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THE LIVING DEAD AT MANCHESTER MORGUE (a.k.a. LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE, DON’T OPEN THE WINDOW, etc., etc.)
Poster countries of origin: U.S. and Thailand
27” x 41” and 21.5” x 30.5”, respectively
Here’s some gore math for ya: NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD plus color, to the power of the creepy and visceral undead FX of Giannetto De Rossi (ZOMBIE, THE BEYOND, HIGH TENSION), divided by religious and environmental overtones equals a huge win for global cinematic carnage. Spanish director Jorge Grau’s splatteriffic masterpiece THE LIVING DEAD AT MANCHESTER MORGUE still stands the test of time as one of the creepiest, goriest, most mean-spirited European zombie movies of all time.
Of course, you wouldn’t have guessed it from looking at the North American poster (although, in all fairness, other entries into the Eurozombie cycle wouldn’t come until later). Clearly attempting to capitalize LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT’s home-invading bogeymen, the film’s distributor lifted the “Keep Repeating: It’s Only a Movie” warning, scrapped any zombie reference, and presented it as DON’T OPEN THE WINDOW. Now, I don’t know about you, but I believe that any title that could have been a quote by my economical dad during winter months serves only to confuse audiences looking for bloody zombie mayhem. Can you imagine if, instead of THE GATES OF HELL, we got I AIN’T BUYING YOU ANOTHER PAIR OF GLOVES?
Thai audiences, on the other hand, did not face such duplicitous advertising. Quite the opposite, actually. Where we got corny, colorized shots that might just be from another film altogether and a slogans that certainly is, they got the freakin’ money shot, front and center. I can only assume that local distributors did not gain from subtlety or lazy marketing, as other genre-related movie materials from Thailand feature equally graphic and beautiful hand-painted designs, rarely diverting from the tradition of showing literally everything. And if you’re from Thailand, your dad probably didn’t care if you opened the window during winter, either.
I would also like to use this space to come clean about something for those following this blog: You will see a lot of zombie stuff in upcoming entries. I could proclaim my love of the undead in full, right here and now, but I’d rather let the posters and future ramblings do the explaining. So keep those eyes peeled, or I’ll peel ’em for ya.
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