THE LIVING DEAD AT MANCHESTER MORGUE (1974)
Guthrie enjoys a liver in a film which has been released as BREAKFAST AT MANCHESTER MORGUE, LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE and DON'T OPEN THE WINDOW.
IF you are looking for a connection between the trend-setting undead films of George A. Romero and the abstract-effectiveness of Lucio Fulci, Catalonian director Jorge Grau's THE LIVING DEAD AT MANCHESTER MORGUE acts as that bridge. This cult Spanish/Italian oddity can also be viewed as one of those releases - similar to Alfonso Cuaron's CHILDREN OF MEN and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's 28 WEEKS LATER - that sees our green and unpleasant land with a quirky yet lovingly distant eye. The film isn't set in Manchester - though there are glimpses of Deansgate and John Dalton Street - most of the film is in fact shot in various locations around Derbyshire. Like many foreign filmmakers, what Grau finds is a stuffy environ on the verge of chaos and, in this sense, THE LIVING DEAD AT MANCHESTER MORGUE is a worthy addition to those other extraordinary views of this decaying country by great directors: FRENZY, STRAW DOGS and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE.
The movie begins as George (Ray Lovelock), an antiques dealer, has his motorbike damaged at a gas station by Edna (Christine Galbo), a nervous woman en route to her sister Katie (Jeannine Mestra)'s farmhouse in Southgate. While giving George a lift, Edna is attacked by a recently drowned homeless man Guthrie (Fernando Hilbeck), when the antiques dealer is asking directions from Ministry of Agriculture scientists who are field-testing experimental ultrasound equipment to rid crops of insects. These sonic tremors, however, have begun to revive the recently buried dead. The couple arrive at the farm to see Edna's brother-in-law Martin (Jose Ruiz Lifante) killed by Guthrie, where bigoted Irish Police Inspector McCormick (Arthur Kennedy, sporting a typically colourful accent) takes one look at George's long hair and beard - and the obvious signs of Katie's heroin addiction - and comes to a much more straightforward conclusion.
Vito Salier as the autopsy zombie of Southgate Hospital.