Rewind Review: 2009’s ‘I Sell The Dead’

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Nothing bridges the gap between Horror fans and mainstream moviegoers like a really good Horror-Comedy.  Shaun of the Dead is a perfect example of a film that pleased gore-hounds without alienating those just looking for a good time viewing experience.

Another Horror-Comedy that will appeal to just about anyone with a sense of humor is I Sell the Dead, the debut film of Irish writer/director Glenn McQuaid.

Read my review after the jump.

Official Synopsis:  Body Snatchers Arthur Blake and Willie Grimes have pillaged their last grave. With just five hours before Arthur follows Willie to the chopping block, he recounts his life story to Fr Francis Duffy. It soon becomes clear that Blake and Grimes were no ordinary grave robbers. And through his stories the priest learns that not all corpses are equal. I Sell The Dead is a kaleidoscope of terror that will leave you questioning life, death and what lies between.

If the synopsis isn’t enough to interest aficionados, it’s worth noting that the cast is heavy with Fantasy & Horror heavyweights.  Dominic Monaghan, Merry from Lord of the Rings and Charlie from Lost, is the lead protagonist Arthur Blake.  Larry Fessenden, who plays Arthur’s mentor Willy Grimes, will be remembered for his roles in Stake Land, Hypothermia, and You’re NextRon Perlman, star of the Hellboy franchise plays Father Duffy.

It's the Tall Man!

It’s the Tall Man!

And if none of those actors pique your interest, I’ve got another one for you: Angus Scrimm.  You heard me.  The iconic Tall Man from Phantasm, one of the most enduring Horror icons of the past 40 years, is the blackmailing mad scientist Dr. Quint.  All in all, it’s a brilliant cast making I Sell the Dead a hoot from the opening credits and throughout.

McQuaid did an amazing job creating the perfect ambiance.  I Sell the Dead, which takes place in the early 1800’s, harkens back to the golden era of Hammer Films with its Gothic darkness.  The sets are clearly sets, but they give the film a classic, almost Shakespearian undertone.  The effects are basic but highly effective without a sliver of CGI.  There is gore, but it’s presented with such glee that it’s reminiscent of Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness.  It’s the kind of stuff that will have you howling with laughter as opposed to screaming in terror.

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With intertwined vignettes punctuated by comic book graphics, I Sell the Dead is also reminiscent of the Creepshow anthologies.  One episode throws a twist that I guarantee you will not see coming.  The final chapter finds our favorite grave robbers in a race against a rival gang for a valuable yet extremely dangerous prize.  It’s a hilarious climax that flows perfectly into the film’s surprising conclusion.

I Sell the Dead is perfect for a group watching experience, a light-hearted romp amongst vamps, ghouls, and zombies.  Grabs some friends, some drinks, and get ready to bust a gut laughing.

3.5 out of 5 Skull Heads.

Trailer: HERE

Release Date August 7 2009
Studio IFC Films
Director Glenn McQuaid
Writer Glenn McQuaid
Starring Dominic Monaghan, Ron Perlman, Angus Scrimm, Larry Fessenden
Site isellthedead.com
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About Saucy Josh

I write a blog for intelligent Horror movie aficionados called Blood and Guts for Grown Ups: https://bloodandgutsforgrownups.wordpress.com/ View all posts by Saucy Josh

One response to “Rewind Review: 2009’s ‘I Sell The Dead’

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