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A cop chases two young people visiting the English countryside, suspecting them of a local murder; unbeknownst to him, the real culprits are the living dead, brought to life with a thirst for human flesh by radiation being used by area farmers as a pesticide alternative. Written by
The 1971 giallo "What Have You Done to Solange?" was the film that first turned me on to the abundant charms of Spanish actress Christine Galbo, and I just had to have more. In "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie," an Italian/Spanish coproduction from 1974 directed by Jorge Grau, Galbo plays a redhead but is still oh-so gorgeous. In this one, she accidentally wrecks the motorcycle of vacationing antiques dealer Ray Lovelock in the English countryside, and before long, both of them are playing defense against the horde of reanimated corpses that has been brought to inadvertent life by an experimental, ultrasonic farming device. In one of the DVD's many extras, Grau freely admits, during an interview, the picture's debt to George A. Romero's seminal "Night of the Living Dead" (1968), and this debt is not only obvious with reference to the gut-munching zombies on display here (a fairly ugly, creepy, intelligent and fast-moving bunch, I must say), but also to the film's doubly ironic ending. Galbo is as pretty and appealing as I remembered from "Solange," and American star on the downslide Arthur Kennedy manages to score as a bigoted police officer who's convinced that Galbo and Lovelock are responsible for all the gruesome carnage. The film also features gorgeous photography, some well-done gross-out scenes, a tightly plotted story and better-than-average acting. Some of the action sequences unfortunately take place during the dark of night and in gloomy underground crypts, severely limiting the viewer's visibility, but the film on the whole is a gas, especially during its frenetic final half hour. And yes, I think I will be needing another dose of Christine Galbo very shortly....
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