Let Sleeping Corpses Lie
(aka The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue, and variations thereof)
Starring: Ray Lovelock, Christine Galbo, Arthur McCormick
DIR: Jorge Grau
Blurb: [blah-blah, director praise]
Two traveling companions, George (Ray Lovelock) and Edna (Christine Galbo), come across a small town infested with the “living dead” that are satisfying their cannibalistic hunger on anyone they come across. Discovering that an agricultural machine using radiation waves is at the root of all the havoc, George and Edna fight for survival and their innocence as they are pursued by a relentless detective who is convinced they are responsible for the ghoulish acts of violence plaguing the countryside. All this leads to a gruesome showdown at the Manchester Morgue - and ending that knots a horrifying twist in the lives of all involved!
My Blurb: I don’t think that the last names mentioned on the IMDB page are correct. I don’t know where they’re getting these last names from, so I’ve gone with the names indicated in the film [which seems understandable, I think]. In addition, this review is long because of the number of screen swaps that happens, and also due to length, it could be considered screencap heavy for those with slower download speeds.
Scene 01: We open on the inside of a small shop. A desk is filled with knickknacks, including a fertility statue of a female figure pinching her nipples - because - uh…
A man, the proprietor, walks up and picks up the statue to put back in place for display. He’s dressed in a cardigan, shirt and tie but otherwise is in 70’s Male Glory with the shaggy hair.
As our man, who will be George Meaning, is packing up a carryall, we pan across to the outer window where we hold a view on a motorcycle. [Someone in a car across the street notices the camera in the shop and is wondering what is going on.]
Scene 02: From outside, we look into the antique shop through the giant window and realize that our conservatively dressed man is the motorcycle’s owner, as he’s now dressed in full leather riding gear.
George finished closing up his shop, and with bag in hand, prepares for what appears to be a trip out of the city.
We get more closeups of the inside of the store as credits roll. The close up ends up on a disturbing painting hinting at a horror beginning for poor George. Also the creepy, electronic score is not making anyone feel better about George’s vacation.
Commentary: And the very first thing I realize is that George -- the main character! -- is going to be my onscreen love interest! I’m so excited! It’s usually some no name who quickly dies before we can really develop our love affair, but this time I get to fall for the main player… Yipppeeee!
Also, Ray Lovelock in fully 70’s Shaggy hair & facial hair is drop dead gorgeous. Although, I suppose that’s really neither here nor there. Forget I tangented.
Scene 03: My gorgeous George rides along the city streets, which are crowded, noisy and polluted as the camera is sure to focus on.
[Despite the zombies, this is very much a 1970’s Eco horror movie, and it’s obvious that Jorge had a deep concern for the pollutants that were being poured into the atmosphere at the time. We’ll get a lot of environmentalist messaging throughout the story, but don’t let that concern you. It still focuses on the horror, rather than the preaching.]
George riding. Flashes of the beautiful green countryside interspersed with the dirty, spewing tailpipes and factory chimneys of the city. The countryside is wide, empty pastures while the city is clogged fulla humanity.
Some men are wearing surgical masks to protect from the pollution/germs. Some are popping vitamins or aspirins. Busses and cars continue to belch smoke.
This goes on for a while, so lets just put it all in here until we get out of the city and to our story. In here, for no other reason than it’s the 70’s and boobs are great, a streaker doffs her overcoat in order to run down the road stark naked. Nobody much reacts to this, surprisingly enough. Sorry naked lady - nobody is paying much attention.
Commentary: Yeah, okay, the first few minutes of the film is slow going as we make our way through the opening theme [which I actually do like] and we’re pummeled with the ‘green, pure Earth vs. what we’re doing to it because we’re bad’ message of the 70s.
It’s okay. Just take a breath and we’ll be onto the actual story before you know it.
Scene 04: George makes it out into the countryside where a man can uncover his scarf and breathe in some clean air.
Meanwhile, a woman is sitting in her car, seemingly with her mind on something distracting. We’ll just go ahead and call her Edna now.
She’s at a gas station/convenience store when George pulls up behind her on his cycle.
