Have you ever wondered what you would do if you had about an hour left until you were going to be hung by your neck until death? What’s that? You’d get piss drunk with an Irish priest and tell him all about your paranormal, grave-robbing adventures? I would have said “take the priest hostage and try to make a daring escape” but whatever. The former is just what Arthur Blake (Dominic Monaghan…you know, that Hobbit in The Lord of the Rings) does in the movie I Sell the Dead.
I love a dark, grimy, period piece as opposed to the Queen’s Court styled films that look like a 400 pound man sat on a bag of Skittles over a ream of brocade. I Sell the Dead is a gritty 18th century romp with a star studded cast. It goes without saying that the acting is well above par, including, surprisingly, Father Duffy’s (Ron “Hellboy” Pearlman) Irish brogue. The costumes are perfectly weathered and the special effects by Brian Spears and Pete Gerner were more than a compliment to the overall production.
I Sell the Dead reads like a text book roller coaster ride from start to finish, but, as they say, never judge a book by it’s cover. Or for that matter, never judge a movie by it’s summary. This roller coaster seems to end prematurely right before the 13th story drop. I have to admit, I still liked it, I really did. I was just left wanting more.
This movie is a horror comedy and should be taken in stride, but the major aspect where I felt the movie lacked was in the plotting. Yes, there were many elements. Yes, they all tied in nicely. But there is so much meat within I Sell the Dead that I felt that it was shredded too thin and I was left as hungry as a caged zombie (shameless movie reference). I want to hear more tales of Arthur and Willy (Larry Fessenden), and in greater detail. With the strange little twist at the end, I honestly don’t see them making a sequel. They could, I just don’t see it happening.
I recommend I Sell the Dead for those fans of comic book stylization, horror thematic elements, and subtle humor. I don’t, however, recommend this movie for those that have a forearm sized stick up their ass, and fans of Miley Cyrus films…if you can call those films.