(2008) dir. Glenn McQuaid
I Sell the Dead was one of those rare rentals that was inspired by a pre-movie forced trailer on another DVD. I don’t know, it kind of spoke to me. The title, reminiscent of I Bury the Living (1958), a personal cult favorite, and aparently something akin to Cemetary Man (1994), that a black comedy with gallows humor (and living corpses), plus the potential charm of star Dominic Monaghan, it looked like it could be kind of fun.
Actually, in renting DVD’s from Netflix (or whereever), I’ve been getting more and more annoyed at discs that play more than four trailers without allowing you to go to the DVD menu. You have to watch the trailers, assumingly because you are a captive audience. But it’s annoying. Really annoying. And yet, here I was renting a film that I only heard of in that format. Maybe that is a lesson learned here.
Actually, the film has its charm. It’s moderately fun, driven largely by the actors, Monaghan and co-star Larry Fessenden are a fun pair, shown in the flashbacks as Monaghan recounts from his death row cell to a priest the exploits of the two graverobbers and the varying adventures with the dead and undead. Ron Perlman, who seems the be one of the most ubiquitous bad genre movie actors, is the priest, with an Irish accent of sorts.
The film is set in a vague time period, perhaps the same as in Robert Wise’s The Body Snatcher (1945), but is filmed on a low budget, low enough to make you yearn for the Hammer Horror films or other films that can afford a real costume department and set designers. And oddly, while that shouldn’t necessarily work against the film, either that of just the direction keeps the film from rising above or even to its potential. But it doesn’t.
Mildly amusing, not without some charms, particularly in some of the cast, the film is just not worth the effort.