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MOVIE REVIEWS

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)


Let Sleeping Corpses Lie
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Reviewed By Zombie-A-GoGo

1974 was a good year. You got your Chinatown, you got your Godfather 2, you got your Blazing Saddles, and you also got your Let Sleeping Corpses Lie. This was also the year of my birth, just to demonstrate how great a year it really was. George (Ray Lovelock) hops upon his motorbike, leaving the big city behind in favor of the peaceful countryside for the weekend. The opening montage, cross-cutting between urban pollution and rolling green hills is only interupted by a random streaker. A woman drops her coat, revealing herself to be completely naked, and then runs, flippity-flop across the street. If you're not hooked then, you never will be.

Once in the country, George stops for gas and while enjoying a tasty beverage, his bike is backed over by Edna (Cristina Galbó). She is very apologetic and he is a...well...a jerk. His bike can't be repaired for days, so George hitches a ride (more like takes over and drives). Edna is on her way to see her smack-addicted sister, Katie (Jeannine Mestre) and her photographer husband Marin (Ruiz Lifante), to see about committing her sister, as any good sibling would.

The pair get lost and soon, zombie action occurs. Our opening zombie, Guthrie (Fernando Hilbeck) is unsettling, thanks to the atmosphere built, through sound and photography, by Grau. You can pretty much tell when there is a zombie at hand for the rasping breath and eerie music. Next thing you know, there's murder and the fuzz is called in, and with that we are introduced to "The Inspector" (Arthur Kennedy), who gets all the best lines.

As our tale continues, we are treated to more memorable undead, who rasp and rattle, shambling around. They look weak, but are actually capable of pulling large tombstones out of the ground and tossing them at police officers. And you'd better watch out when they get together.

Granted, the first half is a little slow, but Grau's direction keeps your attention on the characters and story, even if the acting is anywhere from kinda-bad to not-really-so-bad, and the story, at times, lacks basic logic (zombies can't be photographed?). All that aside, it picks up on the second half, when the zombie-action heats up and our gore factor intensifies both in appearances and frequency. Hats off to Italian make-up artist Giannetto De Rossi (Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West [1969], Lucio Fulci's Zombie [1979] and Antonio Margheriti's Cannibal Apocalypse [1980]).

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is one of the earliest gore-fest zombie flicks, and has a pleasant distinction of being one with some professional quality. In some 40 years of filmmaking, Jorge Grau has only two horror films under his belt (the other being Ceremonia sangrienta in 1973), and he thankfully did it justice with this undead entry.


FILM RATING

(Out of 5)
RELEASE DATES
November 28, 1974 (Italy)
October 20, 1975 (Spain)


GOGO's ADVICE
Don't bother renting, just go out and buy it. You'll want this one for your collection.
ZOMBIE LESSONS LEARNED
1. Don’t let Night of the Living Dead zombies fool you, they can get in if they really wanted.
2. Chances are, if attacked by a zombie, a bra won't provide one ounce of protection.
3. Throwing a well-placed towel to the face of your captor can aid in escape.
FAVORITE QUOTES
-"You're all the same, the lot of you with your long hair and faggot clothes."
-"The dead don't walk around. Except in very bad paperback novels. They're dead, and that's that!"
-"Sergeant, this is Craig reporting, at the cemetery. There are dead people...trying to kill me!"
-"I'm mad about apples."
INTERESTING TIDBITS
Ray Lovelock seems to be enjoying a reoccurring role on an Italian television series called Incantesimo as Hans Rudolph.
Cristina Galbó is a Flamenco dancing instructor in California.
Arthur Kennedy, as horror fans might appreciate, went on to play Monsignor Franchino in The Sentinal (1977). Film fans in general might be interested in the fact that he was Ocsar nominated for the films Champion (1949, supporting Kirk Douglas), Bright Victory (1951), Trial (1955), Peyton Place (1957) and Some Came Running (1958, supporting Frank Sinatra)
AKA : No profanar el sueño de los muertos (1975) [Spain]; Non si deve profanare il sonno dei morti; Breakfast at the Manchester Morgue; Don't Open the Window [USA]; Fin de semana para los muertos (1974) [Spain, working title]; The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue [UK]; Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974); Zombi 3 (1974) [Italy]
MEDIA
Official Trailer - Video Detective
AROUND THE WEB
Meet Jorge Grau, the Man Who Made Manchester Mysterious - Shivers Magazine #79


DIRECTOR
Jorge Grau (Legend of Blood Castle)
WRITERS
Juan Cobos
Sandro Continenza
Marcello Coscia
Miguel Rubio
CAST CHARACTER
Cristina Galbó Edna
Ray Lovelock George
Arthur Kennedy The Inspector
Fernando Hilbeck Guthrie
Jeannine Mestre Katie
José Lifante Martin
Aldo Massasso Kinsey
Giorgio Trestini Craig
Roberto Posse Benson
Gengher Gatti Keith
PRODUCTION COMPANY
Flaminia Produzioni Cinematografiche; Star Films S.A.
STUDIO
Hallmark Releasing Corp.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
Spain & Italy
RUNNING TIME MPAA RATING
93 mins Unrated


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