Saturday, October 2, 2010

Horror Film Review

I Sell the Dead (2008): Any movie with a title such as this that also stars the likes of Ron Perlman (Hellboy himself) as well as the wonderfully creepy Angus Scrimm (The Tall Man from the Phantasm films) cannot be ignored. Arthur Blake (Dominic Monaghan of Lord of the Rings fame) along with his friend Willie Grimes (Larry Fessenden) rob graves for a living in 18th century Britain. Scrimm, of course, plays the slightly mad doctor to whom the lads are in indentured service. Perlman is a priest who's writing down Arthur's story while the grave robber awaits execution. The first scene of the movie shows the beheading of poor Willie so we know what's in store.

Through flashbacks, Arthur tells the priest of their adventures which includes snatching corpses from wakes, skirmishes with a rival grave robbing gang, and also having to deal with zombies. Oh, yes. Zombies. It's not a full blown zombie apocalypse, but zombies nonetheless. When Arthur, Willie, and their apprentice Maisey O'Connell (Eileen Colgan) learn that some fresh corpses have washed up on a small island, they rush to beat their rivals to the punch. The climax is not what I was expecting. I just love it when a horror movie surprises me.

Many elements in this movie had to be balanced properly in order for it to work. Writer/director Glenn McQuaid pulls it off nicely, juggling the comedy, action, and horror.


Acting:  Top-notch, Monaghan's performance especially.
Story:  Unique, refreshing and the writing crisp and snappy.
Direction:  No dragging...zips along nicely.
Production Values:  Care was taken to recreate an 18th century UK that makes it fun to watch.
Gore:  Some but it's mostly of the zombie flavor. You can handle it.
Ending:  Absolutely perfect, in my opinion.
Verdict:  So should you see it? Yep. No question about it. I mean, really, a movie called I Sell the Dead that has Ron Perlman and Angus Scrimm in it? I'm surprised you haven't already watched it.

My Rating:  4 out of 5

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