February 18, 2006

RARE GEMS; MILL OF THE STONE WOMEN (1960) REVIEW 4

1960 produced a small but significant revolution in milestones of what soon would be. The decade started off a boom year for international horror.


In the U.K Hammer were producing ingots of stylish celluloid guignol and Michael Powell created the seminal ‘Peeping Tom’ which received a very short release.

Mario Bavas’ ‘Black Sunday’ made its monochrome nightmare debut to an Italian audience. It also brought us the femme fatale Barbara Steele who, in my opinion, is vastly overrated when it comes to looks and acting (in?)Capability. Roger Vadim in France brought us ‘Et mourir de Plaisir’ (Blood and Roses) this movie was based on Le Fanus 18th century lesbian gothic novella ‘Carmilla’. The yanks spewed forth some interesting gems via Roger Corman and A.I.P, focussing predominantly on diarrhoea loose adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe.

This was a fistful of fun for many an early ‘sinema’ fan. Especially in Europe as the audiences usually got to see the fully uncut version and therefore could appreciate such work fully.


1960 also saw ‘Mill of the Stone Women’ joining the legion of the aforementioned new euro-Goth. It was the creation of director ‘Giorgio Ferroni’. It is an oft overlooked and ravishingly cinematographed piece of gothic propensity. Previously sourced in piss weak VHS hacks that were just about watchable the movie has now been given a whole new lease of life via the hit and miss Mondo Macabro label.

We can finally bear witness too how important colour was to the movie as well as the intricate plotline. The remastered print restores the initial Reds and Blues to their former dominant impetus.

We can see the other colours pale in comparison rendering them almost pastel-like, this realises the notion that maybe the director respects each frame of film as an artist respects every inch of his canvas regarding colour and complementary hues.



Where Franjus’ ‘Les Yeux ….’ and Bavas’ ‘Black Sunday’ used the monochrome to maximum stylish effect Ferroni had that luxury in colour. There are traits seen so reminiscent of Bavas style that one could quite easily mistake the film for that director.

The plot based on an old Flemish Tale by Peter van Wiegen probably originated from the passing seafaring folk as many races passed through the ports of Belgium and of Holland.

Lowland / Flemish folklore indicate that stories and mysterious artefacts were brought along with other merchant fayre. This tale substitutes the castle for a windmill and a welcome scientific update (albeit 1912 compliant) on the vampire theme.

THE PLOT

1912 and Hans Von Arnem (Pierre Brice) arrives at the rustic town of Veese near Rotterdam.

Hans is a writer and wants to interview the highly reclusive Professor Gregorius Wahl. In Wahls’ Windmill there housed is a most unusual tourist attraction, a morbid carousel and an accompanying infectious melody that is activated in synchronisation to the cogs and mechanics of the building.


Hans arrives and finds Wahl to be most hospitable though witnessing the carousel featuring scenes of female persecution and bondage renders him a little ill-at-ease.

After composing himself, whilst investigating, he meets the mysterious Elfi (Scilla Gabel) who reveals herself to be Wahls' daughter.

Elfi falls for Hans but feels aggrieved when Hans sweetheart Liselotte ( Dany Carrell) shows up on the scene. Elfi uses emotional blackmail due to her inane jealousy. She also reveals that any sudden upheaval or emotional distress could result in death due to an odd illness she has.

Hans does not succumb to Elfis allure, this triggers a seizure where she dies. Hans in a fit of guilt and disorientation wanders into the night, after a brisk walk, he returns back to the Mill.


Wahl attempts to remedy Hans’ trauma by administering a tranquilliser. This in effect causes delirious experiences not too dissimilar to L.S.D. He witnesses Elfi returning back to life from death, bloody knives, secret pendants and a redhead bound to an operating table where she looks like she is being drained of blood.


Hans becomes even more disorientated when he comes back to reality; Elfi is alive and seems to be perfectly well! Were the visions drug induced or reality?

Hans returns to Liselotte and his best friend a confused mess. With their help Hans is determined to reveal what secrets lay behind the windmill and the strange Elfi. The thirst to separate fact from fiction is fuel enough for Hans to unearth the truth which will horrify him and jeopardise the life of the one he most cherishes; where she could literally be drained of her life.



CRITIC

Mill of the Stone Women starts as an eerie supernatural thriller and changes part way into a sci-fi medical horror.