While George is grabbing a drink and waiting for the service attendant to fill up his motorcycle, he hears a crunch. It’s Edna, having put her car in reverse on accident and running over the front of his bike, damaging the wheel.
Edna apologizes, assuring George that she’s fully insured and explaining that she’s more than a little tired. George is understanding, if not exactly thrilled but he’s relieved that the fertility statue that he’s hauling around with him wasn’t damaged.
The attendant, alas, has to tell George that his bike is going to need a new wheel and that will have to come from Glasgow, something that won’t happen until Monday as it’s a weekend. With a sigh, George agrees to leave the bike at the garage.
George is supposed to be going to the little town of Windermere, and though Edna says she’s not going into town exactly, but she’ll be passing by it, George insists that she must give him a ride. It’s the least she can do, after all. He also tells Edna that he’ll take over driving since she’s clearly exhausted and too distracted.
Scene 05: Back on the road now, Edna lights herself a cigarette, which George thanks her for as he snatches it from her to puff on. [Yeah, okay - she damaged his bike and it’s all a bother, but George does kinda start off as more than a bit of a douche. He gets a bit better… a bit….]
George and Edna get acquainted, with Edna explaining she’s come from London to see her sister at her cottage nearby. He flips on the radio to catch the tail end of a report about some sort of scientific consensus that the ecological problems are being blown out of all proportion. George flips off the radio with snark about anyone trying to downplay what we’re doing to the planet.
In the meantime, on the narrow country road, a mortuary truck is ahead of them. George is unpleasantly impatient to get to where he’s headed and complains loudly at how slow the truck is and he begins weaving this way and that in an attempt to get around the bugger.
Not only is George trying to crash Edna’s Mini Cooper, but the mortuary truck driver appears more than happy to continually take up the entire roadway and seemingly deliberately tries to keep the car from passing.
Commentary: Honestly. The point of this scene is to show us the City of Manchester morgue signage because it is the truck that drives the main conclusive action though nothing ever takes place in Manchester - making the alternative title for this film utterly meaningless.
Alas though, this isn’t nearly as needed as Jorge thought and I’d be more interested in just seeing Edna and George exchanging some type of personal histories with us so we can get to know them a bit better before the shit starts happening. This is especially true of George, who so far we only know has an antique shop, rides a chopper, and is a generally impatient jerkass.
A gorgeous jerkass, but one just the same.
Scene 06: Once they get around the truck, with George giving the driver a British flip off hand gesture, Edna asks what his hurry is. George is on his way to his own little house in the country where he will spend a few glorious days doing nothing but listening to the grass grow and breathing air not tainted by industry.
So, in other words, apparently not requiring a hurry - or him being rude.
On the road ahead, the sign pointing the way to Windermere is coming up, but it turns off in a different direction than Edna planned on going and she’s insistent that while George doesn’t appear to need to hurry, she has something very, very important going on at her sister’s.
Edna suggests that if George will swing by Southgate first so she can see her sister before something happens she doesn’t want to talk about, she’ll let him take her car on to Windermere and she’ll send someone to pick it up later. George protests that she’ll make him late, as the house he’s headed to is new and friends are going to be meeting him to fix it up. But Edna pleads, and he relents, though a bit snottily.
Scene 07: Our Mini rushes through Southgate, a sleepy, little community with no one apparently out and about. They continue down a winding, mountainous road and past an old parish and cemetery up on a hillside.
As the car continues, we focus on a sign for All Saints Church, Southgate and hear a thrumming noise crowding in on the pastoral scene.
Commentary: Both locations are going to include set pieces, so that is why we’re establishing their presence. But although, again, this doesn’t really seem all that necessary at this point, I have to tell you that this scenery is stunningly beautiful and tranquil. So, I don’t mind spending a few moments of running time to gaze on it all.
Jorge or whoever arranged the shooting locations did a wonderful job in their selections.
Scene 08: Our two protagonists drive by a winding stream. In the car, Edna tells George that she’s only been to her sister’s once, and all of these country roads look alike. She remembers a stream but she’s gotten confused about where they are exactly.
