evidence. Between his hatred of the young people with their “long hair and faggot clothes,” and George’s distrust of the police and tendency to make decisions that only get him into deeper trouble, it’s a wonder that more people didn’t end up as walking stiffs by the end. Then again, take a look at that open ending and tell me that the problem was not going to start all over once again.

The only other notable people to discuss are the zombies themselves. To me it was an inventive idea to use ultrasonic radiation to stimulate their nervous systems and bring them back to life, which creates new problems for our protagonists to overcome aside from the dead people. This method for resurrecting the dead would seem to be more science based, yet we see things later that don’t naturally fit with it. The idea that zombies cannot be photographed may seem cool at first, but when you think about it, comes off as a little silly. They’re dead people brought back to life by radiation, how could that make them invisible to cameras? Also, the idea that all they have to do is smear a wee bit of fresh blood on another stiff to bring it back to life and swell their numbers seems more supernatural than anything. I think those two ideas could have easily been dropped with no problem. The film could have solely used the radiation as an explanation for the walking stiffs and been less confusing with its zombie lore.

One thing I want to talk about is the FX used in the film. Naturally, there are some gore FX for when zombies start tearing into people. There is not as much of this as one would find in subsequent zombie films, but there was enough to land the film on Britain’s infamous Video Nasties list. What we see here is just bloody and gory enough to work, but by modern standards is not all that over the top. Then again, I can handle any amount of blood and gore so to me it seemed like it was rather subdued. For the time period it might have been a lot. The one poor spot on the gore FX is the fake body used for the hospital receptionist. As the trio of zombies tear into her breast, it looks rather fake.

What is interesting to note in this film is the visual FX. “What visual FX?” you may be asking. Well, take a look at the images below. The first is a screen cap from early in the film, when George and Edna are trying to locate her sister’s house. They pass this hillside and we see the church above, which will play a significant role later in the film. Adjacent to that image is a Google maps image of the real life location used for this shot, Winnats Pass in Derbyshire, taken in 2015, over 40 years after the film was shot there. The rock face is pretty much the same. The tree near the peak is the same. But, what do you not see? Right! The church! There is no sign that a building of any kind ever sat up there nor of a dirt road that led to that spot. Hell, I don’t even think there is room up there for an edifice of that size. Yet, in the screen cap, it looks pretty damn real. This shot only lasts a few seconds, but to me it looks more authentic than much of the CGI landscapes populating films today. One can argue that the church did stand there and in the last forty years was torn down, but I don’t believe that for a second. Much of the area has hardly changed, so why do that? One can see in the second set of images the town of Castleton (where some scenes were shot) and how things look much the same.

19742015 - Hey, they paved the road!

19742015

So, in conclusion, I must say that Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is a good, if slow moving, zombie film. It gives us a slightly new take on the walking dead, even if some of the ideas didn’t fit well with each other. The scenery is beautiful and really helps to establish a creepy atmosphere as the film progresses. The music is rather lackluster, relying on heartbeat-like sounds to instill fear and ramp up the tension. The characters are mostly annoying, though some far outdo others and make it easier to relate to the protagonists. The zombies are fresh, yet still creepy and there is enough blood and gore to appease those who like such things. For my final thought, I would say that the film is more concerned with setting up mood, atmosphere and character dynamics rather that overt horror, at least not until the final act. If you are the patient type, give this one a watch.

 

Expect To See:
Castles – Not so much a castle, but there is a church and cemetery that looks to be centuries old and can appear quite creepy. Several people get trapped in portions of the building and the darkened interiors make for some macabre locations.
Extreme Violence – There isn’t a lot of this until the end, but several people meet very violent and gruesome ends in this film, which usually involves be divested of very important things like vital organs and other body parts.
Gore – In a couple of instances, we find that the zombies in this flick have the Romero-esque desire to snack on the living so we see more than one person ripped open in detail, their insides becoming their outsides.
Nudity – Full frontal female nudity! Who would have expected it! A brief few seconds at the film’s beginning feature’s a streaker showing off her assets while running across the street. Much later, a poor mockup of a breast gets shredded by a zombie.
Science – This comes in the form of the “ultrasonic radiation” being used to exterminate insects. It works on their simple nervous systems and drives them mad, causing them to attack one another in a violent frenzy. Just like YouTube commenters!
Zombies – While there are not hordes of walking dead in this film, there are enough to be a very big problem. They stumble around aimlessly, make incoherent sounds and generally make a nuisance of themselves. Just like Trump supporters!