I have great admiration for this motion picture due to its pioneering stamp on the blotting book of celluloid individualism. Without that crown we would have a well stylised piece of eerie melodrama. As this contributed to and influenced so heavily the surfeit of imitators that not necessarily imitated all, but borrowed heavily from the visual style in which Ferroni excelled in, the film deserves high praise on this alone.


Some sequences have a bewitching ethereal quality that caresses from start to finish.

The enchanting lead female protagonist combines melancholy and doom as skilfully as she achieves the hard ‘ugly but beautiful’ achievement that is so finely balanced on a knife edge and be a catastrophe if not steered with cinematic know-how.

Tragedy and mortality celebrate their marriage dwelling in the sadness of the windmills inhabitants; throughout the mill are littered skulls reminding the inhabitants of mortality an omen too perhaps, of the perils of ignoring it and the consequence.


Object d’art clutters the space emphasising decay, agedness and mortality again. It’s though the inhabitants of the Mill, by avoiding mortality, are causing the interiors/atmosphere to deteriorate on their behalves. Ferroni uses the canal side exteriors by emphasising on the damp, the dark and the overcast.

His technique not only to affects the visual sensibilities of the viewer but others are lured into the experience. You can smell the must of the cramped indoor spaces, the stagnancy of the canals can be revisited depending on if you are engrossed or not (I obviously was!).

In one brilliant sequence Wahl is introduced. He moves along the narrow aisle of intricately carved mottos and emblems. Dogmatic sculptures also grace the aisles slightly animate via the red and blue Technicolor.


Elfi can be seen languishly draped over her bed suffused in powerful chroma dominating its pastel neighbours. Candle lit archways, cobwebbed vaults and draped curtain backdrops are formed into stylish compositions.

We also see an early example of exploitation. In a much excised scene- Dany Corrells’ nipple can be seen exposed as she is strapped to the medical table. This is thankfully restored in the region 1 release.


It is also an error that this is the first ‘horror nudie’ – it isn’t. In Michael Powells ‘Peeping Tom’ made one year earlier featured a brief nude scene with Pamela green, this was expectedly excised by our censors, I have never seen this, so have personal reservation.

With poetical imagery and the rejuvenation aspect of restoring the features of a young woman disfigured due to emotional concerns harks back again to Franju.


Finally we must not forget the culprit that lured Hans to his destiny in the first instance – the carousel of pain. This addition of mechanical macabre is virtually hypnotic to witness; soft lens photography makes beauty out of barbarity courtesy of Pier Ludovico Pavoni.

The tempo may seem slow at times but is not out of place to the dreamlike quality that makes the narrative flow. I feel this should be seen by all enthusiasts who show a true appreciation of the exploitation genre or the horror genre in general as it is too damned important to miss.


MOST OUTSTANDING MOMENT

In one of the hallucinatory sequences Hans finds himself in a sombre room, the four poster is illuminated by candlelight; the corpse of Elfi sits upright in bed wide-eyed. She turns bleeding from the corner of her mouth; her face contorts in merciful pain as she holds out both her hands. She seems trapped in esoteric limbo, in unimaginable pain, in an area cocooned in web, dust and darkness. Are these things witnessed caused by a drug induced hallucination or simply esoteric reality................


I AM ALSO KNOWN AS ……..

Drops of Blood

Horror of the Stone Women


Icon (USA) (video title)

Mill of the Stone Women (USA)

Moulin des supplices, Le

The Horrible Mill Women

THE DIRECTOR; Giorgio Ferroni

THE YEAR; 1960

THE COUNTRY; Italy / France

THE MUSIC; Carlo Innocenzi

February 14, 2006

RARE GEMS – CORRUPTION (A.K.A LASER KILLER) (1967) REVIEW 3






George Franjus’ ‘Les Yeux Sans Visage’ (1959) is definitely more art house than exploitation,and I cannot praise it enough - go find ....anyway.... it was this masterpiece of French new wave that resulted in a few cash-ins. These imitations dwelled on the perverse marriage of ‘sex and surgery’ and spawned a small legion of imitations of varying quality.

Jess Franco gave us Dr .Orloff which he created in 1962, fusing sex, surgery and ‘sci-cod’ and which is still going strong today with Orloff often popping up in Francos’ films concerning the good Doctor primarily or nothing to do with him at all. As late as 1988 we can still see evidence of this in the film ‘Faceless’ out this contemporary ‘mipic’ (mini epic) of fucked up identity and surgical horror set to a cheesier than cheese discotheque soundtrack and it features Kojak !

