Non si deve profanare il sonno dei morte
The Living Dead
Let Sleeping Corpses Lie
Don't Open the Window
The inclusion of The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue on the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) hit list of Video Nasties illustrates perfectly the way in which the horror genre itself was being suppressed. The rhetoric that suggested these films were a new breed of vicious horror film that had dropped out of the skies on an unsuspecting public is refuted by the thoughtfulness and intelligence of this film. This is no more offensive than say Night of the Living Dead (1968) and certainly less cheaply exploitative than some of Hammer’s tackier films from the early 1970’s. It is easy to overlook the fact that a number of the films banned were produced several years before. In the case of this film a decade before the media hysteria that led to its brief containment. Part of the unfairness of this was that a very good film like Living Dead… was associated with garbage and not allowed to exist as it should; within its own generic niche. It is a testament to the strength of video censorship in the 1980’s that only a distinct handful of the films classified as Video Nasties have been able to shake off this scandalous tag and subsist without the political and cultural connotations that doom so many to the level of mindless trash. In recent years Living Dead… has been able to recuperate its reputation to a certain extent. Now the film is viewed as an efficient retread of Romero’s principle themes and ideas within a rural English setting. And like Romero’s film also has the wherewithal to include a level of allegory.