Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Second Annual FMS Scarelicious October Movie Series - Movie #6: I Sell the Dead

I Sell the Dead is a funny-ish little (85 minutes) horror-ish movie about two 18th century grave-robbers who, finding their vocation not quite ghoulish enough, end up snatching undead bodies as well as dead ones.  The story is framed as Arthur Blake (Dominic Monaghan, a/k/a Charlie from Lost, a/k/a one of the LoTR hobbits who wasn't Frodo) has been arrested for murder and grave-robbing.  His partner and mentor, Willie, has already been executed for those crimes; when the movie opens, Arthur is telling his tale to Father Duffy (a misused Ron Perlman).

There are a lot of loose ends in IStD, a lot of false starts where you think something is going to lead somewhere and never does.  For example: Willie and Arthur were accused of murder by a trail of body parts leading to each of their abodes.  Arthur says he was framed, yet nothing comes of this - who left the body parts?  I think I know, but it's never mentioned again.  Willie and Arthur are hired by a creepy doctor who needs lots and lots and lots of corpses, the fresher the better - but why?  We never see what he's doing with them or why he needs so many, so what's the point?  When Willie and Arthur begin collecting and selling the undead (vampires, zombies and, very strangely, an alien), we're told that this is much more lucrative work but we don't know who wants these beings or why.  And so on.

There's a little violence and gore but not much and the movie really isn't scary.  There's an awful lot of just talking (and talking and talking - I may have nodded off for a couple of minutes) and while some of Monaghan's line readings are funny but the movie isn't a farce or satire or even just funny enough to be a black comedy.  I give it a resounding "meh."  I seem to be giving those out a lot lately.

Next time (for sure, after TWD):  Nadja.

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