I Sell the Dead Glenn McQuaid

I Sell the Dead Glenn McQuaid
A cheeky, campy grave-robbing adventure isn't a concept much visited in cinema. Kudos are due to director Glenn McQuaid for pulling off this madcap horror caper. In many hands, this premise could have turned into a lame schlock-fest, but McQuaid and his jaunty crew never loose sight of the fun they're supposed to be having. Dominic "I'm not really a hobbit" Monaghan stars as Arthur Blake, a young grave robber whose mentor, Willie Grimes (Larry Fessenden), has just lost his head to the guillotine. Arthur has only a few hours to relay his life story to Father Francis Duffy (Ron Perlman, trying on robes and a Scottish brogue) before his head is scheduled to similarly depart from his neck. The story thus unfolds via a series of tales about Arthur's upbringing as a grave robber. McQuaid does an excellent job evoking the look and feel of Hammer period horror, down to the costuming, sinister sets and banks of fog hugging every graveyard. His real trick though, is slipping that carefully constructed environment into a blender and hitting a big gory button marked "Evil Dead." Sam Raimi's classic horror comedy series is an obvious touchstone for the tone I Sell the Dead feeds on for laughs. There are a few jumps, to be sure, but they're also played as tension comedy. McQuaid even goes so far as to make the grave robbing duo's first encounter with the supernatural clearly a Deadite (if you have to google it, why are you watching this movie?). Even the editing of the sequence screams Evil Dead tribute. Monaghan's natural whimsy works well while he's trying to play it straight against ridiculous supernatural occurrences. The plot isn't as clever as it thinks it is, but it's plenty of fun without getting too heavy nonetheless. That's a sentiment echoed in the "making of." It's the lone feature, but it's an extensive, mostly unguided, fully behind-the-scenes view of what looks like a film as fun to make as to watch. (Anchor Bay)