 

Movie Stats:
Shadow's Commentary:

Deaths: 11
Smokes: 7
Drinks: 0
Total gunshots fired: 13
Boobs: 2
Bush: 1
Total zombies: 9
Fried Zombies: 8
Bitch slaps: 1
People attacked by homicidal newborn: 2
Country story is set in: England
Actors who were born in England: 0

03 Min – Bare boobs and bush! Hell yes.
06 Min – Hey! He didn’t pay for that drink!
13 Min – Ask Dr. Stupid!
15 Min – The only place he could have gone is into the river.
27 Min – Wait, is it night or day?
34 Min – Ah, a bar. Good, cuz I really need a drink about now.
47 Min – The church is way up there? I bet there are not a lot of fat people in that congregation.
60 Min – The zombies have pig for lunch.
66 Min – Random act of violence against a combine.
73 Min – I think she would prefer the whiskey.
80 Min – If you hate needles, close your eyes.
90 Min – How did he get there so damn fast?


Shadow's Drinking Game: Every time the music soundtrack is dropped in favor of a heartbeat-like percussion piece, take a drink.

 

Images Click for larger image

Hey, you lot…stop looking into
the camera!


“This isn’t a full service station. Get
out and pump your own damn gas!”


The church is up there? I’d hate to
be a pallbearer.

 
I think John Willoughby ought to be
riding up any second now.


Wow, the vagrants in this town
get pretty insistent when
asking for spare change.

The news was not taken well when
it was revealed to the cast that the
entire day’s shoots had to be redone.


 
“Now listen up here, punk! I’m only
going to ask this once…where did
you get this fab leather jacket?”

 
As per his instructions, the
cryogenically frozen body of Walt
Disney was taken for a ride
once each week.


When in Southgate be sure to try
the beef carpaccio, a local favorite.

Craig was tragically killed in a freak
shaving mishap, when he accidently
disemboweled himself with a bic razor.

“Hmmmm…a four letter slang term
for police officers…”

“Excuse me, but could you point me
in the direction of the ER?”

 

Immortal Dialog

George trying to convince Edna that she really did not have an encounter with a walking stiff.

George: “…The dead don’t walk around except in very bad paperback novels.”

Shadow’s Comment:
If you really like it you can have the rights,
It could make a million for you overnight
If you must return it, you can send it here
But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer


George's theory on why the ultrasonic radiation machine is affecting dead people.

George: “When a person dies perhaps the nervous system goes on living for a while. Perhaps in some very basic, crude way. Like an insect’s or a plant.”

Shadow’s Comment: Ah, so they become Republicans.


After everything is over, the Sergeant reflects on events.

The Sergeant: “Justice has been a bit slow in these parts with all this permissive rot going on. Maybe people will learn a thing or two from my example here.”

Shadow’s Comment: Shooting hippies on sight?

 

Keep In Mind  
  • If you damage someone’s motorcycle, you are obliged to take them wherever they need to go.
  • Tea and digestives are a poor substitute for heroin.
  • Doctors will drop everything to go see advanced farming equipment.
  • Zombies are stealthier than ninjas.
  • Zombies can travel as fast, if not faster, than motor vehicles.
  • Zombies are highly flammable.
  • You will die instantly from having your abdomen torn open.
  • Bodies brought to the morgue are dumped unceremoniously on the exam table.

 

This Film & Me

This was a film that I had never heard of until around 2004 or so. It was at that time that I came across the review for it by Dr. Freex at The Bad Movie Report. It sounded intriguing, and as I have always loved zombie movies and was actively seeking out ones that had eluded me, I put it on my list of must see films. A year or two after that I came across the film in a multi movie pack from Anchor Bay and bought it. It was still a few weeks before I got around to watching it. Unfortunately, I chose a Saturday afternoon to watch it and I made the mistake of stretching out in bed. Before the movie had even reached the point where Guthrie attacks and kills Martin, I had fallen asleep. I woke up right around the time when George, Edna and PC Craig are trapped in the cemetery. From there until the end of the film I was in and out of consciousness and don’t remember much. A week or two later I made sure to sit down and watch the movie properly from beginning to end. I don’t consider it to be the best zombie film I’ve seen, but neither is it the worst. I found the English countryside setting a refreshing change of pace even if it seems everyone in the film is dubbed, no matter what their country of origin.

Shadow's rating: Six Tombstones



The Good

  • Unexpected, but a couple great visual FX shots
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Great spooky atmopshere
  • Decent gore FX

The Bad

  • Slow moving for first two acts
  • Zombies display speed that would eclipse olympic runners
  • No really likable characters
  • Police are portrayed as short sighted and inept

The Ugly

  • Everyone is dubbed, even those who speak English!
  • Some scenes are just too poorly lit to see well
  • The Sergeant was a complete fascist asswipe.

 

 

Review Round-Up
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