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20 April 2012

I Sell the Dead (2008)

I Sell The Dead really promised to be a hidden gem. It stars Dominic Monoghan who at the time of filming was still basking in the glory of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I never even knew this film existed until quite recently; It was only by chance that I heard some rave reviews on episode 14 of the Weekly Horror Movie Podcast.

My Bloody Valentine
I Sell the Dead, Scareflix 2008

By the way, if you haven't already stumbled across this podcast then I'd recommend that you give it a listen. It is now hosted by Midnight Corey AKA Corey Graham of Midnight Podcast fame. The podcast is all about Horror Film Reviews but you do get a pretty good dose of Zombies too. I don't agree with all that's said, but either do the gang... which is half the fun. They're quickly working their way through most of the must-watch zombie films and... ripping them to shreds. You've got to love that!

The Weekly Horror team had a lot of good things to say about I Sell The Dead. I decided to hunted down the DVD and find out what all the fuss was about. The copy I got came with a small comic of the story. It's a nice touch and flicking through it just now, I can say that it isn't all that bad.

Giz a kiss!
I Sell the Dead, Scareflix 2008

Before I tell you anything more about this DVD, I've got to get something off my chest: The accents in this film are abysmal! At first I was thinking that the actors must have been Australian because I was sure that I was catching a whiff of it, but no, the majority are American. They butcher each and every word to the point where I was struggling to understand what was being said. Even Dominic - who really should know better - struggled with an English accent, adding in a curious American twang! To make matters worse, a number of key characters were actually meant to be Irish. Oh dear, oh dear. It's a verbal car crash!

But then, the film itself is fairly fast and loose with a lot of things...

Larry thinks he spots the Eiffel Tower in the distance...
I Sell the Dead, Scareflix 2008

The plot revolves around Arthur Blake (played by Dominic Monaghan), one half of a grave-robbing duo being executed for their dastardly crimes. His partner, Willie Grimes (played by Larry Fessenden) met the Guillotine earlier that day; Arthur is set to lose his head in the morning. Now I’m no expert in medieval execution devices, but I’m pretty sure that the Guillotine was never used in England. I mean... it was French wasn’t it? Hmmm. Let's move on.

With hours to go, Arthur is visted by Father Francis Duffy (played by Ron Perlman). Duffy has heard curious things about young Arthur and is keen to record his "gallow's speech". After a bribe of whisky, Arthur obliges big Ron by recounting the story of his life. And it certainly is a curious tale...

Okay - let me give you my impressions...

I Sell the Dead, Scareflix 2008

This isn't really a zombie film - but it does have zombies in it. Without spoiling anything I think I'm safe to say that the mystery in this tale is that not all corpses stay dead. You have zombies, but there are also references to vampires and aliens along the way too. I liked the monster special effects and I call out the zombie on the island; He was fantastic as he leapt out from his box like a cat sniffing the air. Aaaaggghhh! But where this could have been quite an effective horror tale, instead we end up with a sort of horror/comedy mix. And the comedy really isn't that funny.

Strings for the Dead
I Sell the Dead, Scareflix 2008

The acting isn't the worst I seen, but it isn't great either. I only really liked Angus Scrimm as Doctor Quint. He plays a spooky sort of mad doctor who pays the boys to find him bodies. He's not brilliant, but what I will say for our Angus is that his diction is impecable and his enunciation flawless. Yeah, I could understand him! ;-) The rest of the cast melded into one. No one really stood out for me.

Oh dear. Yep, you guessed it, I'm disappointed by the end result.

Poor old Bulger!
I Sell the Dead, Scareflix 2008

This film really did have some potential and I spot in the comic the promise of a sequel. Honestly, I can't see it happening. I've been left with a made-for-TV feel in my mouth. For some reason I keep thinking Xena or Hercules and no, they didn't do anything for me either. So let's not beat this one up anymore. Time to round up.

On the Triple-B I'm going to stick my stake into the dead girl 4 times and... oh my God... what am I saying? Oh well, no use trying to talk my way out of this one now. Watch the film... the reference will make perfect sense... honest!

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