Franju captured the essence of melancholy and a visual ‘poetry’ of sadness, with the main protagonist in a ‘faceless’ white mask wandering through silhouetted corridors whilst dogs in cages bark and howl are images that haunt you forever.

Such an amazing dreamlike atmosphere sets it well above the rest of its imitators. Though we should not really dismiss the lesser contemporaries as any less genius in their own fields of accomplishment.

One such of these ‘lesser known’ is Robert Hartford Davies responsible for 1967’s seminal ‘Corruption’. What’s also unique about this entry is it is British through and through! It is a movie far grittier that the Hammer or Tigon studios could chuck out at the time. The formula itself and the staple narrative of this twisted tale can be seen in various movies that resulted in the ‘problematic’ nasties of the early 80’s. Though never, as far as I am aware, released on VHS in England I would imagine it would’ve made the obscenity list if released in it’s ‘uncut’ form pre-VRA (Video Recordings Act), in this day and age I would imagine an uncut release but whether Peter Cushings antics with a prostitute and a potential victim on a train would cause problems it’s difficult to say, especially as the BBFC are so bloody fickle.

‘Corruption is a super shock film’, ‘Corruption is not a woman’s’ picture’ screamed the press books and marketing campaign. What can definitely be stated is that we are dealing with one of the most enfant terribles of 1960’s horror cinema up to that point.

What the censors at the time, worried what the horror genre could evolve into is epitomised in Corruption and managed expertly so. Several no-nos and taboos of the age are boldly flaunted; the prostitution of swinging London, the hedonism of the current ‘youth culture’, mad surgeons and violent youth gangs added petrol to flame. For 10 years such was ‘Corruptions’ notoriety that it was used as a benchmark on just how vile a movie can be. Corruption was also an independent production released via a major studio namely Columbia, this took many a critic also off guard.

If the films marketing had boasted ‘Cushing – as you’ve never seen him before’, then for once this would be most truthful. Peter Cushing plays a character unlike I have ever seen in any of his other movies and to see just how warped and twisted his character is/becomes then seek ‘Laser killer’, this is the title of the longer continental version of Corruption – more on that later.

THE PLOT

Sir john Rowan played so eloquently by one of my favourite actors Peter Cushing is a wealthy talented surgeon. John is happily in love with Lynn Nolan (played by the beautiful Sue Lloyd) who is his fiancée and part time model.

Sir John is clearly out of his depth as he is dragged to a swinging sixties ‘wing-ding’ party. Although Sir John looks ill at ease and his wing has truly lost its ding he suffers in silence, as he will do anything for Lynn.

At the party they bump into ‘Mike’ played by Anthony Booth (Death Us Do Parts’ scouse git and Tony Blairs father-in-law), Mike is quite obnoxious and insists on snapping away at Lynn much to Sir Johns’ chagrin.

When things get a little too ‘full on’ with Mike wanting Lynn to ‘lewd it up’ in front of the camera, Sir John intervenes. A small fight ensues, one of the lamps used for lighting crashes down on Lynn’s face severely charring the flesh and rendering her scarred for life. Sir John blames himself and carries the cross of this unfortunate incident.

The solution to Lynn’s predicament that is slowly impacting on her sanity is a revolutionary laser treatment created by Sir John. It is also established that human pituitary glands are needed as grafts, the problem faced is where to get them.

After using a cadaver for this purpose initially Sir john feels that something a little warm blooded is necessary. Brutally killing a whore and then a woman on a train are extremely nasty little vignettes with Cushing giving all he’s got in the sleaze stakes, he almost salivates as the red stuff is smeared all over the victims breasts, a marriage of sex and violence that can also be seen in Derek Fords’ (screenplay) other hardcore masterpiece ‘Diversions’ (1976). 'Diversions' also uses the methodology of graphic sex coupled with extreme violence that is jaw dropping at times (this I will review another time).

In fear of their safety in light of the killings and in doubt of their sanities; Sir John and Lynne head for a remote seaside house as far away from the ‘maddening’ crowds as possible.

There he becomes at the mercy of a group of nasty hippy bikers. One spiteful scene has Lynn held back by force as a brandy glass is placed over her nose and mouth obstructing her airflow to almost pass-out. This invasion into Lynn and Sir Johns narcissistic environment spirals out of control ultimately leading to the justifiable apocalypse.

CRITIC

Despite it’s grittiness that was void in hammer films at the time I can’t help feel that the movie is like a Hammer ‘outcast’, sent to obscurity for simply going too far. Corruption when initially released caused a negative reaction when released.

