Tom Humberstone


horror month - day 28

The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (1974)

"They vandalise cemeteries, they profane tombs, and they... y'know... hold black masses."

Quick summary: Edna, on her way to see her sister, is lumbered with chauvinistic antiques dealer George - only to find out there's a bit of a zombie problem when they get there. But the bigoted local police don't believe their stories of the walking dead.

This film has - the internet assures me - a total of 16 titles worldwide. Including: Let Sleeping Corpses Lie and Don't Open The Window (which went on to inspire Edgar Wright's brilliant Grindhouse trailer Don't!).

I'd seen this film referenced as an influence on things like Charlie Brooker's Dead Set and other zombie films. Because of the title, I think I'd assumed it was a British take on zombies but it's actually a Spanish-Italian production with all the dubbed dialogue and sound design that Berberian Sound Studio nodded towards.

All the characters apart from Edna and her sister appear to be massive dicks.

There's some dialogue gold to be found around every corner:

"I wish the dead could come back to life, you bastard, so then I could kill you again."

It's a fun movie with some great zombies-consuming-human-remains gore and a suitably nihilistic ending that suggests things are only going to get worse. And it has a fun, dopey scientific reason for the dead to be coming back to life (damn you Department of Agriculture! Damn you all to Hell!).

Tonight: Going with Excision (2012).