George points out that though there is a stream, the road has ended just ahead of them so clearly they’ve gotten turned around somewhere. He sighs, but spots a small sign indicating their nearby the Lewis farmstead. He offers to run up a hill and see if there is anyone who can tell them where they are.
As George gets out of the car, he suddenly reaches back in and snatches the keys from the ignition. Edna complains, and he suggests that he can’t really afford for her to suddenly leave him stranded there.
As he crosses a stream by a rock path, Edna calls out to him to ask for the Madison house.
Scene 09: While she waits for him to return, hopefully with information on where they missed their turn, Edna looks at her watch anxiously. She gets out of the car to pace and smoke.
Scene 10: Meanwhile, up the hill, George comes across a large field. As he calls out for anyone who might be around, a loud buzzing hum is heard. Out in the field, some workman are tinkering with a machine and pointing a refractor dish at the ground.
The apparently farmer is with them. On the side of the machine is Midland Area Agricultural Dept. Experimental Section.
Scene 11: One of the workman tells the farmer to point the dish at the ground, and keep the sound waves at 70 megahertz. The [really annoying, deliberately apparently] whining buzz and thrumming continues from the machine.
George comes up to ask about the Madison place, and the farmer replies he’ll be glad to help him in a moment, as the technician continues instructing him in how to use this new experimental pest control sound wave device-thingy.
[Which seems utterly impractical, especially comparing the size of the directional dish with the amount of field the farmer actually has. But since the sonic waves are apparently going to be having an impact miles away, WhatDoIKnow?]
George asks the second technician who stayed with the huge truck-machine/sound generator what this is all about, then.
What it’s about is using a certain frequency of sound to drive the invading bug’s nervous system crazy, so that they attack one another rather than crops. George tells the farmer he should just send the thing right back and accept what nature has given him (because, we like when our crops are destroyed and we all starve, as long as it’s natural… okay, I guess I need to be upfront about my bias… I loathed the hippy movement and I’ve little patience for them in movies. This is especially since we know that they all basically turn into their parents, despite all their high falutin’ talk and because so many of them basically were about guys convincing girls to put out without expecting anything in return and doing lots of drugs to avoid growing up. Or that’s what I take away from the period, anyway).
The farmer tries to give George directions, but he’s a city boy and can’t keep up with all of the turns this way and that to find some rinky-dink turnoff in the middle of the hills.
Scene 12: Meanwhile, Edna is enjoying the view and the gentle brook at roadside. POV focuses in on the greenery and the gentle water, but from somewhere off to the side, we hear a rustling through the grass and splashing in the brook. It turns out that our POV is a stalker, and he/she is spying on Edna. We also continue to hear the rhythmic sound waves in our ears.
Scene 13: Now with Edna, again, she seems to sense somebody watching her and turns around to look behind her, but she doesn’t see anyone. The thrumming goes on, as Edna takes a few more steps before spinning on her heel again. This time, she sees a man in a sodden suit stumbling along and making a raspy breathing sound.
The way he’s acting disturbs Edna, and he feelings of threat aren‘t alleviated when he turns in her direction and starts a mad, though clumsy, dash in her direction. Edna rushes back to the car.
Commentary: There are some minor complaints I’ll have about this film and there is a bigger one I’ll have about the zombies themselves later, but one thing that I absolutely love is the sound design. They rhythmic thrumming from the machine was a very good choice to include [especially if you can watch this in stereo… I wonder if in the proper theatrical environment, if the base was set to send sound waves through the floor and seats] and the ghastly rasp of the undead is disturbing. I am also in love with the contact lenses of our walking corpse, and would absolutely love to wear them around on Halloween. They’re creeptastic, and the way that they make the irises look both blown, and jaggedly damaged is just a terrific detail.
Scene 14: Edna goes to start the engine, but of course, George took the keys with him. Worse for her though, is that the passenger window was left down. Our soggy undead reaches into the car for her, but his arms aren’t quite long enough to reach her.
She rushes out of the car, and runs for the hill path that George took, taking a header into the brook as she rushes across the rock path.
