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Blu Review – The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (Synapse Films)

They tampered with nature – now they must pay the price…

Director – Jorge Grau (The Legend of Blood Castle, Violent Blood Bath)
Starring – Cristina Galbo (The Killer Must Kill Again, The House that Screamed), Ray Lovelock (The Last House on the Beach, Queens of Evil), and Arthur Kennedy (Killer Cop, The Tough Ones)
Release Date – 1974
Rating – 4.5/5
Blu Release – 3.5/5

Several years ago, while I was in high school, Anchor Bay released a series of box sets with similar themes called Fright Packs. Some were campy 80s, others were Satanic, and one was a fun set centered around animals. One that I had to have was the Walking Dead set with Italian and US zombie films. It was my first introduction to classics like Dead Heat, City of the Living Dead, House by the Cemetery, and my favorite in the set. That film was Let Sleeping Corpses Lie that was also known as The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue.

I fucking loved this film and watched it several times since I initially bought it. Synapse Films released the film in a beautiful steelbook but I had to skip on that release. However, Synapse Films knows that fans wanted a standard edition release and gave it to them. I want to thank MVD and Synapse for sending this one over.

**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a young man and a woman he is helping get to her sister’s home. However, things are not as peaceful as they would have liked when a man who killed himself a week earlier awakens from the dead with the ability to resurrect the dead. Now, those reanimated corpses are killing innocent people and the local authorities think it is them. It’s up to them to stop the undead before the police can lock them up for the heinous murders. **Spoiler Alert**

The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue is a fucking fantastic zombie film that doesn’t get the credit that it truly deserves. It’s eerie, atmospheric, and the story is not another clone of Night of the Living Dead. What makes this one stand out from others is that it was released just six years after George A. Romero introduced the concept of flesh eating zombies to movie goers instead of the voodoo version that was popular in cinema. I absolutely adore this movie and I’m glad Synapse gave us this release.

The acting in this one is great. The cast works so well together and the characters are written very well but the standout stars of the film are the undead. I love how the undead are in this one. They really do deliver a chilling performance. I absolutely loved the way the dead walk and interact with the living. It’s what makes old horror movies so effective.

The story for this feels a lot like a loving tribute to NotLD with a little twist. In the original NotLD they mention that radiation from a probe. However, in Living Dead in the Manchester Morgue has the dead coming back to life thanks to a piece of experimental farming equipment. The addition of the one zombie making more is not only terrifying but a great addition to a zombie flick. I love the small twist of originality and how it changes what the film could have been into what it is.

Finally, this one has some seriously fantastic gore and some of the most memorable deaths in horror history. The tombstone death especially is one of my favorites. The gore will satisfy the most hardcore of gorehounds and the effects are top notch. Overall, The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue is a must see for genre fans especially if you dig the zombie sub-genre. This release from Synapse is a must own for genre fans and collectors alike. I can’t recommend this film enough.

Special Features:
Exclusive new 4K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative
New 5.1 English stereo surround remix made exclusively for the Synapse Films release
Two audio commentaries featuring authors and film scholars Troy Howarth, Nathaniel Thompson and Bruce Holecheck
Restoration of the true original English language theatrical mono mix
Jorge Grau – Catalonia’s Cult Film King (89 mins.) – This extensive feature-length documentary explores the life and films of director Jorge Grau
The Scene of the Crime – Giannetto De Rossi in Discussion from Manchester (16 Mins.)
Giannetto De Rossi – Q&A at the Festival of Fantastic Films, UK (43 Mins)
Theatrical trailer, TV spots and radio spots
Newly translated removable English SDH subtitles

Written by Blacktooth

(Staff Writer) Lover of all things horror and metal. Also likes boobs and booze.

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