One write up commented ‘ an example of degeneracy to which the cinema can sink in it’s efforts to satisfy an apparent box office demand for horror and sensationalism’, more focus was placed on the graphic content than the unusually ‘fresh’, ‘warts and all’ approach that the movie had adopted. Bearing in mind all U.K audiences were used to so far was fangs, bats and the tepid guignol of Hammer. Although I am a big advocate of the Hammer legacy, where ‘Corruption’ is concerned we can see it is entirely a totally different breed .

The film is such an ‘intense’ piece especially by late 1960’s standards echoing future Italian nasties which laid the gruel and misogyny on thicker for the ‘70’s/’80’s thrill-seeking audiences.

What is most interesting are the two ‘cuts’ of the film, the standard U.K ‘Corruption’ and the infinitely nastier ‘Laser Killer’ (the continental version or European cut as it is sometimes deemed). As mentioned previously this contains some real ‘out-of-character-extraordinaire’ from Cushing. As a true professional Cushing plays this character, unique as he has played nothing like it before or since, with all the menace and passion as one can find in easily any of his ‘Frankenstein/Van helsing’ roles.

The first instance appears with the prostitute, as Sir John leaves his aesthetic surgical utopia for a squalid dive in London. There we meet his first victim a peroxide stereotypical old hooker, in a gob smacking sequence Sir John flips knocking several bales of shit out of her before producing a huge knife which is used to sever the head from the body. An amazing sequence where Cushing plays the lascivious psychopath with such startling relishness and perversion it almost engulfs you. The outstanding and frenetic Jazz score also adds to the delirium and jaded hedonism witnessed on screen. The second involves some poor unfortunate on a train who receives much of the same treatment and has her corpse stuffed under the seat for good measure!

The above uncut footage was denied ever being shot, why? - I am at a loss as there is nothing really embarrassing about these scenes. Admittedly Cushing had done nothing like this before and maybe felt the extremity had gone a little too far over his moral boundary. This still seems a shame that the scenes had to be excised as it adds so much to the undertone of decay and destruction caused by narcissism so important to the movies tone and message.

Early references indicate that these sequences were presumed ‘lost’; fortunately it was only a matter of time before they cropped up in the French sub-titled print released on VHS.

Remarkably all the nefarious footage is there. This version was transferred from VHS to DVD-R where although the quality we have become accustomed too with DVD is sadly lacking this still does not mar any enjoyment. I am most surprised why this hasn’t seen the light of day for such a long time, you have quite major stars convincingly acting their way through the tale, you have controversial subject matter which could placate the taboo hunter and a major theme that has been used in so many films since makes ‘Corruption’ all the more poignant.

It seems to be a ‘lost’ entry in British cinema that could’ve pioneered the way in which horror movies were perceived and executed in the future, but it never quite made it. That’s never to say die though as Killers Moon (1978), Expose (1975), Diversions (1975) and some of the Norman J Warren vehicles attempted to push the boundaries and catch up with the tone our European counterparts had achieved decades back.

I would confess that despite the fashions and ‘far-out-man’ wax lyrical it could still be considered a lost pioneer. It seems to be an unlucky little gem that never seemed to obtain the attention it so rightly deserved. Whether this is due to copyright, legalities or notoriety I cannot comment, as there is much speculation and very little fact on this subject. What I am certain of though is some genre fans are deprived of an arguably ‘lost’ classic that is crying out for the digital treatment, a host of extras and a new beginning - where is Blue Underground when you need ‘em ? GO FIND IT!!!!

OUTSTANDING MOMENT

Whilst preparing a light snack, one of the hoodlums assisting in the terrorisation of Sir John and Lynn, find a rather unpleasant surprise in the refrigerator..…………………

The Country; Britain

The Year; 1967

The Director; Robert
Hartford Davies

The Music ; Bill McGuffie

February 12, 2006

BANNED! THE LIVING DEAD AT THE MANCHESTER MORGUE (1974) - REVIEW 2



In its infancy cinemas’ portrayal of the zombie were quite timid affairs. The cadaver was used more for labour and as an iconic 'homage' to slavery one could expect the odd chill but as we are semi-anaethetised to violence due to contemporary viewing habits this usually passes us by. The odd ‘restrain’ was possibly the only violence on display. A well-crafted eerie example can be found in Tourneurs’ ‘I Walked with a Zombie’ (1943).

