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I Sell the Dead - Blu-ray Review


I Sell the Dead

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Often, when two genres meet and mingle in a film just like people at a singles mixer things become unpredictable and messy... especially when the two genres are horror and comedy. As if guided by a higher power from some God of Independent Filmmaking, the production team behind I Sell the Dead has risen above their own budget shortcomings and produced something worthy of your time and money. In what should have been this year's smash hit movie, I Sell the Dead pulls the stake out of the heart of the once-thought-dead funny horror film genre ala Fright Night - and becomes most alive and kicking with darkly demented fun.

Arthur Blake (Dominic Monaghan) and Willie Grimes (Larry Fessenden) are lowly grave robbers. They aren't very good ones either. At least they don't satisfy Dr. Quint (Angus Scrimm from Phantasm) and his unyielding lust for more bodies to use in his experiments. When Dr. Quint threatens to blackmail the hard-drinking duo, they pick up their drunken pace and discover, in a most horrifying and comical fashion, that their latest buried acquisition is actually a blood-thirsty vampire. Delivering the undead thing to Dr. Quint, the men free themselves from beneath his threats, but find themselves in a booming business where the corpses they steal could be goblins, aliens, and zombies... all of which their clientele is willing to pay top-dollar for. Their sudden notoriety brings them in fierce competition with the very dangerous and very disturbed Murphy Gang and a very interested priest (Ron Perlman from Hellboy).

Not since Universal's rendering of Frankenstein has a period piece about Victorian grave robbing been this entertaining and comfortable to sit through. I Sell the Dead is the debut from Writer/Director Glenn McQuaid, who makes up for the film's budgetary limits in its special effects with a script so tightly charming and deliciously fun, that the flaws become a part of the film's charm. Think Burton's Beetlejuice or Joe Dante's Gremlins if you need a bearing on what to expect visually; darker than those two, but filled with the same sort of cinematic eye-candy... if slightly sub-par. Picking up the metaphorical shovel that Sam Raimi used in Evil Dead 2, McQuaid and his actors especially Monaghan and Fessenden unearth a film packed with moments of chilling creepiness and high camp situations, but never once forget this is, ultimately, a romp about robbing graves.

Sensibly shot in of all places New York (although you'd never guess it), I Sell the Dead transports its audience via dark shadows and heavy, heavy fog to the gallowed atmosphere of something akin to a classic Hammer Production; this crew was that good and disguising all things New York in the film's background. With cameras close and tight upon its actors, McQuaid allows for little breathing room (it's part of the ploy in keeping the unity of effect in motion) and keeps audiences' creative minds well-juiced with transitions that surge from comic book illustrations and back to real people. I Sell the Dead seems to have found its niche as an unforgettable ode to the past cinema of schlock and bloodily undead, but with rumblings of a sequel in the works it also looks to continue the adventures of Blake and Grimes in an expression of an undying love for buddy movies.




Component Grades
Movie
DVD
4 stars
4 stars
DVD Experience
4 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Screen Formats: 2.35:1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Language and Sound: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English: Dolby Digital 2.0

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; making-of featurette.

Supplements:

Commentary:

Featurettes:

Previews (SD, 1:02)
Comic Book - The blu-ray comes with a comic that tells the story of the movie. This is included because for the sequel to happen the comic about the further adventures of the dynamic duo must sell.

Number of Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc Single disc (1 BD)

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