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Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles Reviews

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Letitia L

Super Reviewer

July 27, 2012
The investigators' tenacity inspired me, and their deep empathy with the introspection and paranoia of the Toynbee tiler. Their conjecture is a satisfying enough explanation of the "Toynbee idea, Kubrick's 2001, resurrect dead on planet Jupiter" for me. Their proposed idea is so big and philosophical, that it's worth the wait.
Jason S

Super Reviewer

June 30, 2012
This is a very well made doc and a great mystery. I loved how it all unfolded and the finale of their journey was a great ending to the film.

Super Reviewer

August 29, 2011
Interesting documentary that says as much about mental illness as it does about mysterious cryptic tiles.

Super Reviewer

June 13, 2012
"Toynbee Idea
In Movie 2001
Resurrect Dead
On Planet Jupiter"

I'll start out by openly admitting that I am overrating this as a film. It isn't the most amazing documentary(technically speaking, that is), but I believe it is the most fascinating thing I have ever had the fortune of watching. I was glued to this documentary for 86 minutes and when it was over; I wished I could have more. I hadn't heard of this until I ran across it on Netflix, and I'm sure glad I did. As I can see from Netflix and this site, pretty much no one has seen this film yet; but I can see it getting a huge cult following in the years to come. I feel stupid because I have never heard of the Toynbee Tiles. How could this be? This is one of the most interesting topics I have ever come across and I think the fact that I had absolutely no knowledge of it before hand made it that much more special to me. 

Let me explain a little about the movie. It's a mystery investigation by three individuals who were drawn to the Toynbee tiles. For everybody not in the know about the Toynbee tiles; they are tiles that give a message about resurrecting everyone who is dead on the planet Jupiter. This idea was first presented by a scientist named Toynbee, and I guess the topic of this resurrection of life was explored in the famous Kubrick film, 2001. This movie actually gave me a better understanding as to the ending of 2001, but I digress. So these tiles have been laid on the streets of big cities in America that range from New York City to D.C. to Kansas City and they even stretch to regions of South America. The mystery comes from the fact that no one knows who's laying them. That's what these three people are trying to find out in Resurrect Dead. And guess what, they succeed. Obviously I'm not going to give away any of the information they find because that would destroy the mystery aspect of the film.

I was so drawn in by this movie that I have found myself actually researching this topic online. It's just fascinating to me and I'm sure there are people out there that will find it stupid and that's okay. To me, Resurrect Dead was one of the most entertaining documentaries I have had the pleasure of watching. In many ways it reminded me of Exit Through a Giftshop and the legend of Banksy. This guy has been laying these tiles for decades and absolutely no one knows who he is or how he is doing it. The tiles are on major highways where there is always traffic. How can it be done? As you'll see in the film from emailers; there are many ideas on how the tiles got there. It all just adds to the fun of the mystery.

I implore you to seek this film out. Watch it as soon as possible. It isn't time consuming, so if you find it completely ridiculous and stupid, you won't lose much of your life on it. If it has the same effect on you that it did me, it will be more than worth the watch. This is a new favorite of mine and a complete surprise. Words can't describe how much I loved this whole experience and the mystery of the Toynbee tiles.
Luke B

Super Reviewer

February 26, 2012
Resurrect Dead is one of those fascinating documentaries that highlights a mystery you really should have heard of. In Philadelphia and all over North/South America, strange tiles have been popping up for around 20 years. These tiles have a mysterious message and show up in the middle of the road where it would be almost impossible to place. Nobody seems to know who or why these messages are being left. A group of people have gradually over the years come together and investigated the mystery. Resurrect Dead is such a spooky little film. Not in your usual horror film kind of way, but just in the way the mystery unravels. They find out more and more, and to truly discuss it would also be to ruin it. As a documentary it is far from professional. Often the way talking heads were framed distracted me from what was being said. Its biggest success comes in its ending, where it gives us enough of an answer, but still leaves enough mystery.
Jason R

