• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

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I Sell The Dead

TITLE: I Sell The Dead

YEAR: 2009

GENRE: Horror and Comedy

Periodically one will watch a film that has many aspects that work fantastically in the film but have other elements that miss the proverbial mark. In most cases the deficiencies revolve around the storyline or writing of the project, especially in the horror genre. Such is the problem with I Sell The Dead, which was the winner for best cinematography at the 2009 Slamdance Film Festival. I Sell The Dead is a beautiful film in terms of filming and art direction, but the story is boring and the film is not scary, humorous, or at times even interesting.

After his friend and mentor Willie Grimes (played by Larry Fessenden) meets his mortal end at the hands of a French guillotine, career grave robber Arthur Blake (Dominic Monagham) confesses his sins and testifies about his career to Father Duffy (Ron Perlman). Blake originally meets Grimes on accident and starts to follow around the veteran grave robber because his chances of survival in Victorian Era England as a peasant were more horrifying than his new career choice. It turns out that Blake has had quite a career in the morbid business, and he learned early on that specialist corpses such as vampires and zombies would fetch the most scratch for his hard work. Blake chronicles his career to Duffy, who is not quite sure what to think about his adventures. Although Grimes is now dead, he is still a major influence in Blake’s life and has one more trick up his headless sleeve to save his apprentice’s life from the proverbial fire once again.

On the positive side, one could not ask for a better looking low budget horror film than I Sell The Dead. The filming award is definitely deserved as the cinematography by Richard Lopez looks lush and is well lit. The film editing by Glenn McQuaid is also very good as the movie moves seamlessly from scene to scene. The art direction by Beck Underwood is also clever and features occasional comic strip-style art pieced into the project to add a creative panache into the finished project. The sets are also very well done and almost seem to have been lifted from numerous Hammer Films projects of the 1960’s and 70’s. I Sell The Dead is an obvious parody of those Hammer Dracula and Frankenstein films from the hippie era, but the writing of the story and subsequent jokes are not very funny. The scene with the female vampire chasing around Blake and Grimes is occasionally humorous, but the rest of the chase scenes do not capture that British humor aspect that the film makers were attempting to recreate. There is an attempt at more droll humor, but the magic is just not captured and it is obviously that the British humor is written by Americans rather than the true source. Even an appearance of Angus Scrimm of Phantasm fame as a mad scientist does not add enough humor to the project to make I Sell The Dead memorable.

I Sell The Dead should have spent some time attempting to conjure up Benny Hill’s ghost as it may have helped add more humor to a comically inept script. This is one of those films that will conflict the more rabid B-movie fanatic as so many aspects of this film are done correctly while others are so poorly executed. I Sell The Dead should have spent as much time on the development of a humorous script as they obviously did on the technical details, and in the process they could have created a classic horror comedy. I Sell The Dead is a perfect example of what could have been, and that is a crying shame.

* * 1/2



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