Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Sell the Dead (2008)

Director: Glenn McQuaid

Starring: Dominic Monaghan, Larry Fessenden, Ron Perlman & Angus Scrimm

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: Never Trust A Corpse

Plot: 18th century justice catches up with a pair of grave robbers. With only a few hours to go before his date with the guillotine, Arthur Blake tells his life story to Father Francis Duffy. Before long, Arthur spills the beans on how he got started in the grim corpse peddling business with seasoned ghoul Willie Grimes.

My Rating: 6.75/10

Would I watch it again? Sure

I've been on another Hammer horror kick lately (that happens about ever 18 months) and this seemed to be right up my alley. I digs me some 18th/19th century horror. Knowing a little bit about this horror/comedy, I was primed and ready to go.

In short, it's a fun movie. You've got the basic idea of a Burke & Hare story of grave robbers for hire but with a supernatural twist. Told in flashback IStD feels kind of like an anecdotal CREEPSHOW, an anthology with same characters but with enough variation as to not repeat itself.

"Have you seen Locke? Where's my stash?"

You get an alien corpse, a vampire and some zombies thrown into the mix and it's a refreshingly nice bonus to a story horror fans are familiar with but haven't seen in some time. But there's something missing that keeps IStD from being the home run it should have been.

I've got to say, Monaghan is really impressing me of late. Between him and Billy Boyd as Hobbit pals in the LOTR films, I thought for sure it was Boyd that was going to go on to a healthy & robust career. Between LOST & IStD, I'm impressed.

"I just found out these come in pints!"

I can't quite place my rotted finger on it but it's probably something in the pacing. Some scenes felt too long or, in part, unnecessary. Disjointed might be another word to describe it. I'd definitely need another viewing to figure it out but it just left me feeling unfulfilled. I don't know...maybe it could have benefited from even a little bit of well-placed nudity or more gore and horror elements.

This is only Glenn McQuaid's second film as a director and I can't help but think that if he had a couple of more films under his belt before tackling this one, it would have greatly benefited from it. I still dug it and I certainly recommend it to fans of the genre. You're likely to come away from it satisfied to some degree. Maybe, just maybe, it'll be the gateway film to your seeking out some classic Hammer horror films of the late 50s and 1960s. Then you'll see what you've been missing...Hell, what cinema has been missing for nearly 40 years.

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