Grab your pet zombie and settle in with the horror-comedy I Sell The Dead
British. Comedy. Do I need to say more?
Well, if you need more. Dominick Monaghan.
No? That won’t do it for you? Are you saying you need more than just that? Jeez. Okay.
I Sell The Dead has the makings to be the Murder By Death of its time. What? You’ve never seen Murder By Death? One of the most hilarious satire’s in all of time?! Oh. What am I going to do with you? Alright. Stop whatever you’re doing now, go watch Murder By Death, then come back and we’ll talk. Okay? Okay.
For those who have seen Murder By Death, hello. How are you? Isn’t that a great movie. It’s one of my favorites. Oh, you want me to talk about I Sell The Dead? Not how much I love Murder By Death? Okay. Onwards!
If you couldn’t tell already, I love British comedies (I’m probably an Anglophile). So, it was a little surprising that as soon as I Sell The Dead started, the only thing that came to my mind was the similarities to the American classic, Murder By Death. Just as Murder By Death was a hilarious satire dedicated to murder mysteries, I Sell The Dead does the same to the classic horror B-movies of the 1950’s and 60’s.
Set in 19th century England, I Sell The Dead is the story of grave-robbers Arthur Blake (Monaghan) and Willie Grimes (Larry Fessenden). It seems that the years of stealing the dead have caught up with them, as the movie begins with Arthur sitting in a jail cell, waiting for the guillotine. Father Duffy (Ron Perlman) is set to take down Arthur’s last words, but seems more interested in how he began selling the dead.
As Arthur begins to recall the events that led up to his incarceration, we quickly understand that he has no regrets regarding his choice of profession. We learn that Arthur began as Grimes apprentice at a young age, and that body snatching can catch a fair amount of money.
After years of selling the dead to their atrocious, creepy overlord Dr. Vernon Quint, the partnership of Grimes and Blake discover (After one hilarious, slapstick run-in with a not-so-dead, garlic-around-her-neck-and-stake-threw-her-heart woman) that there is more money in the selling of the undead. They begin to specialize in the unusual. The words “never trust a corpse,” now seem to ring true to them.
All seems to be going well, until their disgustingly horrific rivals, The House of Murphy begin to take away their claim. Each are presented in a comic book-like style, that brings back memories of another classic movie, The Great Race, with Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. It seems that the House of Murphy will be death of Arthur and Grimes when the two try to take away their next job (Zombies!).
Arthur’s stories are told in a non-linear way that might leave some a bit agitated. But, because the story-telling is set in a way that is almost like a confessional, you are able to really get into each individual story. In the end, it all comes together.
In the beginning, you really don’t know where the story is going to go. As Grimes is about to hit young Arthur with a shovel, it might get a little bit bleak. But, almost immediately the dark sense of humor shines through, as young Arthur steals a corpse with nothing but a fantastic false sob story.
I Sell The Dead is a horror-comedy almost comparable in excellence to Shaun Of The Dead ( I can’t stop name dropping). These movies are poking fun at others of its genre, with a sense of humor that make them more enjoyable than their non-comical (Non-intentionally comical) counterparts. The acting is superb, especially the bickering paring of Monaghan and Fessenden. A definite must see.
Movie Rating: A
Have you seen I Sell The Dead? Love it? Hate it? What are some of your favorite satirical comedic movies? Have any movie recommendations for me? Tell me in the comments!