I Sell the Dead. 2008. USA. Written and directed by Glenn McQuaid. With Dominic Monaghan, Larry Fessenden, Ron Perlman, Angus Scrimm. DCP. 85 min.
Burke and Hare, the notorious ”Resurrection Men” of Victorian England who furnished doctors with freshly exhumed corpses while murderously creating a few of their own along the way, have been irresistible fodder for the movies, most notably in Val Lewton and Robert Wise’s Body Snatcher, Freddie Francis’s The Doctor and the Devils (produced by Mel Brooks and adapted from a screenplay by Dylan Thomas) and, most irresistibly, John Gilling’s The Flesh and the Fiends, starring Peter Cushing, on loan from Hammer Films. As they bring out the dead—and the undead—Irish director Glenn McQuaid and his grave-robbing, scenery-chewing actors Larry Fessenden and Dominic Monaghan infuse the lugubrious proceedings with an absurdly Pythonesque gallows humor, with faraway Staten Island, Long Island, and Manhattan Island standing in for “fog-drenched, blood-soaked” 19th-century Ireland. Courtesy IFC Films