Scene 15: In the meantime, George and the farmer are walking down the path from the farm toward Edna, with the farmer assuring George that it’s easier to find his road than it sounds.
Edna comes rushing up, shouting an alarm about the man who tried to attack her down by the water. When George and the farmer look, however, Sodden Zombie has vanished from sight, having moved on. Edna naturally insists that a man was there and he did try to attack her at the car.
Edna goes on to describe the man to the doubting George and the puzzled farmer. He tells her that the man she’s describing sounds like the ol’ vagrant who used to wander the area. But Guthrie drowned himself about a week before, so there must be another tramp around trying to bum some money. Edna insists that she thinks he wanted to kill her, but George tells her that there isn’t anyone about now, so she should get a hold of herself.
George tells Edna that the farmer showed him how to get to her sister’s and suggests that the poor man just put a fright into her while attempting to panhandle.
Scene 16: Across the hills, presumably at her sister’s place, a man is developing photos. As he comes out of the room, we see a photograph of who will turn out to be Edna’s sister, Katie and the man is Katie’s husband, Martin. We feel an immediate sense of fright for Katie as in the photograph, she’s huddled down naked in the bathroom and we have to wonder just what creepy Martin has been doing her.
Martin hangs up his latest photos with a string of others, but we find these aren’t of Katie, but of a flower from various angles. After hanging up this latest developed photograph, he grabs some more film rolls and places them in a camera bag.
We see him leave the room, and hear the front door shut. There isn’t any sign of Katie yet, and we linger in the living room of the home with nothing but the quiet and a foreboding bit of soundtrack music to keep up company.
Scene 17: Outside, a night bird calls plaintively. Martin leaves the house [leaving the front door wide open, like an idiot… hope you love mosquitoes, Marty], looking around suspicious or suspiciously.
Martin goes around the side of the house quickly.
Scene 18: Across a stretch of driveway, he spots a cottage door being closed behind someone. He gives a small look of frustration and rushes along toward the cottage.
Scene 19: Within, we find Katie herself stumbling about in the dark. Martin comes in, turning on the lights and calling Katie’s name, just as she was looking for something.
Martin glares suspiciously at her, while Katie gives him an aggrieved and smug smile. She turns her back to reach for a bowl of berries. She points out to Martin that she just wanted to get some strawberries to bake a pie for Edna’s arrival. Martin seems to assume she’s lying to him, and checks the bowl for something [A car key, maybe? Is Katie being held against her will by her husband? Is this taking a weird turn, when we’re supposed to be dealing with a shambling vagrant-zombie? What is Martin up to with the creepy photography of Katie?].
After he finds nothing but berries, Katie asks him facetiously if he’s finished now, and if she can go. He tells her that this is all hard for him, too. Katie isn’t to be mollified. She accuses Martin of holding her against her will, and now inviting her sister up to the cottage for nefarious purposes. She tells Martin that she’ll never go somewhere, and storms out. He shoves the bowl of berries back on a shelf and follows Katie out with seeming frustration.
Scene 20: Katie hasn’t gone far. She’s weeping to herself in front of the house when Martin catches up with her. Martin goes to cup her face, but Katie turns away still crying and now shaking. Martin tells Katie that they’ll do whatever she wants. He goes off to set up his camera for night photographs on a timer and asks if she’ll be alright alone.
Katie only answers by turning away from him again, and continuing to cry.
Scene 21: As Martin is walking away, Katie stops crying long enough to glare at him.
Commentary: Basically, this was an interesting - but again, not actually needed - bit of misdirect. We’re going to find out about Katie and Martin’s marriage in a bit, along with why Katie seemingly is angered at her husband, but let me say here that Martin isn’t the bad guy that he’s been suggested of being. In fact, he’s trying desperately to help Katie, and that is why he invited Edna up to the house.
