Writer/Director: Glenn McQuaid
Running time: 85 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15
UK Release date: 21st February 2000 (Glasgow Film Festival)
Watched on Sky+ Monday 1st August 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I hadn’t heard of this film before seeing it and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t terrible. I must say that a cast that included both Dominic Monaghan and Ron Perlman did work in its favour somewhat. As some may know I’m not particularly big on comedy films… they just don’t make me laugh these days (a sign of old age I guess), but I liked the dark humour in this. Here’s a brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
It is the Eighteenth century (that’s the 1700’s for those that don’t know), and Arthur Blake is due to be executed in the morning. He has been accused of being a grave robber and a murderer. His partner, Willie Grimes has already met his maker under the scaffold of the guillotine earlier that day. A priest, Father Duffy, comes to see Blake, he wants his story so it can be published in order to put off those tempted to go down a similar path. And so, for a supply of whiskey, Blake begins to tell his tale, having first denying any hand in any murder. He was a grave robber, no more, no less. Apprenticed to Grimes at an early age, Blake soon got a taste for the work. The only problem was that there was no way out. The doctor they worked for, Quint, just threatened them with arrest if they didn’t come come up with the corpses he wanted. Eventually they have to go out of the town to get bodies and this is where the tale gets weird… The undead are to be found out there and this causes more than one problem to the pair. Add to that a rival gang of grave robbers and they have more problems than they can cope with. The Quint problem was nicely solved though, with the help of… I’ll leave it here, I don’t really want to be dug up by them Spoiler ‘grave robber’ Police.
This film put me in mind of the early Hammer films. They weren’t all that well made, but there was an edge to them that hadn’t been seen before. Decent performances all round, particularly from Dominic Monaghan as Arthur Blake, Ron Perlman as Father Duffy and Larry Fessenden as Willie Grimes. Honourable mentions go to; Angus Scrimm as Dr. Vernon Quint, John Speredakos as Cornelius Murphy, Brenda Cooney as Fanny Bryers and Joel Garland as Ronnie.
Although the accents are all over the place, particularly Father Duffy’s, and some of the situations the pair get into are totally ridiculous, I kind of liked this film. It had quite a low budget, and it showed, but even so, I see some promise in this work. Over all, not a bad effort, it could have done with a little more polish, but I liked it!... Recommended (for at least one watch).
My Score: 6.3/10
IMDb Score: 6.0/10 (3,770 votes when this review was written).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74/100 (42 reviews counted when this review was written).
Official Site: http://www.isellthedead.com/