I Sell The Dead Movie Review

In no way an infomercial pitch to afterlife consumers as might be intimated from the ambiguous title, I Sell The Dead is a combo zany and creepy old fashioned ghostly gothic tall tale about two 19th century warped bottom feeder British blokes who have taken to grave robbing for a living. Written and directed with devilish tongue in cheek by Irish filmaker Glenn McQuaid, I Sell The Dead is a juicy traditional horror yarn with playfully crafted, delightfully depraved storytelling kicking in for good measure.

Dominic Monaghan is young Arthur Blake, a longtime professional body snatcher, but not a murderer, if you please. Blake apprenticed in the underground trade as a boy to Willie Grimes (Larry Fessenden), a cantankerous career criminal who has just had his head lopped off at the local guillotine. And it seems that Blake is next in line for execution, but not before a mysteriously sinister priest Father Duffy (Ron Perlman) stops by with a bottle of whiskey to pry some confessional redemption out of the condemned felon, before he departs this world.

As Blake opens up about their unscrupulous but intermittently jolly excapades, the audience is treated to a never-a-dull-moment, ever more surreal journey through your basic body snatching, to the surprise exhuming of vampires, zombies, and possibly even an alien from outer space. Blake also gets to introduce his co-conspirator to some new-fangled thing called a sandwich. But the murky body business gets even more complicated when rival snatchers, the notorious House of Murphy gang shows up, and runs more than a little interference regarding conflicting turf privileges.

I Sell The Dead is a best of both worlds descent into goofy post-modern mischief. While unearthing, so to speak, the spooky supernatural antics of classic horror.

IFC Films


3 stars

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.