Friday, July 17, 2015

mad about apples.

Found this languishing in a draft file whilst clearing out the smut.

No idea why.

Perhaps I felt it too good a movie to subject to the usual mooth shite-in shenanigans.

But then again....

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (AKA The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, Don't Open the Window, Breakfast at the Manchester Morgue, No profanar el sueño de los muertos 1974).
Dir: Jorge Grau.
Cast: Christina Galbo, Ray Lovelock, Arthur Kennedy, Jeannine Mestre, Jóse Lifante, Fernando Hilbeck, Giorgio Trestini and Isabel Mestres in a pair of sexy spectacles.

"You're all the same the lot of you with you cheap clothes and faggot hair and you hate the police....You make it easy."



Hip 'n' happening antique shop owner cum moustachioed mum magnet George (the always fantastic Lovelock), needing a break from the cut-throat world of cleaning old clocks has planned a well deserved weekend away at a cottage with friends.

Quickly leaving a rainy - and scary stripping housewife filled - Manchester astride his funky moped he soon hits the quiet country lanes of Mummerset where he comes across (you know the drill) the ravishing readhead Edna (dream queen Galbo) when she accidentally runs over his bike at a petrol station.

An (overly if I'm honest) angry George demands a lift to his destination and Edna, being one of those simpering types only found in Eurohorror of a certain age agrees but only if they can go visit her poppy eyed, junkie sister Katie (Mestre latterly starring in the hit TV epic Tornarem) first.

As far as first dates go I've been on worse.

Meanwhile in a nearby field, well meaning - and jaunty hatted - scientists are busy testing a brand new patented radiation emitting device intended to destroy the nervous systems of insects and therefore revolutionise farming.

Unfortunately it also has the fairly surprising effect of bringing the recently dead back to life.

The first being local celebrity tramp and former Big Brother and Benefits Street star Guthrie (the sinister beard wearing Hilbeck) who attacks Edna in her car whilst George is away asking directions.

Fortunately Edna manages to scare him away by brandishing a bar of soap at him before George returns tho' this has the effect of making our hero think that Edna is a wee bit mental.

Mental and a redhead?

What's not to love?


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Bad science at work
outside Manchester earlier today.


Anyway, over at their remote cottage crack fiend Katie is in the middle of a particularly drug-fuelled row with her frighteningly ferret faced  photographer husband Martin (To Love is Forever's Lifante) regarding Edna's impending arrival.

Obviously he just doesn't like ginger birds.

Fool.

Storming off to a nearby waterfall in order to take some 'pictures moaning Martin leaves Katie wallowing in a pool of tears and snot on the kitchen floor.

Luckily (for us that is) this scene of domestic drama is rudely interrupted by Guthrie who bursts into the house and tries to bite Katie on the arse.

Which kinda proves that if a dead man can't bear to look at your face you must be in trouble.

Boiled onions!

Running screaming to the waterfall to find her husband, things go from bad to very bad when ghoulish Guthrie kills poor Martin, leaving Katie no alternative but to run all the way back to the house.

Which at least means she'll have sweated all the shite out of her system by the time her sister turns up which can't be a bad thing really.

Falling into her sisters arms Katie tells the newly arrived pair the whole sorry story.

George, being a fairly imagination free type of guy is unimpressed but heads off to check out Katie's story anyway, reasoning that if nothing else he can probably get a few quid for Martin's camera in his shop.

What a guy.

Unfortunately it's a pretty cheap model so instead George pockets the film, probably in the hope of it containing some nude 'readers wives' style shots of Katie.

Well beggars can't be choosers.

Edna meanwhile has phoned the police, which would usually be a sensible thing to do but unfortunately the local law enforcement team is led by the booze soaked bigot Inspector Barry B'stard (Kennedy, giving a scarily accurate portrayal - in hindsight - of self proclaimed 'God's cop' James Anderton follow the link for more info about this frankly terrifying man fact fans) who immediately accuses Katie of murdering her hubbie before criticising the length of Edna's skirt and calling George a girlie barnetted faggot.

