Monday, March 29, 2010

To be released Tuesday on DVD: "I Sell the Dead"



I Sell the DeadGrade: B-minus

Grave robber Arthur Blake has "five hours to kill" (his words) before he becomes a headless body, courtesy of the guillotine. (His partner in crime, Willie Grimes, has already lost his head.)

So Blake and a Father Duffy share a bottle of booze in Blake's cell as the condemned man tells how he got into that ghoulish line of work.

Thus begins the lively I Sell the Dead, written, directed and edited by Dublin-born Glenn McQuaid.

Blake's tale, set in 19th-century Ireland, involves stolen bodies, zombies, vampires, wanton women, cutthroat rivals - one is described by Blake as "one of the meanest bastards I've ever met, either alive or dead" - and enough beer to float a coffin.

Downtown icon Larry Fessenden is the procuder, and also appears as Grimes. (He's as loopy as ever.) Ron Perlman and Dominic Monaghan deliver appropriate performances as Duffy and Blake, respectively. And the production values are solid.

I Sell the Dead references the Edgar Allan Poe B-movies that Roger Corman cranked out in the 1960s. Britain's Hammer flicks also come to mind. (Christopher Lee would fit right in.)

Genre fans will definitely get off on I Sell the Dead, but outsiders might be less enthusiastic.

No comments: