I Sell The Dead

I Sell The Dead


Reviewed by: Darren Amner

I Sell The Dead is destined to be a cult-classic. It’s a loveable homage to classic Hammer horror of the 1950s and Sixties. The horror genre has become a little stale and predictable as of late, almost rotting like a corpse, but fortunately for fans, the timely arrival of I Sell The Dead has now revived it.

Arthur Blake (Dominic Monaghan) and his mentor Willie Grimes (Larry Fessenden) are two grave robbers who make a living selling the dead. It’s a straightforward premise but the movie's real selling point is the journey these two go on to obtain their bodies. The film is a fog-fuelled fun ride from first-time writer/director Glenn McQuaid, who has a fantastic eye for framing images and an expert approach to editing. There are some lovely visual flourishes which make the film look way more expensive than its obviously limited budget allowed.

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The pair learns that although there is money to be made from robbing graves it’s even more lucrative to capture the undead. Thus begins a search to find and deliver vampires, zombies and other creatures of the night, which proves to be a far more difficult task than first imagined. Using a neat narrative structure and some interesting twists and turns, the film also sees the gruesome twosome encounter a rival gang attempting to profit off the undead.

Monaghan and Fessenden are cast perfectly and have a great onscreen rapport, reminding me of a re-vamped Abbott and Costello. They are so good, in fact, that I’d be keen to follow them on more grisly adventures in the future. If I have one criticism of the film it's that I wished the two, when tussling with the undead, had a few more action scenes, but I assume that budget limitations killed the chances of this happening.

This tale of buddy body-snatching is warm and witty and deserves high praise, which it has been generating on the festival circuit. I certainly recommend you check it out, and let’s hope McQuaid has more comically macabre adventures in mind for these two in the future.

Reviewed on: 21 Aug 2009
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A grave robber looks back on the life he has led and the unburied bodies that haunt his memories.
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Director: Glenn McQuaid

Writer: Glenn McQuaid

Starring: Dominic Monaghan, Ron Perlman, Larry Fessenden, Angus Scrimm, Daniel Manche, John Speredakos, Eileen Colgan, Brenda Cooney

Year: 2008

Runtime: 90 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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