Adventure and horror merge in this morbid tale of two 18th century grave robbers who make it their mission to hunt down the undead abominations that refuse to accept their rightful place in the ground. Arrested by towering holy man Father Duffy (Ron Perlman) and threatened with the guillotine for robbing graves with his mentor, Willie Grimes (Larry Fessenden), apprentice ghoul Arthur Blake (Dominic Monaghan) agrees to make a full confession in exchange for a steady flow of whiskey. Arthur’s story begins when he was just a young boy stealing jewelry from corpses in order to eat. Later, Arthur formed a partnership with Willie, and the pair went to work ensuring the walking dead learned to rest in peace. Now, with the specter of death looming ever closer, Arthur agrees to tell his tale to the very man charged with deciding his ultimate fate. (synopsis from Fandango)
[SPOILERS] Well, this is a little different take on the zombie/horror genre. Set in the 18th century, the film is a comical take of horror filled tales. The two grave robbers move from stealing the dead-dead to capturing the living dead in order to fill the needs to their customers. The stranger or more unique the body (or undead body), the greater the reward.
I really enjoyed this movie. All of the cast put in awesome performances, even with some outlandish accents (Ron Perlman). Larry Fessenden is the perfect choice for the role of graverobber mentor who is a down and out criminal and body snatcher. Dominic Monaghan also plays a great role as the apprentice who might be way more than he appears. The two are arrested for all of their misdeeds. Fessenden meets the blade while Monaghan is given the opportunity to confess to a priest (Perlman). Perlman also does an excellent job as the priest who has a darker role to play.
I appreciated the story. Watching the two bungling graverobbers move into basically monster hunting was fun and creepy. When they were still only stealing corpses, they worked for a bitter old doctor (played by Angus Scrimm). The end up supplying him with a staked vampire who returns to life when the stake is removed from her heart. Scrimm is killed and the two move into a different world once they cross their first bridge with the vampire woman.
The duo also fall a foul of another graverobber who sets them up to die. Monaghan’s character falls for an attractive woman who persuades him and his friend to go after crates protected by the rival’s man. She kills the guard, but then receives a throwing knife to the vicinity of the center of her head. The rival ties the duo to a crate that is housing a strange zombie. The zombie breaks free when it is being taunted and another zombie joins in the fun of eating the rival and his female friend.
FYI…we also get to watch the first sandwich being eaten by the duo. Interesting.
Overall, this was a fun movie with some interesting filmography (I love the comic book feel to the scene changes as well as the scenes were several people were involved and the screen was divided between each). The movie kept me involved when most films would begin to stretch the point to make the film make a specific duration.
I give this movie a 7 out of 10. While it was entertaining, it did still have some flaws. These flaws don’t necessarily damage the film, but could also be seen as adding to the overall effort.