250) I Sell the Dead (2008) Dir: Glenn McQuaid Date Released: August 2009 Date Seen: August 12, 2009 Rating: 1.75/5
I Sell the Dead is such a creative runt that I berate it at the risk of sounding like a bully. Writer/director Glenn McQuad's debut feature takes a trio of characters actors that range from adequate to mediocre--in descending order of competence: Lost's Dominic Monaghan, Ron Perlman and filmmaker Larry Fessenden--throws in a knowingly nonsensical series of comic book vignettes about grave-robbing supernatural things--aliens, vampires, zombies: you name it--and then expects hilarity to ensue. McQuaid never goes far enough to really make his film anything more than a by-the-numbers plot that's too busy winking at the audience to provide any kind of consistent entertainment.
To start, the film's plot is just a basic means of checking off a laundry list of McQuaid's favorite genre tropes and images and hence never bothers to offer any kind of insight or ingenuity as to how or why the characters get from point-to-point. Worse yet, the film's casting gives you the impression that McQuaid isn't taking any part of Dead seriously, even the scenes that don't have a cheap but meagre punchline at the end of it. (SPOILER WARNING:) The inordinate amount of time we see the mysterious, silhouetted head of the Murphy clan, has to be a bad joke on the audience. I mean, really, Perlman's impossible to mistake, faceless or not. Also, every close-up we get of Fessenden's pineapple-shaped head feels like a joke made in bad tast that ends up being the best running gag in the movie. (END SPOILERS). Phew. I'm spent. The movie sucks. It's tepid at best and ineffectual in every sense at worst. There. Ya happy?