I would never have watched this if it wasn’t for the title.
Is it a good thing that I did? Not really. I hardly want my 80 minutes back but after I click on “Submit Post” I don’t think I will be referring back to ISTD much in future in my everyday existence.
It is the 17 or 18 hundreds: Ron Perlman in priestly robes is being led in to meet a doomed Dominic Monaghan, playing convicted grave robber and murderer Arthur.
They commence chatting and while Arthur openly admits to the grave robbing side of the charges, he claims innocence to the murdering part of the allegations.
We flash back to earlier in his “career”, where a young fresh faced Arthur is driven by poverty and his parent’s desperation to become the apprentice to a more experienced grave robber named Willie, as time goes by they form an alliance and start robbing graves and selling the corpses to a local shonky doctor, who is not fussy about how they arrive.
Or how they are sourced.
The next twenty minutes is basically taken up by further flashbacks of various supposedly funny situations that Arthur and Willie encountered while robbing graves, the undead, vampires, an alien etc. They are not necessarily important to the plot but give an idea of the dynamic between the two and what they are willing to do, (and they fill over a quarter of an 80 minute running time).
Things are going well, business is good and the dollars are flowing more steadily, they even put on a young female apprentice that Arthur immediately latches onto for himself. Willie is happy to keep business stable so as not to encroach upon the bigger business affairs of the rival Murphy gang, a hardened group of grave robbers who stop at nothing to protect their turf.
So of course the boys hear about a jackpot in grave robbing circles, a package of undead corpses has washed ashore on a nearby island, and there are two more crates unaccounted for with contents that will garner a pretty penny and make them big leaguers in the “industry”. Over a drunken night of celebration the apprentice chickie talks the boys into grabbing the crates for themselves, despite the Murphy menace.
The thing about I Sell The Dead, is that once you understand and come to terms with the odd subject matter, this is more a recounting of Arthur’s last few week’s work than a plot driven story, culminating with what is essentially an argument between two competing firms over a job.
I Sell The Dead is not particularly clever, not very funny and really not even very original. It would have been more ideal in a 30 minute Twilight Zone or Amazing Stories type deal, as strung out over 80 minutes just left everything looking a little thin.
Final Rating – 5.5 / 10. A few unmemorable tales that don’t really build into anything of substance.