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As much as I love horror movies, I have never really gotten into the flesh eating zombie sub-genre. I am not really sure, but maybe this is because I spent my formative years watching the classic Universal and Hammer horror movies. Sure, I'd watch zombie flicks with my gore hound friends, but I never really sought them out on my own. Only recently, have I begun watching zombie movies because uncut quality editions of these films have started appearing on DVD. LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE ($30) is a movie that I had heard about, but never seen before the Anchor Bay Entertainment DVD appeared on my doorstep. After watching the film, I can honestly say that LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE is much better than average zombie flick. What I liked about the movie is the fact that the movie has a decent plot, a moderate gore level and an ironic sense of humor.

The plot of LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE follows two travelers that are brought together by circumstance in the English countryside. Stopping for directions in an agricultural community, they come across a government-sponsored experiment that uses sonic waves to drive insects away from crops. While the process does get rid of pests, it has one unfortunate side effect- the sonic waves resurrect the dead as ravenous zombies- hungry for human flesh. Of course, when our travelers report their encounter with a zombie, the authorities refuse to believe their story. Soon, all the corpses at the local morgue rise up and start looking for a free lunch. The cast of LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE includes Arthur Kennedy, Ray Lovelock, Christine Galbo and William Lyton.

Anchor Bay Entertainment has made LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE available on DVD in a 1.85:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. For a low budget foreign made zombie from 1974, LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE looks quite good. The image on the DVD is relatively sharp and offers up a good level of detail. Blemishes on the film element are minimal, as is noticeable grain. Colors are fairly natural in appearance and look better than other movies from the same period. As one should expect, reds are the most intense hues and they are solidly reproduced on DVD, without a hint of noise or bleeding (except during zombie feasts). Blacks are accurate, plus there is good contrast and decent shadow detail for a film of this vintage. Digital compression artifacts remain out of sight during the presentation.

For this release, LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE has been upgraded to a Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. The new mix makes the most of the original sound elements and sounds as though the bass level has been mildly enhanced. There is a good sense of atmosphere, plus some nice directional effects have been integrated into the mix. Surround usage is better than I expected, but isn't as good as a new movie mixed directly into the discrete format. Dialogue reproduction is clean and fully intelligible.

Music and a bit of animation enhance the interactive menus, which give one access to the standard scene selection feature, as well as some extras. Included is a brief introduction by director Jorge Grau, as well as a twenty-minute interview, in which he talks about the film. TV and radio spots are also included, although they advertise the film under one of its alternate titles (of which there were many). A nice sized still gallery of promotional artwork is the final extra on the DVD.

If you are a fan of the zombie sub-genre, you will want to check out Anchor Bay's fine DVD release of LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE.


Let Sleeping Corpses Lie



DVD reviews are Copyright 2001 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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