I’m of two minds about all of this though. It may be because we’re so used to being dropped into the Zombie Apocalypse in more modern movies. We usually don’t get much about our human characters beyond their sketching out a little history in dialog, and if they’re important enough, possibly a flashback to BEFORE which gives us some insight into who they used to be. While here, we’re getting a lot of pre-disaster building of our characters, which causes things to feel dragged down. It’s a weird place to find myself, because usually I’m griping about our characters being ciphers and our not knowing enough about them as people. Here, we almost spend too much time getting to know everybody. But on the other hand, at least they are coming across as people and none of them [even George, even though he’s a prickly, impatient man] is coming across as reprehensible douche bags you want to die screaming immediately, so that is a very good.
I wish some of these scenes were tightened up a bit on the one hand. On the other, I appreciate that we’re telling stories about our characters’ various circumstances prior to things going pear shaped. I can’t decide if I’m more bothered by the slow build up to crisis, or if I’m relieved that I’m getting to know who these people are. I think maybe if I was one generation behind, I might be complaining more about how slow things are going, but I’m loathe to admit that maybe I wish things were moving faster because that way leads to dull, flat characters and hyperkinetic jump cutting that I loathe even more in modern “horror” re: excuses for gore effects stories.
I did like the small twist that Martin isn’t being a villain [though his photos of a naked Katie huddling in the bathroom don’t seem very helpful to her and is still icky], but I can’t see how this domestic drama is especially relevant.
Scene 22: In the car, now with George very late indeed to his own home, Edna is still upset about the man at the brook. He all but accuses Edna of hysterics and imagining things or blowing up some guy begging for change out of all proportion, which pisses her off. He once again acts like an ass about being held up when he’s supposed to be at his quiet, country house with his own friends.
[Okay. Maybe if he wasn’t distracting me so with his 70’s hair and the whole facial jungle thing he has going - and the leather - then mayhaps, I’d find myself a lot less infatuated with George. I’m really kinda wanting him to talk a lot less, so he doesn’t completely turn me off of him.]
Scene 23: Back at the Madison place, Martin’s camera flash is going off every few seconds as his automated camera captures exposures of a scenic falls. He wanders on his way back to check on the current roll of film, presumably, but stops long enough to light a cigarette [and he’s using a effete holder, which I think should only be used by women in clingy, sequined cocktail dresses -- obvs he’ll have to die].
Blah-blah, fiddling with camera and film and stuff.
Scene 24: Back at Chez Madison’s cottage, we hear raspy breathe sounds, joined shortly by thrumming. A camera pan lets us know is super-duper dark and cluttered in this storage cabin. And Katie has now returned, and one doesn’t believe that she’s here for those strawberries [especially since there isn’t enough of them for a pie by any stretch].
After Katie gets a stubby candle lit, we see what she was in here earlier for: her stash. Y’see, Katie Madison is a heroine addict. And Martin has been fighting to get her off of the junk, while she’s been resisting him every step of the way.
As Katie is filling up her syringe though, she hears an odd scraping noise in the dark back of the cottage, which startles the crapola out of her. She wanders her way toward the back, noticing the signs of water all over the concrete floor. In the background, we can hear that nasty, raspy, breathing of Guthrie’s dead body.
Katie notices the water tracks leading behind a raft tilted up against the wall. She thinks it’s Martin, having snuck back in to spy on her and catch her at her drug use. But as the raft is knocked over, she finds it isn’t Martin at all. It’s much worse.
She’s especially freaked out by Guthrie’s eyes. Rather than running out the way she came in though, Katie chooses to grab a shovel, break out a window and yell for help to her husband. Guthrie’s corpse stumbles its way within arm reach, but Katie is able to crawl out of the window and fight off his grasping at her to make an escape, while yelling desperately for Martin.
Commentary: And yes, this version of zombie in fact does retain some minimal thinking ability. It’s never directly commented upon, but we’ll see throughout the film the undead using various tools within arm reach. And it’s especially shown at the end that they also retain some human knowledge and ability to hunt down those who wronged them in life. So, I’m less bothered by the silly bit of hiding behind an inflated raft, than I would otherwise be. What does bug me though, is Guthrie sneaking into an empty cottage and hiding and then just hanging out until SOMEBODY manages to come in, alone and exposed, for him to attack. This set up is really idiotic, if you think about it for more than two seconds. It’s also weird that Guthrie wouldn’t hang out near the farm where there were people, but would’ve wandered cross country to wait around for Edna and George to come back into the story. That was awfully decent and convenient of him.
