Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)

let sleeping corpses lie poster 1974 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Some fun horror and gore

Derivative of Night of the Living Dead

Movie Info

Movie Name: Let Sleeping Corpses Lie

Studio: Star Films S.A.

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s):  September 30, 1974 (Sitges Film Festival)/November 28, 1974 (Italy)

MPAA Rating: R

let sleeping corpses lie living dead at manchester morgue zombie fernando hilbeck

Zombie Jokes: This cop takes like pork…am I right guys?!?!

Antique dealer George Meaning (Ray Lovelock) finds himself thrown together with Edna Simmonds (Cristina Galbó) as she travels to countryside to visit her drug addict sister Katie West (Jeannine Mestre).  When they learn about a new farming machine which uses radiation to kill parasites, Edna finds that there is a side effect of the machine…the recently dead return to life with inhuman strength and a hunger for flesh!  When a murder occurs, local inspector (Arthur Kennedy) believes George and Katie are behind the crime…and George and Katie must prove their innocence as the zombie plague begins to spread.

Directed by Jorge Grau, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (Spanish:  No profanar el sueño de los muertos; Italian: Non si deve profanare il sonno dei morti aka Do Not Profane the Sleep of the Dead) is a Spanish-Italian grindhouse zombie horror movie.  The film also goes by the titles of The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue and Don’t Open the Window among others, and it has gained a cult following over the years.

Night of the Living Dead was a real game changer for horror films.  Not only did it revolutionize the zombie movie, but it also presented a level of horror and style that was quickly emulated.  Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is a direct descendant of Night of the Living Dead, but it does have some merit on its own.  Due to story aspects, a ******spoiler alert****** is in effect for the rest of the review.

let sleeping corpses lie living dead at manchester morgue cops vs hippies arthur kennedy ray lovelock

Damn, dirty hippies are all the same! (Shakes fist at cloud)

The story is a law-vs-hippies story.  The lead characters keep trying to explain the zombies, but they are dismissed because of their looks and contrast with the countryside.  They are considered druggies and also quickly labeled “Satanists”).  The origin of the zombies also is science vs. nature with the machine essentially polluting the ground with radiation and sonic waves…this all continues to build.  It becomes obvious (for jaded horror viewers) that George and Katie keep destroying evidence of their innocence…and the similarity with Night of Living Dead ends with almost an identical plot line-up with Katie dying followed by George being gunned down.

With dubbed lines, it is hard to judge Cristina Galbó and Ray Lovelock.  For what they are working with, they don’t do a bad job, and Christina does a nice job as a “scream-queen”.  The inspector Arthur Kennedy is slumming it in the movie as a five time Academy Award nominated actor who hams it up as the inspector who hates hippies.  I do kind of like Fernando Hilbeck who plays the prime zombie…and manages to give him a bit of menacing personality.

let sleeping corpses lie hospital attack zombies

Oh…I don’t need the full service hospital.

The movie has that gritty 1970s look which adds to the horror.  This grindhouse style combines with some extreme gore.  Unlike Night of the Living Dead which was black-and-white, the movie is vibrantly colored.  It would have been interesting to see this in black-and-white, though the color does create some nice looking shots.

While derivative at its core, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie has some good moments.  The movie works best when it is borrowing from Night of the Living Dead (like the scene at the graveyard with Galbó and Lovelock trapped with the zombies) and only slows down when it becomes ridiculously stereotypical about the social issues.  The movie is worth checking out and whether you call it Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, Breakfast at the Manchester Morgue, Do Not Speak Ill of the Dead, or any of the multiple titles, enjoy a fun, gory zombie movie you might have missed.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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