It was Hammers’ ‘Plague of the Zombies’ (1966) that set the first prototype for contemporary cadaver hokum we see today. Although the film steered well clear of the ‘extreme’ visceral antics of our Italian friends’ over a decade later, it provided some glorious gothic atmospheric set-pieces. The zombies themselves looked quite evil this time around with the white ‘pin-prick pupil’ eyes, flesh rotting visage and an ‘ungodly’ sound reminiscent of a rabid hound and screaming banshee. There is also a fabulous green tinted (in some prints) sequence where the dead ‘claw’ there way from their graves to surround a petrified Brooke Williams, definite nods to Fulcis’ Zombie 2.

Two years later and a milestone film in Zombiedom saw popularity not only in the ‘drive-in’ underground circuit but mainstream as well. Romeros’ Night of the Living Dead (1968) really set the trend for things to come. Not only did our lumbering corpses now have a crude sense of independence they were stronger than their opponents and had developed an insatiable appetite for offal and flesh.

The early seventies saw several important European films shape the destiny of the genre, both Bob Clarks ‘Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead things’ (1972), ‘Dead of Night’ (1973),’Horror Rises from the Tomb’ (1972) and The Blind Dead Quartet. There may be others but these spring to mind first and foremost.

As well as though funky Templars Spain also spewed forth the vanguard ‘No Profanor el Sueno de los Muertos’ (The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue) (1974), which heavily starts with ecological cock-ups responsible for potential apocalypse on a grand scale. These sort of themes were popular at the time and can be seen on the small screen also in such pioneering brilliance as the Doomwatch BBC TV series (1970-1973) and as late as 1976 with the ‘kidult’ ‘The Changes’.

The true inheritor of the Romero legacy was Spaniard Jorge Grau. He sets his contemporary nightmare in the exquisite landscapes of the Lake District. This rural nirvana will soon be saturated in crimson as man ‘tampers with nature and pays the price’ just like the strap line told us when the movie was hacked a bit and flogged to the United States as ‘Don’t Open the Window’.

THE PLOT

Hippy George (Ray Lovelock) an antiques dealer, with a peculiar cockney ‘hybrid’ accent, closes for the holidays (a wonderful sign I never see today but can remember as a child), he hops on to his trusty bike and sets off to stay with a wealthy friend in the Lake District.

At a garage where he is filling up, Edna (Christine Galbo) hits into Georges’ bike causing enough damage to piss George off and for the vehicle to remain at the garage to be fixed, bank holiday times though. In an effort to be at their destinations George and Edna decide to embark on a journey together in the mini.


Looking for directions George stops off and asks guidance from some nerds from the Ministry of Agriculture testing out their new sonic radiation toy.

Edna is left alone by a gorgeous ‘stepping stoned’ stream where she is attacked and molested by a potential lunatic. Overcome with the shakes and without a valium to pop George gets gentlemanly and takes Edna to her heroin addicted sister Katie.

They arrive to find Katie also in a state of shock, her husband dead and some hysterics about the walking dead. In come the police featuring the quintessentially spiteful detective. The character proves to be an absolute bastard and a pin up no doubt of the Metropolitan police force. Sergeant McCormick played wonderfully by Arthur Kennedy has to be one of the ultimate narrow minded, god fearing, spitefully ignorant fascist to grace a genre film.

After he torments Katie with her heroin addiction until she is on the verge of confessing to cold blooded murder all three are then placed under suspicion.

Edna and George, whom we are quite fond of by now, decide to do a bit of ‘Nancy Drew’ and find out just what the fuck is going on. After establishing the stream attacker was the local loony – who had died an age before Ednas’ assault they decide on brass tacks and go to his burial place. The dead rise and attack our protagonists in some of the most sumptuously staged supernatural dramatics providing claustrophobia, decay and gothic by the bucket load, with some visceral intestinal nibbling to boot!

Something is causing the dead to rise, causing babies to gauge nurses’ eyes and send them screaming down the MRSA free corridors we so fondly remember. The culprit – MAAF plaything!!!! Apparently this revolutionary helps nature help itself the crudest and basic life forms are only affected within a certain radius. These are aggressively stimulated until one thing feasts on another destroying that species to become the dominant. What transpires to be the potentially apocalyptic problem is that the radius has been underestimated and that corpses and very weenie babies have a crude basic nervous system as well.

Passing off the truth as drug induced fantasy the bigoted sergeant chases George pursuing him for every trumped up load of bollocks imaginable including Satanism, cannibalism and other pious condemnations only a man of Sergeant McCormack’s calibre would invent.