And for these reasons alone B'Stard orders an understandably annoyed George and a teary eyed (yet still hot as fuck) Edna to book into the local hotel whilst he investigates the murder and find/fake evidence of their involvement.

So not at all like the real police then.

Meanwhile in the middle of all this shouting Katie finally has a total meltdown and is sent to the nearest hospital where, it turns out that all the newborn babies have started biting (well gumming) the nurses.

Could this be in any way related to all this science that's going on?

Arriving in town George, in full James Bond mode, secretly takes the roll of film from Martin's camera to a local chemist to have it developed.



Look, who knows how long he's going to be stuck in his room so he might have well have some fun, I mean given the circumstances it's not like Edna's going to be giving out any time soon.

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"Oh beggorah! ya wee tinka! you
touched up dem burds to be sure you did" - Dave Lee Travis is questioned by Eamon Andrews regarding Operation Yewtree.



Rising early next morn to collect the photos, George is upset to find that not only are there no - tasteful - nudes of Katie but also no sign of the man who allegedly killed Martin so George, not one to get turned on by random pics of trees hands them over to B'stard.

Annoyed with the police's patent bastardness and bored with staring at the local duck pond, our hero decides to take matters into his own hands (but not his sexy bearded mouth unfortunately) and persuades Edna to join him on a search for the elusive Guthrie.

Unbeknown to the pair, B'stard has sent one of his officers, PC Craig (Four of the Apocalypse and The Beast star Trestini) Fairbrass, to trail them.

Following a mysterious fishy smell that's been perminating in the air of late, the pair find themselves in the local graveyard where following a noise - and their noses - coming from crypt  they discover Guthrie lunching out on the vicars ample thighs.

If that wasn't scary - and disturbing - enough it seems that the terrifying tramp has acquired the power to reanimate the dead by simply stroking their eyeballs.


He really should audition for Britain's Got Talent.

Trapped by an even increasing undead army (OK, there are three of them but hey, who's counting) George and Edna desperately try to climb out of a convenient hole in the wall as Guthrie and co. slowly (and stinkingly) advance.





You would, I would, your dad probably did. Twice.

The pair finally manage to scrabble thru' the hole and into a freshly dug grave where luckily PC Craig just happens to be standing having a sly fag.

Helping them out of the grave the trio quickly flee, locking themselves in a nearby storeroom but are soon surrounded by Guthrie and his ever growing entourage of recently revived pensioners.

Realising that he's dropped his radio outside - and knowing that a film of this ilk only has room for one facially haired hero, Craig makes a dash to retrieve it but is soon caught by the unwashed undead who make quick work of tearing his chest open and eating his kidneys.

Wiping his chin on Craig's flapping chest Guthrie soon turns his attention back to George and Edna (will he eat her whole or spit that bit out?) but George is now prepared to fight back and launches an oil lamp at him.

Luckily he was sensible enough to light it first and the zombies quickly burst into flames - tho' not, alas song - giving the pair enough time to escape.

Edna, still being the sensible type, heads off to inform the police of all this undead activity whilst George uses Craig's car to head off to the farm to inform the science folk of their machines unfortunate side effects.

It says a lot for George as a stand up heroic type that we're all inclined to believe his leap of logic regarding the cause of the zombie outbreak without even the merest hint of evidence.

Yes he's that super cool.

There is no such thing as a straight man, just guys who've never seen Ray Lovelock.


Arriving at the farm it'll come as no surprise to find that dear old Barley Moe (for it is he) and the two scientists think he's talking bollocks leaving George no alternative but to smash the machinery before quickly driving away whilst giving the chasing trio the vickies out the back window.

What a guy!

Meanwhile back at the main plot B'stard has found (what's left of) Craig alongside a pile of burnt bodies and using his fantastic detective powers deduces that George and Edna are, in fact, devil worshippers before issuing a 'shoot to kill' order on the pair.

The news that George has deliberately wrecked a piece of government property only adds to his annoyance.