Scene 25: In the meantime though, the waterfall is at first drowning out Katie’s cries for help.
Katie comes rushing toward the falls, where she knows her husband to be, but takes some time to collapse into a bushes so that Guthrie can catch up to her. When he does so, she runs off again toward Martin [gee - you might almost think that Katie is setting up her husband to get killed for her own reasons, if you didn’t see the hysterical panic on her face].
Katie cries out for Martin’s help, and he finally hears her. Which is her cue [as all women MUST do… it’s genetic] to trip over her own feet and fall to the ground. Guthrie is on her nearly immediately and tries to crush her windpipe/throttle her dead.
But the automated flash of Martin’s camera distracts him, allowing Katie to regain her feet and rush away from him. She rushes into Martin’s arms, before he gives her a gentle push away from him, so he can try to subdue the pursuing Guthrie.
Scene 26: As Katie watches helplessly [because women can never actually help… it’s genetic… at least until Buffy and Xena come along], Martin struggles with the grasping Guthrie, but finds the stranger to be unusually and terrifyingly strong. He fumbles for a river rock to strike their attacker in the head.
This doesn’t, un-shockingly to us - very much so to Martin, do much to stop Guthrie’s assault. We hear Martin’s death scream, as we see Katie’s shock and terror. Guthrie stands up, and turns back toward her. With more screams, Katie rushes off back toward the Madison house.
Guthrie is in pursuit, but is momentarily blinded by the approaching car lights of Edna’s Mini. He withdraws, leaving Katie horrified and near hysteria but not his next victim.
Scene 27: Edna and George see Katie utterly distraught. They both rush to her side. Edna asks what has happened to put her in such a state and asks after Martin, but Katie can only tell her that he’s near the river. George rushes in the direction that she points, while Edna tries to calm her down enough to get something about what she’s doing in such a state out of her.
At the river, George comes up short with a look of shock upon finding Martin. The automated flash continues going off…
Scene 28: Which transitions to morning, where a police photographer is snapping pictures of Martin’s body. The photographer is joined by the ME and the lead detective for the case, a real sour ass who will only be known as Detective-Sergeant McCormick. Ergo, we’ll go ahead and call him Inspector McCormick. The ME reports that whoever did this was extraordinarily strong, crushing Martin’s chest cavity inward.
Inspector shows us a bit of his hard, sour assness by telling the passing Detective Sergeant Kinsey to button up his topcoat -- he’s in a uniform, not a pair of pajamas.
As he makes his way up the small natural stone stairway from Martin’s remains, George immediately waylays him with complaints about being delayed from his weekend long enough. George complains that he has nothing to do with what happened, and Inspector McCormick tells him how funny it is that whenever there is a violent crime like this, nobody ever has anything to do with it. George insists he never knew the dead guy. McCormick turns to Benson and orders him to continue the questioning, clearly unsympathetic - if not downright dismissive - of George’s claims to be there by happenchance.
George spots the police grabbing up Martin’s camera with a thoughtful look on his face.
Commentary: And this is really, whether you realize it or not, setting up the primary conflict of this story. It isn’t really about the living dead, very much like the granddaddy of these stories - “Night of the Living Dead”. No, it’s about the human characters who are so antagonistic and self-serving, that they can’t work together to solve a life threatening problem. George has shown ample evidence of being a self-centered, impatient jerk. Now Inspector McCormick has shown an unwillingness to actually listen to anything from George’s mouth, and it’ll only get worse, as each takes an instant disliking to the other and their conflict constantly gets in the way of working out what is happening and how to stop it.
If either of them could just overlook their prejudices [George toward authority, Detective-Sergeant McCormick toward leather clad babes with hairy faces], there would’ve been less death than we’ll see. So, of course, neither of them will take that first step toward cooperation.