Super Reviewer

July 26, 2012
Interesting documentary about the origin of the Toynbee Tiles. I couldn't believe that there was so much mystery and intrigue, from something so small and simple. As the story slowly came together, I realized that it was anything but simple. It was very complex and extremely well thought-out.
If you enjoy a good mystery caper or you like watching gritty and gripping documentaries. Then, I suggest giving this movie a look, it is worth your time.
November 8, 2011
Fascinating tale of a bizarre mystery and the obsession of those trying to solve it. Given very little clues to go on, Justin Duerr leads a small group of amateur detectives who try to figure out who created the Toynbee Tiles & left them all over the world. Seemingly off-topic biographical parts of the doc reveal that Duerr may have a surprising amount in common with the person he has been searching for and although the ending may be unsatisfying for some, it works for me. Duerr's understanding of and compassion for the Toynbee Tiler ultimately make the ending fulfilling and even incredible when you consider how appropriate it is that the two lives intersect.
September 27, 2012
Beginning in the mid-1980s, a paranoid message about Jupiter, resurrecting the dead and British historian Arnold Toynbee mysteriously appears hundreds of times as tiles embedded within the asphalt of cities throughout America. And even South America.

What the message means isn't nearly as fascinating as Justin Duerr's search for its anonymous creator. Beginning with virtually no clues whatsoever, Duerr methodically follows the path to the truth. And it's a path filled with intriguing twists that include nosing around a ham radio hobbyist convention, looking for a car with no floorboard, records of The Larry King show, interviewing a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, running up and down a street at 4am shouting "I believe in Toynbee," writing letters to a man who never answers his door, the studying of archived railroad schedules ... and even into evidence of likely plagiarism by a famous playwright.

Not a professionally produced film by any means, but the ultimately successful sleuthing is nearly as fascinating as that seen in "The Thin Blue Line." Worthy viewing.
December 8, 2013
Even though, much like the narrators of this story, I had an idea that the resolution of this entertaining mystery would most likely turn out to be more mundane than the message inside the Toynbee Tiles suggests, the investigation turns out to be an interesting look into the series of random coincidences that added to the legacy of one loon's crazy (and beautifully macabre) art project. 3.5/5
Anthony B.
September 5, 2013
An absorbing mystery and a fascinating character study - and it's all true!
July 15, 2013
Like a real life version of the show Ghostwriter. I adored this movie. So much fun watching them trying to figure out the mystery.
April 11, 2013
This is not a super innovative documentary, but it is a very compelling one. Structured like a procedural thriller, "Resurrect Dead" is a fascinating look at obsession and loss, fueled by a bizarre mystery at its center (The less you know, the better). The ending is also strangely uplifting. Straightforward and simple, but very sincere and extremely entertaining.
February 18, 2013
the filmmaking is good but the subject matter is fascinating. Its the ultimate episode of unsolved mystery's.
February 10, 2013
Really . . . not that interesting . . . well except to the film makers who have clearly invested their lives on the subject.
Earth Giant
January 28, 2013
Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles is just about the best documentary ever... perfectly paced and building to a moving, yet enigmatic conclusion. A very real mystery based upon unusual phenomena - tiles with a cryptic message "Toynbee Idea/In Kubrick's 2001/Resurrect Dead/On Planet Jupiter" have been found for decades embedded in the pavement on streets in Philadelphia, Boston, and cities all across the northeast; also in St. Louis, Kansas City, even in South America. What is going on?
A trio of misfits set out to solve the mystery, and their detective work leads them to strange and frightening places. Though the few clues are cryptic, intrepid research, good detective work, interviews and persistent vigilance lead them closer and closer to a possible solution, but as in all great mysteries... the journey may be worth more than the destination.
The camera work, music, evocative drawings and historic photographs combine to create a unique and whole experience, and the film makers have a sure and steady idea of what needs to be seen and what's best left to the imagination. Several times I felt the hair rise on the back of my neck, and my eyes tear up with a sense of frightening awe. This strange world never felt stranger. Highly recommended.
January 23, 2013
Great documentary full of unexpected mystery.
September 5, 2012
What I really liked about this film is that through their own fascination and curiosity, three eccentric "detectives" transform the insane ramblings of a loner fanatic into a profound statement about perseverance and the human mind's pursuit for meaning.
August 20, 2012
Happened upon this movie on Netflix and had a fun time watching it. :) Definitely recommend it.
Jason R

Super Reviewer

July 26, 2012
Interesting documentary about the origin of the Toynbee Tiles. I couldn't believe that there was so much mystery and intrigue, from something so small and simple. As the story slowly came together, I realized that it was anything but simple. It was very complex and extremely well thought-out.
If you enjoy a good mystery caper or you like watching gritty and gripping documentaries. Then, I suggest giving this movie a look, it is worth your time.
July 22, 2012
I was on the edge of my seat until the end.
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