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I Sell the Dead

A movie released August 14, 2009

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An entertaining and hilarious period horror-comedy.

  • Aug 12, 2011
Rating:
+3
*** out of ****

I didn't like "I Sell the Dead" when I first saw it. I didn't like how it felt and I didn't find it all that funny. But that was then (early 2010) and this is now (mid-2011). I've changed and become more accepting and tolerable. So I was willing to give this indie effort another chance at impressing me; now that I'm more acquainted with this genre and all. I still don't think that the film is made for everyone, but for those it is made for; it's somewhat of a gem.

And a lost gem at that. "I Sell the Dead" is a wicked, ghoulish satire that succeeds on pretty much all fronts, for what it is. There's nothing truly amazing about it as a horror-comedy made on an extremely low-budget, but I feel it's not as appreciated or admired as it should be. If you like zombies, corpses, the undead, or anything pertaining to horror, then this is the flick for you. I suppose it's good for what it is, and this time when I watched it, I found it consistently funny and amusing. There are even some minor "indie scares", if there is such a thing. All-in-all, you need to forgive the flaws and just go with it.

Willie (Larry Fessenden) and Arthur (Dominic Monaghan) are two grave robbers. But they're not nasty like most people in their line of business; they're actually somewhat charming. Willie takes in Arthur as his apprentice as a young age and into adulthood; where they make a killer of a earning with the corpses of the dead; some which tend to....reanimate a bit.

Arthur tells his life-story to a priest (Ron Perlman), who has his own plans in store for the "criminal. While the whole world thinks that Arthur and Willie are murderers, which they very well might be for something that they do later on in the film, we see them as two guys trying to bond through business. The film takes the buddy-comedy route and it's surprisingly good at being one of those films. There aren't many good buddy-comedies nowadays, and the fact that this one works is more than enough for me.

I suppose the reason the comedy between the two characters works is because the two actors are given enough screen time, and enough chemistry, to work flawlessly together. Willie is the most unpleasant of the two grave robbers, yet I find him as funny as he was disgusting and crude. Arthur, however, is easier to like; but somewhat more arrogant than his partner in crime.

I appreciated the quest that the characters went on. This adventure was worth taking. The effects are very, very good as far as low-budget filmmaking goes, and the film even satisfies as a simple zombie flick. It's not full of blood and gore, but it has enough of both to impress some of the most seriously devoted zombie-movie fanatics. Go in expecting the unexpected, and you will not be disappointed, because I know I was not.

I'm wondering what was going through my head when I first concluded that I strongly disliked this film. Perhaps I felt it was tasteless. Perhaps I felt it was too different for my tastes. But now that I'm familiar with the horror genre, I couldn't help but smile at moments such as the ones where corpses leap onto characters and out of coffins, children bite their pet rabbits, and Angus Scrimm makes an unexpected and entertaining appearance. Horror fans rejoice; this was made for us. And it's bloody entertaining.

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August 17, 2011
Very nice review and I especially liked the way you added your past personal feelings about the movie in your review opening. This had to grow on me also, but once it did, I added it to my collection. Thanks Ryan!
 
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More I Sell the Dead reviews
review by . April 08, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Like Burke and Hare--But With a Twist
I have to admit that lately I've been plagued by feelings of jealousy because I should have been the one who turned everybody on to flix like YO, etc. I mean it's right there in my screen name fer christsake--QUEENBFLIX--HELLO!! I've spent countless hours wading through crap most people wouldn't watch without protective eye-gear in the hopes of unearthing an obscure gem, and yet others stumble over flix that by all rights should be mine--do you hear me? MINE!!!  (sound …
review by . October 22, 2009
I Sell the Dead
Never trust a corpse, advises Dominic Monaghan. Words to live and die by.      As Arthur Lake sits in jail, awaiting execution, he's visited by Father Duffy who asks him to recount his life as a body snatcher. Lake obliges the priest and tells the story of how, when he was just a boy, he entered into the employ of Willie Grimes who dug up corpses for Dr. Quint. Their trade brought them to all manner of unfriendly and lonely places, and one night while unearthing a body at a crossroads, …
Quick Tip by . May 01, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
Unlike any movie about graverobbers you've ever seen. I can almost guarantee that.
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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Details

Genre: Horror, Comedy
Release Date: August 14, 2009
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Runtime: 1hr 25min

First to Review

"Never Trust A Corpse"
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