Directed By Jorge, Grau
Starring Ray Lovelock
Once you watch this film, if you’re a fan of Euro horror, you may recognize this film as Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, the alternative title Anchor Bay released this film under several years ago. So, this film has been on DVD more than a couple of times but this version looks to be the definitive version, probably the best version we’re likely to see until it hits Blu-Ray.
If you’re unfamiliar with this film you may be wondering why it has been released so many times. The short answer is that this film is better than its reputation. The fact is the film doesn’t really have much of a reputation. This is in many ways just another zombie film, but it’s one of the best “just another zombie films” out there.
A woman accidentally runs down a man’s motorcycle and ends giving him a ride. On the way to drop him off they notice a device in a field using radio waves to do away with pests. After the woman is attacked by a sickly looking dude they decide to head back to her place. Once they arrive they find the zombie attacking the living man that she lives with. At this point the police become involved and the zombies kick in to full force rising from their graves.
This film has a lot going for it including great gore effects and solid acting. I even enjoyed the social commentary in the film but I will say that this social commentary had already been done by the time this film was released in 1974. The film also seems to take a while to really get going. Once it gets going though there’s a ton of good suspense to go along with the good effects and there’s even a solidly interesting subplot to go along with the encroaching living dead.
Sure this film is a bit of a me too but it’s easily in the top tier of me too’s as I said. The only real complaints are that the commentary had been done really well at least once before this film came out and it starts off a bit slow but other than that this is a must for the zombie fan.
This hi def transfer is the best we are going to see this film look until it hits Blu-Ray. Colors are well balanced and skin tones look good too. There is still a good bit of grain throughout the film and a bit of print damage here and there too. With that said this DVD looks worlds better than any previous version of the film.
Blue Underground always gives us a number of choices for audio in their better releases and here we get three options, mono, stereo, and 5.1 surround. The surround presentation sounds the best with solid balance, clean dialogue, and even a few instances of directional audio. It’s no demo disc but considering the age of this film it’s pretty great.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
This 2 disc edition comes in a standard amaray case with a slipcover featuring art that’s appropriately retro and it does a great job of selling the film.
On the first disc along with the film are a couple of trailers, some radio spots, a still gallery, and a fully intro from the director of the film.
The big feature on the second disc is a fairly lengthy featurette with the director touring the locations where the film was shot. I love the modern day looks at the locations used for older films. In this featurette we see the town where the film was shot. It’s pretty amazing how little so many of the places have changed over the years.
There’s also a an interview with Ray Lovelock called Zombie Fighter where he discusses his career and his experiences working on the film. There’s nothing really deep here but it’s still worth a watch.
The next featurette titled Zombie Maker, is an interview with Giannetto De Rossi the special effects supervisor of the film. He begins by discussing his career starting with how he got into the business followed by some of the films he worked on. He finishes by talking specifically about working on The Living Dead of Manchester Morgue.
Finally there’s an interview with director Jorge Grau where he discusses the film with a good amount of detail even sharing how he was originally convinced to do the film. The interview actually offers some insight into some of the characters offering additional perspective when watching the film.
For such a little known film Blue Underground ahs gone above and beyond for the supplements. The only thing I’d like to have been added is a commentary perhaps from a film historian.
Overall (Not an Average) 8/10
The Movie 8.5/10
The Video 7/10
The Audio 8/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 8.5/10
Overall (Not an Average) 8/10