Scene 29: Adding to Detective-Sergeant McCormick’s unpleasant disposition is another officer’s report that they were able to locate a neighboring farmer, who says there was bad blood between Katie and Martin, with the couple heard in some vicious, loud fighting. It certainly seems like maybe Katie would have motive to get Martin out of the way, and it is a bit convenient that her sister and George just happens to be there when he finally met his end.
Scene 30: Inside the house, McCormick starts following this tract. Katie has provided a bare, but consistent, statement of a “man in black” having killed her husband. But Katie is still suffering through withdrawal symptoms, making her a wreck and only adding to McCormick’s suspicions.
Edna chimes in to tell Inspector McCormick that it had to be the same man who had tried to attack her earlier that day. The questioning detective and Detective-Sergeant McCormick are both dubious about Edna’s claim and when she questions why she’d make up something like that, McCormick points out the obvious: To back up her sister’s account of a mysterious attacker wandering the woods and fields.
While Edna tries to calm Katie into drinking some strong tea, McCormick finds the developed series of photos of Katie being shocked while in the bath, and then huddling in a corner of the bathroom.
He starts asking Katie about her fights with Martin, and what the photos of her looking terrified in the bathroom were all about. Katie claims she doesn’t remember the photography. Edna complains that Katie couldn’t have had anything to do with Martin’s death, as the ME told him it had to be a very powerfully built man to do those injuries [how exactly Edna knows this without psychic powers is left unexplained].
But Inspector has found more than weird and off-putting photographs. He now pulls out Katie’s special stash from his pocket - something she instantly reacts to. While Katie is nearing a breakdown, Inspector McCormick waves around a packet of heroin and educates Edna about the strength that a hyped up addict could display if they’re in a drug fueled rage. And somebody in such a state, may not even remember what they’d done.
Katie shakes her head vigorously in denial. While Edna tells Detective-Sergeant McCormick he’s being monstrous. She asks why Katie would kill her husband. But the detectives have that answer through their ongoing investigation [and actually I do have to say I’m impressed with the police work in this movie… they know a lot, and awfully fast too], they’ve found that Martin was planning on shipping Katie to a hospital for detox, after failing to wean her off of the stuff himself over the past year. Edna has to admit to knowing about the plans for Katie’s commitment, which is why she was coming up for the weekend. And Katie knew about her husband’s plans and didn’t want to go. But she continues to insist that she didn’t kill Martin [though her borderline hysteria, made worse by her withdrawal isn’t really helping her sell her story any].
McCormick is interrupted by an officer, stating that somebody has arrived there with very important information for him. Alas, it’s just George. And he has only butted in to repeat that he has nothing to do with anything and wants to get on with his weekend, which Detective-Sergeant McCormick wasn’t in sympathy with the first time.
McCormick roughs him up a bit and tells him to stop interfering with his nonsense, or he’ll have him locked away in a cell. He turns back on Katie. He tells Katie not to get hysterical and then instructs that for the moment, George and Edna are released but they’re to stay in Southgate to be available for further questioning if needed.
Edna objects that she wants to stay with her sister, but McCormick wants her separated and insists she stay at the Southgate hotel until further notice.
Scene 31: Outside, Edna insists to George that there must be a way to clear Katie. They both see an officer loading the camera into a squad car. Edna excitedly tells George that Katie said the camera was flashing pictures during the attack and could exonerate her if it captured the man in black.
Instead of leaving it to the police lab, George conspires with Edna to distract the police officer by asking for a light with a tall hedge between them, so that he can go snag the camera to have a look for themselves [and George’s specific reason for doing so is his deep distrust of the police].
He doesn’t smoke, but Edna lightly flirts with PC Craig before thanking him. In the meantime, George has snatched the film in Martin’s camera. When she rejoins George, Edna asks what he’s up to and he tells her about getting the film developed for themselves because the police never like to admit when they’re wrong.
Commentary: So, basically George is going to continue to make it worse by looking ever more suspicious to Detective-Sergeant McCormick, and Edna is too overwhelmed by everything to be sensible. UGH - They’re all doomed.
Scene 32: Back in the village of Southgate, George has dropped off the film and that they’ll have blown up images in a few hours. They proceed to the hotel to wait.