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Friday, February 3, 2012

Day 34: I Sell The Dead

I Sell The Dead
Buy 2 dead, get the 3rd for free

I tend to go against the grain when I pick what movie to watch. If a movie is popular, I will usually avoid it at all cost unless it's something I legitimately want to see. For example, I had little interest in Paranormal Activities to begin with, and after seeing it make tons of money at the box office, my interest drops to negative. It's not that I don't trust reviews and popular demand, but for whatever reason, the more people like something, the more I avoid it. I came across I Sell The Dead, saw that it was a popular choice, and decided to watch it. Now I know why I avoid popular choices.

I Sell The Dead stars Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings) as the grave robbing Arthur Blake and Ron Perlman (Hellboy) as Father Duffy. Arthur is to be executed for murder and Father Duffy asks him to tell his tale. Arthur tells of his life as a grave robber with his mentor Willie Grimes and their wacky encounters with vampires, aliens and a brutal clan of rival ghouls called the House of Murphy. Word spreads that a shipment of the undead has washed onto an island and Arthur's ladyfriend Fanny convinces all three to retrieve the bodies. Little do they know that the House of Murphy has already arrived on the island. How will they survive, how does Arthur face execution, and how is Father Duffy connected.

Oh yeah. That molar will have to come out.

The word that comes to mind while watching this movie is “boring”. Throughout the entire movie, you keep waiting for the actual story to begin, but it never really happens. It comes off as a few short stories stretched out into one narrative and it just doesn't work. Trying to cram in vampires, aliens, and zombies takes up too much time from the movie and leaves very little story. I'm reminded of Hugh Jackman's Van Helsing where a slew of classic monster movies were thrown together. Van Helsing at least attempted to tie it all together to form one cohesive movie. What should have been the main focus of the entire movie, getting the undead on the island, is not even mentioned until until about 45 minutes in. Arthur's girlfriend Fanny doesn't even show up until the last 1/3 of the movie. All of this should have been established much, much earlier.

I Sell The Dead is labeled as a horror comedy, but calling it a horror movie is not accurate. Just because there are some horror elements and monsters, doesn't make it a horror movie. There are some funny and clever moments, but nothing that will make you double over with laughs. It's the movie-equivalent of watching Ellen. You'll be saying “Oh, that's clever,” without actually laughing. This movie is visually appealing. The sets have a nice old-timey feel and the outdoor locations are very beautiful. Some green-screen shots give the movie a comic-book feel, but in a good way. It does suffer a bit when actors are shot in front of the green screen, though. Dominic Monaghan and Ron Perlman do fine jobs in their respective roles. Monahghan was a very good choice in the role of Arthur and Perlman is good in just about anything. 

Sarah Jessica Parker naked! AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!

By no means a bad movie in the traditional sense, I Sell The Dead is just kind of boring. A story that feels both rushed and at the same time too slow, this movie suffers from having a few fun ideas and then shoving them all together. It's like a horror TurDucken. Good acting and a few decent moments keep the movie from being a total loss. I Sell The Dead had a popular run on the festival circuit and was even distributed by IFC. I can see why some people would like it, but as a horror fan, this movie just won't do anything for you.


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