Movies So Bad They're Almost Good - Really!
I Sell The Dead (2008) IFC Films
When this came on IFC I had seen part of it (apparently the wrong part) and passed on it without even checking what it was called or what is was about. Silly me. How can I resist a movie about two grave robbers who find the best money is not by stealing the dead, but the undead? And a catch line of 'Never Trust A Corpse'? Who could pass that up?
A small history on grave robbing: In the 18th century medical schools needed cadavers for their students, but this being before you could check the little box on your driver's license, there were very little to be found. Hence the need for grave robbers. The most famous (or infamous) of these was a couple named Burke and Hare. They stole from graves for a medical school, but being pressed for more and fresher cadavers, Burke came up with the idea of hastening a few along, thus leading to what is known as the Scottish West Port Murders. They of course were caught, Hare, to save his own skin, ratted out Burke, who did the killing part anyway, and Burke was hanged - his body then given to the medical school. No one truly knows what became of Hare. But to be killed in order to be sold for dissection is known as to be 'Burke'd', just as for us The Walking Dead Fans, to sacrifice another to save yourself from zombies is to be 'Shane'd'.
Enough history. Blake and Grimes are down-on-their-luck type of grave robbers, mostly because the doctor they provide them for won't pay much, knowing all he has to do is say the word and both will be hanged. They're barely scraping by. Of course they're caught and sentenced to the guillotine. Grimes is sent first and chop - off goes the head. A priest named Duffy has paid the jailers for some time with Blake to hear his story, to provide a warning to would-be robbers of the future. And we hear this:
Blake was a young boy with no choice but to earn money for his mother and younger brother by becoming Grimes apprentice when he was very young. He proved to be a good one, and their partnership lasted years. But, because of the stingy doctor, they were getting nowhere. One night they're sent to open a grave buried at a crossroads. Why? When they open the casket, it's a woman with a ring of garlic around her neck and a stake in her heart (wonder how they got the lid on with that thing). They throw out the garlic, take out the stake, at which she immediately sits up and hisses. They replace the stake - down she goes. That was fun for them so they do it three or four more times for the hell of it then get an idea - they send the body to the doctor. Bye bye doctor - and they discover that the demand for 'undead' bodies pays tons more than plain old corpses. They also run into the Murphy family, a family of people so terrifying they are the stuff of horror movies in themselves. One night they open a frozen grave, although nothing else is frozen, and trying to carry the frozen coffin they drop it - discovering your typical green bug-eyed alien inside. The Murphys show up and they fight over it until it vanishes in a beam of light. Ahhh.
Skip ahead because this goes on for a while and a woman enters the mix and sure enough she's wanting more than the couple are willing to do. Mostly she wants to defy the Murphy family. They get inside info that a shipment of zombies coming overseas was lost, supposed washed up on a nearby island. The Murphys were coming to get it, but with the coaxing of their new apprentice they go out at night to beat them to the 'loot'. Trying to put the zombies in a cage they can drag behind their boat, Grimes gets bitten on the arm. Then the Murphys show up. The woman is killed, and one of the family members scares everyone so bad it sends the zombies into a frenzy and they kill the Murphys as Blake and Grimes gets away. But of course, they get caught.
After he's done the Priest is oddly insistent to know which of the two killed Cornelius, the son of the family, but Blake tells him the zombies got him. The Priest reveals he is no Priest at all, but the head of the Murphy clan himself, one who has never been seen. He laments that he couldn't torture Grimes, arriving too late to prevent his head from coming off, but he's going to make sure Blake lives long and in great pain. Just when he's about to do so, he's killed. By Grimes. A headless Grimes. Holding his own head. Seems that zombie bite did him a bit of good. He frees Blake and the two scurry off, although Grimes keeps complaining that he's awful hungry, looking at Blake as a piece of meat. The end scene is Murphy's son Cornelius, bitten but not eaten, rising from the water ready, I guess, for revenge.
As I try to get back up to par I promise to catch up on the movies that really, really stink (there's a long list) and I hope to be going at full speed again soon.
Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.