Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue, The / Non si deve porfanare il sonno dei morti (1974)

5.0 out of 5

A nonchalant and arrogant auctioneer, George played by Ray Lovelock leaves a hectic London for a relaxing weekend in his getaway up North. Although he’s in for much more than long strolls in the countryside and lazy mornings as an agricultural experiment has woken the dead. Bumping into Edna, Christina Galbo, along the way, the two almost unwillingly join forces to stay ahead of the walking dead who have returned to feast the flesh of Yorkshire. Adding a grumpy village police officer, Arthur Kennedy, desperately wanting to catch his suspected murderer and a subplot concerning Edna’s recovering drug addict sister makes for a explosive three-way just waiting to go bang.

The success of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, 1968, saw Italian producer Edmondo Amati go after Spaniard Jorge Grau to direct this co-production shot partially in the North of UK. To its benefit the movie uses more of a classic structure and storyline together with it’s moments of bloody effects rather than simply being loosely connected moments of gore with pointless exposition in between much like movies in the same niche would become a few years later. Here it’s more about character and less about the next special effect.

But the viewer can’t really go wrong with special effects by Gianetto de Rossi, an early freaky electonica soundtrack by Giuliano Sorgini and a title like The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue. It’s a title that says everything about the movie and this is a movie that easily stands the test of time, still making it one of the best post-Romero, pre-Fulci walking dead movies.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics