I think you already know what this movie is about. I Sell The Dead is a British black comedy following two graverobbers and their adventures. Shot on a budget of just $450.000 the production values are not the greatest but they’re still acceptable. Overall, I have to admit that I expected much more from this movie. Sure it’s a fun and macabre love letter to Hammer horror movies with a graverobbing twist but it feels a bit disjointed. Perhaps this is because of the storytelling style featuring several small storylines awkwardly merging into a single bigger one.
I think that it would be better if they went for a big story branching off into several little ones. But, then again, I know almost nothing about filmmaking, so we’re leaving it at that. What this approach created was an easygoing atmosphere that makes for an undemanding viewing. I Sell The Dead is one of those casual oddities that are surprisingly easy to watch. Especially when you consider the main story. Horror movie fans will love this movie and for others, it will be a welcome and authentic distraction.
Just two years after the release of I Sell The Dead, we got the opportunity to check out another movie about graverobbers. Burke and Hare is based on actual events and is a much bigger production starring Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis. Here, we have another LOTR cast member, Dominic Monaghan and dependable Ron Perlman. I would also like to mention Angus Scrimm, star of the Phantasm franchise.
We find Arthur Blake in prison, awaiting his execution for the crime of graverobbing. However, before the sentence is carried out, Arthur receives a visitor. Father Duffy wants to record his confession in an effort to help other people stay on the straight and narrow. So he asks Arthur to tell him how he ended up in that jail cell and why it all happened. What follows is a tale like no other with supernatural beings, murders, and regret.
Featuring a rather brisk pace and a short running time, I Sell The Dead will be over before you know it. It offers a little bit of charming period escapism reminding us just how nasty things were in the past. The movie doesn’t take itself too seriously and neither should you. You can count on zombies and vampires to make an appearance. This part reminded me a bit of Cemetery Man, a hilarious and visually beautiful nineties horror comedy. You should check it out if you’re looking for similar movies.
Director: Glenn McQuaid
Writers: Glenn McQuaid, Keti Stamo
Cast: Dominic Monaghan, Ron Perlman, Larry Fessenden, Angus Scrimm, John Speredakos
Fun Stuff: Angus Scrimm played the violin himself.