dinsdag 27 september 2011

The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (1974)

Jorge Grau's masterpiece might just be one of the most underrated zombie flicks of all time. ''The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue'' is an undeniable classic created by a Spanish director and an Italian make-up artist. It's a one of a kind mix between the Italian zombie wave and the ''classy'' British horror.

I am, like many others, the proud owner of the Blue Underground release. Not only does the film look amazing with all its dazaling colours and state of the art gore, but the extra's on the second disc are amazing as well. Mainly the interview with horror legend: Giannetto De Rossi. Known for his collaborations with Fulci (Zombi and the Beyond!!), Lynch (Dune) and 'recently' he teamed up with Aja to make High Tension the incredible gorefest we all love.

Of course this one was made in 1974, whereas Zombi came around in 1979. So it was really interesting to already notice his talent in such an early stage of his carreer. I loved his simple but effective work on the zombies and I mostly enjoyed some of the more explicit gore. My favorite has to be the secretary at the hospital, she gets it like no other.

The main selling point has to be the setting. The beautiful and sparkling green hills of England creates an unique vibe for a zombie flick. With the Blue Underground release it's really not that hard to enjoy the beauty of this film, the picture quality is simply amazing. The most surprising aspect was the storytelling. Grau has found quite a nifty way of portraying and playing out the good/evil folks against eachother while there's a bigger threat out there. I won't spoil too much, even though it's tempting.

The performances were alright. Edna is your typical sheep. She has absolutely no say in this, especialy when you consider the fact that George is a self-centered jerk. Individually they don't seem to work, but as a team, facing the police AND the zombies, it all feels in place. So even the little weak spots seem to clear themselves in the end. There's really nothing to dislike about this film.

It's never a good thing to generalise films, but they just don't make 'em like this anymore. A film with a lot of patience and a rewarding ending, but also with inventive gore and intriguing storytelling. It's a complete package, and I'll be remembering it for quite some time. If you haven't had the chance to check this out, please do so.

Score: 93/100 


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