Dominic Monaghan, who once told me my daughter was cute and therefore can do no wrong in my eyes, plays resurrectionist Arthur Blake, whose partner, Willie Grimes (Larry Fessenden), is guillotined at the beginning of the movie. Arthur, awaiting the headsman’s block himself, is visited in his cell by Father Duffy, who has come to write down Arthur’s dying words of penitence.
(Duffy is played by Ron Perlman, who according to his imdb page is set to play Elvis in 2011’s Bubba Nosferatu. I disapprove of this. Bubba Ho-Tep is flawless and requires no sequel, but if it did have one, Elvis should only be played by Bruce Campbell. No offense to Perlman, who did an effective turn as Reinhardt in Blade 2; it’s just one of those things.)
At any rate, Arthur and Willie are fairly run-of-the-mill as resurrectionists go, stealing cadavers for a creepy physician who threatens to turn them over to the police if they don’t keep him in a fresh supply. Downtrodden, they dig up graves, raid wakes, and generally scrape by until – in one of the most hilarious scenes in the movie – they dig up a suicide at the crossroads and take the stake out of her heart. That proves to be a bad idea, though the enterprising Willie quickly finds the silver lining and sets the zombie on the creepy doctor.
It turns out, conveniently enough, that selling the undead is more lucrative than selling the dead – but Arthur and Willie’s new career pits them against the House of Murphy, a group of homicidal whackjobs determined to control the undead trade in England. Soon the two of them are trapped between the House of Murphy and Arthur’s grasping whackjob of a girlfriend, and the poor guys, all they want is to sell some zombies and buy a round at the pub.
So what’s the verdict? Three stars. Fair warning, this isn’t the fastest-moving film in the world, but there are more than enough hilarious moments if you meet it at its own pace and the ending is all sorts of awesome.