Directed By: Jorge Grau
Starring: Ray Lovelock, Cristina Galbo, Arthur Kennedy, Jeannine Mestre, Jose Lifante, Giorgio Trestini
Synopsis: An experimental machine designed to kill insects is causing the recently dead to rise.
The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue is one of the first movies to follow Romero’s lead with the slow moving cannibalistic “ghouls” first unveiled in Night of the Living Dead. Although the origin of the zombies is unique for its time, the general storyline is familiar; an unknown source is causing the recently deceased to rise and feed on the living.
Even though the story is familiar, this is a damn good zombie movie. The story moves along and the I thought it was a smart move to make the zombies “recently deceased” so there wasn’t a need for excessive makeup.
George, the lead played by Ray Lovelock, was really a jerk, but for some reason, he really worked here. In a lot of ways, he reminded me of Ben from Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, which was really reinforced by the ending of the movie. Arthur Kennedy was also a standout, chewing through every scene he showed up in. Overall, the cast was really great here, which helped push this past the usual zombie fare.
In recent years, many foreign horror movies that were once considered cult classics have pretty much become mainstream. Most horror fans seem to know Fulci’s work, but this movie is one that flies under the radar. It shouldn’t. It’s one of the best out there. If this has somehow escaped you, make a point to watch it soon.
How Nasty is It?
As far as gore goes, this is pretty typical zombie fare. There’s some gut munching and tearing flesh, but nothing we haven’t seen from Romero, Fulci or the rest of the zombie maestros.