Directed by Jorge Grau, 1974
"I hope you get very scared and suffer profoundly," says the director.
What a lovely way to welcome someone to your movie.
We didn't suffer, though that's no reflection on the movie's excellent pacing and minimal yet painstaking gore effects. We didn't suffer because we're inured to fear. But we also didn't suffer because this is a good movie.
George and Edna, two beautiful people cursed with ungainly names, are thrown together by chance and wind up in the beautiful English countryside during a zombie outbreak. Their unfortunate connection to death by zombie (blamed on Edna's junkie sister) means that they fight not only the undead but also the establishment in the form of a bitter, straightlaced police sergeant. Our heroes' endeavor to fight the zombie menace is nearly eclipsed by the danger of a cop with a grudge.
Zombie explanation: Ultrasonic radiation waves, designed for agricultural use.
Contribution to the zombie canon: The earliest example of zombie babies (which would later appear in 2004's Dawn of the Dead remake) and zombiedom as a result of extreme rage (which popped up in 28 Days Later).
Moral: Let Sleeping Corpses Lie is a good old-fashioned ecological warning: the ills done in the name of "progress" may doom us all.
Favorite moment: Both genders having their breasts ripped off. Homicidal infants. And escape by towel!