I Sell the Dead (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

I Sell the Dead (2008)



Critic Consensus: A horror comedy that's almost as chilling as it is funny, I Sell the Dead relies on its dark humor and offbeat charm to overcome its low budget shortcomings.

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Movie Info

Adventure and horror merge in this morbid tale of two 18th century grave robbers who make it their mission to hunt down the undead abominations that refuse to accept their rightful place in the ground. Arrested by towering holy man Father Duffy (Ron Perlman) and threatened with the guillotine for robbing graves with his mentor, Willie Grimes (Larry Fessenden), apprentice ghoul Arthur Blake (Dominic Monaghan) agrees to make a full confession in exchange for a steady flow of whiskey. Arthur's story begins when he was just a young boy stealing jewelry from corpses in order to eat. Later, Arthur formed a partnership with Willie, and the pair went to work ensuring the walking dead learned to rest in peace. Now, with the specter of death looming ever closer, Arthur agrees to tell his tale to the very man charged with deciding his ultimate fate. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Glenn McQuaid
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 30, 2010
IFC Films - Official Site


Dominic Monaghan
as Arthur Blake
Larry Fessenden
as Willie Grimes
Ron Perlman
as Father Francis Duffy
Angus Scrimm
as Dr. Vernon Quint
John Speredakos
as Cornelius Murphy
Brenda Cooney
as Fanny Bryers
Aidan Redmond
as Jack Flood
Heather Bullock
as Valentine Kelly
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for I Sell the Dead

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (13)

The budget was clearly minuscule, but writer/director Glenn McQuaid's deft dialogue, strong characters and clever plotting attracted some impressive acting talent.

Full Review… | September 17, 2009
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

If it's not actually a good movie, on some level you have to admire the chutzpah of a film set in 1850s Ireland but shot on Staten Island.

Full Review… | August 27, 2009
Boston Globe
Top Critic

The worst fault visually, probably intended as a charm against the spell of low-budget-itis, is relentless darkness. Pervasive shadows in most shots do not evoke atmosphere, but eye strain.

Full Review… | August 14, 2009
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Its wit and style, however, are thoroughly modern, as is a hilarious ending that leaves the sequel door wide open. And why not?

Full Review… | August 10, 2009
Top Critic

Uneven Victorian-era supernatural horror-comedy about grave-robbing.

Full Review… | November 17, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

At times predictable. At times overwrought. Most often a tad too silly.

Full Review… | July 23, 2010
Cinema Sight

Audience Reviews for I Sell the Dead

Vampires, Zombies, Aliens and Ron Perlman. Director Glenn McQuaid seems intent on force-feeding his audience a steady stream of camp with mixed results.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


For the lost (lol, Lost) member of Oasis and/or Blur, Dominic Monaghan easily made this movie for me. His comedic timing made otherwise-mediocre comedic moments into laugh-out-loud moments. Ron Perlman made for a nice foil (at least until the very end). The other actors were decent, and I also appreciated the sets, clothing, and accents, which seemed well done. Alas, on the whole, the film felt like a sitcom trying to be a movie, as if the story were written around a few pretty good jokes as opposed to pretty good jokes being written into a good storyline. Of course, for someone playing writer/director/producer and it being his feature film debut, Glenn Mcquaid did a commendable job, and I look forward to his future work.


The faux-Guy Ritchie/Tarantino introductions for Murphy's gang don't work for me though the ideas behind the characters aren't bad. They're rather jauntily thrown into the whole of the film, just like the formulaic glimpse into Cornelius Murphy's childhood psychology. Cornelius' initial introduction earlier in the film sufficed.

I liked how the film introduced the element of the undead though. The stabbing/pulling out of the stake was a nice scene, and the later corpse being so disgusted at Valentine's face that he breaks out of his cage and attacks/kills her certainly worked for me, too. I also rather enjoyed the Perlman-Monaghan dynamic--they made for nice foils.

On the other hand, I didn't feel the story was developed enough to truly earn its ending. The twists weren't bad but could've been much better if the characters had been better fleshed out and if it weren't for the stylistic comic effect at the very end.

end spoilers

Daniel J DeMersseman

Super Reviewer

I Sell The Dead is the story of two grave robbers who recall their days of grave robbing before being hanged. The film is slow, and seems to take forever to reach the end. But despite this, the film is quite enjoyable and fun to watch. The actors give fine performances and this is a fine debut for Glenn Mcquaid. If you love a low budget zombie flick, pick this impressive Horror Comedy up, despite its slow pacing it's a strong film with a few memorable and funny scenes. I sell The Dead is a terrific little film that will definitely appeal to zombie fans. It's a different take on your average zombie film, and it's very well done. The acting in I Sell The Dead is decent enough for this type of film and the film in parts is fairly creative, taking into account that Horror is pch stale. The film is of course in perfect, but it manages to be pretty good and entertaining. The cast features some impressive names, including Phantasm actor Angus Schrimm and Lord Of The Rings actor Dominic Monaghan. I Sell The Dead is a not a flawless film, but is a fair enough film to consider watchable. I enjoyed it and I thought that Glenn Mcquaid did a fine job directing this zombie comedy. This film is much better than most big buhorror films that make it into theatres and is very original, which is something that lacks in todays horror films. People are afraid of trying something inventive, and I Sell The Dead is most certainly that. A very good horror comedy that at times feels like it could be better, but in the end is pretty good considering it's a low budget picture.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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