This leads to Southgate hospital where Edna and her sister are incarcerated. The dead are everywhere spreading like a disease snacking veritably on female breasts and a varied pic-n-mix of plasma and viscera, one would find at the nearest General Hospital. The climax is just as smashing as the build up to it.


CRITIC

Another ‘nasty’ condemned on these shores as the limply titled ‘The Living Dead’. This Spanish/Italian co-production had so many guises from the most bizarre ‘Breakfast at the Manchester Morgue’ to the quirky ‘Let Sleeping Corpses Lie’ but a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. Some versions were heavily truncated, the most gratuitous being the switchboard operator attack. Fortunately the BBFC version in the u.k is now intact; I haven’t seen this version so please correct me if I am wrong. The version I have is the Anchor Bay boxset ‘Let Sleeping Corpses Lie’, a truly glorious treat is it too, a lot of thought went into this limited edition blending black humour and sombre uniquely in packaging as what can be witnessed during the film. I highly recommend it.

It seemed to me in another recent viewing that all the characters were enshrouded in bleak reality, as the main setting seems to let us witness a misdirected society quite void of faith. From the early credit sequence of a polluted urban cesspit where a naked woman could run across the road in rush hour and not attract much notice from the zombiefied ‘living’ demonstrates this humour noir superbly and very surprisingly accomplished by Grau. You will only miss the point if watching the movie stoned, drunk or if you are iliterate then you'll just see some 'weird afro bitch move naked through the traffic'.


There is also a super sense of irony too from seeing the sign ‘This is Gods’ acre, let nothing defile it’ to see it end up awash in crimson clotted carnage is a joy to behold.

Giuliano Sorgini provided the wraithlike sighs and cries from our dear departed, the opening credit music is absolutely excellent and accompanies the celluloid imagery perfectly. The rhythm of sound maybe the only rhythm heard in a soulless society.

Throughout Graus’ opus to things stale, there is decay touching every minute in every sequence juxtaposed by such delicacy and beauty of nature. How this beautiful, mesmerising thing can become so ugly and abhorrent when tampered with is perfectly clear and is a lesson to us all.


Despite the wide open space Grau has used to full capacity in the location shooting this doesn’t engulf the menace, this is never weakened and instances of claustrophobia litter throughout, a fear most humans share and identify with. This is used to great effect and heightens the panic where Edna is chased by Guthrie the loony after narrowly escaping from him within the confines of a mini cooper. Ghoulish figures appear from deep within mists furthering the insecurity of the viewer as well as the character near to zenith. The fog enshrouds the living like the garment of the dead, you can almost sense the cold ‘ozone’ one snorts in on bitterly cold early mornings. Then to rest within the confines of a small local hospital really concentrates the horror within confined areas for full effect and all the more better for it.


Admittedly there are some crudely executed scenes but they are delightfully ‘stagy’ and spiteful enough to demonstrate how spiteful these flesh hunters are. The mastectomy of the receptionist followed by the removal of what looks like her waterworks is awfully sleazy but gives the movie a ‘far as it goes’ kind of lift. The effects on display are passable but definitely not the best we have seen from de Rossi, but they admittedly do the trick in making most go ‘ughhhh!’


Though no where near as graphic as Fulcis’ epic ‘Zombie Flesh Eaters’ (Zombi 2 1979) , ‘….Manchester morgue’ does not fail to deliver on most , if not all, counts and could be a contender example for what makes a genre film an exceptional genre movie. With first honours in imagination and a slightly off centre quirkiness this makes it one of my personal favourites in the Romero ‘cash-in’ instances.

OUTSTANDING MOMENT

George and Edna find themselves trapped in the cemetery vaults by Guthrie, the loony. As the protagonists frantically scrabble to find a way out the dead re-animate. In a wonderfully surreal sequence some are brought back by anointing blood on the eye lids of a fellow corpse. Proving strange rituals in rural places are alive and kicking in death as well as in life! As a crescendo of asthmatic death rattles echo around the vault a glimmer of light is seen from a window passage……………………………..


THE DIRECTOR; GEORGE GRAU

THE COUNTRY (ies); SPAIN / ITALY / UK

THE YEAR; 1974

THE MUSIC; GIULIANO SORGINI

I AM ALSO KNOWN AS ; Breakfast at the Manchester Morgue ; Don't Open the Window ;Fin de semana para los muertos (Spain) (working title) ; Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (USA); No profanar el sueño de los muertos (Spain);Sleeping Corpses Lie ;The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (UK) ; Zombi 3 (Da dove vieni?) (Italy)