Whilst all this slightly fascistic posturing is going on Edna has decided to head back to Katie's house first in order to reapply her make-up or something (look she's a girl and therefore impossible to understand) but her preening is cut short by the surprise arrival of her undead brother-in-law.

Luckily he's as useless in death as he is in life and is soon dispatched by Edna who nonchalantly runs him over.

It's almost as if she hasn't realised that it's her bad driving that started this whole mess.

Reunited with George (who manages to persuade her to let him drive) the pair go to the local garage with the sole intention of staring at the spooky disabled child that works there.

Oh yes and to buy a huge can of petrol so that George, confused as to what else he can do, can set fire to some stuff.

Magnificent as this plan is, it's cut short when George is caught by the police who were on their way back from picking up Martin's body.


Inspector B'stard standing proud as a freshly sucked cock watches with almost unbridled glee as George is bundled into the back of a van and Edna is whisked away to hospital.

Whilst all this Sweeney-esque behaviour is going on Tony and Dean Scientist are busying themselves repairing their machine in order to kill even more bugs.

Oh yes and reanimate even more corpses, the majority of which are stored in the (non Manchester based) morgue at the nearby hospital.

The same hospital where Edna is being taken.

Will George escape from police custody and save Edna?

Will Inspector B'stard get bored hounding our hero and turn his attentions to immigrants and Gypsies?

Will Euro-hottie Isabel Mestres turn up in an ill fitting pair of bottle-top NHS specs before getting her ample breasts eaten?

And more importantly how will they explain all this to my nan?



Is it wrong to find this poster sexy?



Fright permed Spanish shock-meister Jorge Grau's magnificent take on the zombie genre is frankly a delight to behold and those expecting a trashy exploitative Eurohorror will be in for a surprise as Corpses is a well crafted, well acted and at times well terrifying shocker.

From it's wildly experimental synth score (courtesy of Giuliano Sorgini - who also scored The Beast In Heat showing that no-one's perfect) and pitch-perfect performances via Grau's skewered outsiders view of 70's Britain; scenes of George leaving a grey and grimy rain swept Manchester - encountering traffic jams, bored commuters and an unattractive streaker on the way - thru' to the eerie desolate Lake district shot woodland scenes, give the film an almost dreamlike - nay nightmarish - quality and an overriding sense of foreboding and doom that seeps thru' every shot.


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Gory Guthrie discovers that the
UK doesn't have any blood banks....



Grau isn't afraid to give the film a slow, almost leisurely build up either, taking time to introduce us to the characters whilst his fluid direction keeps your attention on the unfolding story, even if it at times falters as far as logic is concerned.

A prime example of this is the nature of the zombies which can't be photographed giving them an almost supernatural, not man made presence during the films first half as does the almost magical way that Guthrie can transform other corpses just by touch which is at odds with the 'scientific' reason given for the outbreak later.


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....but it does have a Liverpool!


None of that matters tho' as the films second half picks up a frantic pace, the undead vs. the living plot line revs up a notch and the movies horror factor intensifies as first the recently deceased then new born babies become affected by the radiation. 
Corpses builds to a surprising climax and suitably downbeat ending and all praise to Grau for taking this route.

It's CCCHHHHRRRIIISSSTTTMMMAAASSSS!


It's sad that in his 40 plus years as a film-maker, Jorge Grau only ever directed two films in the horror genre but luckily the other is the quite fantastic Elizabeth Bathory based Legend of Blood Castle (available from Mya Communications - or it was - if anyone's interested).

Released in 1972 and featuring the to die for Lucia Bosé as the infamous Countess, Bloody Castle is well worth searching out if you fancy an evening of blood, sex and scares that doesn't involve your mum.

Plus it makes a great double bill with Mark of The Devil which features a nice bit of Udo Kier for the ladies.

Movie dates a good 'un then.

Thank me later.

Or at least invite me to the wedding.


Lucia Bosé: No amusing captions just sheer lust (for a vampire obviously).



You have to wonder tho' what other horrific delights Grau could have brought to the screen had his career taken a different path.

An essential for any self respecting film fan or anyone with eyes.

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