'I SELL THE DEAD'
"I Sell the Dead" (★★★, unrated) starts slow but crosses the finish line like a sprinter. After his mentor Willie is guillotined, Arthur, his junior partner in grave-robbing, confesses the details of his crimes as a "resurrectionist" to inquisitive Father Duffy. A wickedly morbid story it is, as the team encounters cadaver-hungry doctors, vicious rival corpse-snatchers and all manner of deceased creatures who refuse to stay dead. The film isn't a true chiller, but a blackly comedic buddy movie that recalls the Hammer horror cheapies of decades past. The budget was clearly minuscule, but writer/director Glenn McQuaid's deft dialogue, strong characters and clever plotting attracted some impressive acting talent. Dominic Monaghan (pictured) makes Arthur nonchalant about his career as a tomb raider, and "Hellboy's" Ron Perlman is deliciously hammy as the inquisitive Irish priest. The film, showing tonight and Saturday (9:30 p.m., 309 SE. Oak St., Mpls., $5-$7), kicks off a monthlong late-night horror series at Oak Street Cinema. Canadian zombie chiller "Pontypool" plays Sept. 24-26 and the Norwegian shock comedy "Dead Snow," featuring skiers besieged by a battalion of undead Nazi brain-eaters, runs Oct. 8-10.