From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: I Sell The Dead

Not all Horror Movies have to be scary; many are laced with humor, and Horror Comedies have been very popular with viewers many of years now.  One of these Horror Comedies is called I Sell The Dead and was released in 2008. While I Sell The Dead never reached the popularity of other Horror Comedies like Shaun Of The Dead or Zombieland, it has built a cult following and even spawned an Image Comic book one shot that we will review here on this From Horror Movie To Horror Comic update! So grab a shovel and pick a cemetery, it’s time to become a ghoul and dig up the graves of the undead for some quick cash as we dive into the world of I Sell The Dead.

Before we get into the movie, lets take a look at the monsters that make up I Sell The Dead as it’s filled with many different types. We will start with the weakest of the batch, the Alien Corpse that is freezing cold to the touch and even freezes the land it’s buried under. The thing about the dead Alien is once he is unearthed, he will be beamed up by a U.F.O and taken back to space. The threat of the Alien Corpse is not high as it will cause cold chills and once beamed up to the mother ship it will blind you for a moment and deliver a wicked headache to humans around. We next have the female vampire. This bloodsucker is killing machines who want to suck the blood of the living. She is super fast and strong. The harm she can do to humans is drain them of their blood and kill them. Her weaknesses are crosses, garlic and a stake to the heart! We also have zombies; these flesh eaters are primed to kill the living around them and will do so with their teeth and their hands with which they try to rip and tear flesh. Also their bite can turn humans into one of them, the walking dead. The zombies are not shown to have any weakness in this film so I’m not sure if head trauma would work to stop them. While this film is filled with many ghouls and monsters, none of them are major killing machines but each have their own threats to mankind to make them all a thorn in our collective side. The major baddy hands down would be the female vampire as she is quick, strong and deadly. Below are some pictures of some of the zombies and the female vampire from the film.

So as you can see, this small town in Ireland used to be crawling with all types of monsters who were undead and thirsty to kill the living. I should also note that while the monsters are indeed just that, the true evil is the rival gang of grave robbers called The House Of Murphy…but we will get into them during the comic review. We are now at the point where we need to chat a little about the film. As always we will take our film write up from our pals at IMDB and following that I will talk about the production of the film as well as my first time viewing and thoughts. So let’s not delay and take a quick look at I Sell The Dead, the movie.

I Sell The Dead (2008)

“18th century justice catches up with a pair of grave robbers. With only a few hours to go before his date with the guillotine, Arthur Blake tells his life story to Father Francis Duffy. Before long, Arthur spills the beans on how he got started in the grim corpse peddling business with seasoned ghoul Willie Grimes.”

I Sell The Dead was an independent horror comedy film that was written and directed by Glenn McQuaid.  It was based on a short film he made in 2005 called “The Resurrection Apprentice” and was a film production that was filled with love and allowed McQuaid to work with friends and crew members and actors he had worked with before. The film cast iconic horror actor Angus Scrimm as well Ron Perlman, Dominic Monaghan, Larry Fessenden and Heather Bullock. The film was filmed with no major set backs and when done, IFC picked up the film for distribution in the USA in 2009 and released in on DVD and Blu-Ray. The film was met with pretty good reviews from critics and fans and built itself a very good cult following.

I first saw I Sell The Dead in 2018 as I found out about it via Ebay when looking for comic books that were based on Horror Films and found the Image Comic based on the film listed. I ordered the comic and the movie from Amazon and both got to me around the same time.  Before I read the comic I wanted to watch the movie and chose a very cold late night in January to do so, and as the rain storm outside raged on I turned off all the lights and started to watch the film to see if it chilled my blood or tickled my funny bone….and I have to say that while it was not all that scary, it did have some goofy moments that made me chuckle. The acting was well done and seeing Angus “Tall Man” Scrimm in the role of an evil doctor was very cool as he was a very underrated actor. The film was not that bloody, but they use blood well when it does come into play as the effects are really solid for an independent film. My favorite side character in the film was Valentine Kelly, a white mask wearing female who was set on fire by an ex-lover who now works for The House Of Murphy as a grave robber and enforcer, but sadly I think she is down played really bad in the film. Over all I really enjoyed the film and even watched all the extras on the disc before going to bed that night. I would say if you like Horror Comedies, you should check this film out.

So now that we have taken a look at the film as well as the monsters that dwell in the universe of I Sell The Dead, we are at the point where we will be taking a look at the comic book based on it put out by Image Comics and see if it holds up the charm and fun spooky nature of the film. I want to thank an Amazon seller for having this comic in stock for this review and would like to remind you all that I grade these on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So we are in the graveyard and it’s time for us to read this comic based on a Horror Comedy.

I Sell The Dead  # 1  **1/2
Released in 2009      Cover Price $4.99      Image Comics      # 1 of 1

Our tale starts with the beheading of grave robber Willie Grimes.  His friend and helper of selling the dead Arthur Blake is in his cell being visited by Father Francis Duffy who is there to get the young man’s life story of crime. Over some wine Arthur shares his story that starts with him at a young age helping Willie get bodies from the cemeteries all for the super wicked Dr. Quint who pays the pair poorly  for the bodies and also is always threatening them with the law and death! One night Arthur and Willie find the body of a young woman with a stake in her heart, and after removing it, they find out she is a vampire.  After she attacks, they stake her again with some luck and deliver her to Quint who removes the stake and meets his fate…and this frees our grave robbers from his evil grip. Once free, they start stealing bodies for all types of clients and making more money than before. When stealing the body of an Alien, they have a run in with a UFO that steals the body.  They also start hearing rumors of crates that have zombies in them that the owners of the crates have lost some during a ship crash that have washed up on an island and they are paying to get them back! And while the money is good, the pair get a little scared when they hear that The House Of Murphy has been hired to get the boxes back.  The house of Murphy is lead by the father Samuel Murphy and his gang includes his son Cornelius, burnt faced Valentine Murphy and brute Bulger.  But they decide to take the job before them thanks to Fanny, a call girl who is their friend and wants a cut of the money. Once at the island Fanny sneaks up on Bulger and cuts his head off and as they start to remove the crates, a zombie escapes and bits Willie in the arm before they can force it into a cage. As they celebrate and before they can get another zombie crate, a knife is thrown and kills Fanny as Cornelius and Valentine are there, and they are pissed! But things go south as the zombies escape and kill Cornelius and Valentine as Willie and Author escape the island and are later arrested. As the story comes to an end, Father Francis Duffy shows that he is really Samuel Murphy and he is there to kill Author for leaving his gang on the island to die, but before Samuel can kill Author, the decapitated Willie, now a zombie, comes in and saves the day and the pair escape the jail cell. In the end Cornelius now as a zombie is coming from the water and wants revenge.

This adaptation does a great job of capturing the horror comedy aspects of the film and delivering it onto the pages of this comic. The main plot of this comic follows two goofy grave robbers who over their adventures have run into all types of strange creatures from aliens to zombies.  Upon being caught, they are to be executed for their crimes and besides the law they are also wanted dead by a rival gang of body snatchers who some of their actions have left members of that faction dead. Our main hero is Author Blake, a young man who from a young age has had to steal bodies in order to survive and always avoid danger and the law. While he has done bad things he really is not a bad person and has never killed in order to get money or to survive, but he also is not one to go out of his way to help others in need unless you’re in his inner friend circle. Willie Grimes is a gruff life long criminal who as well is not 100% a good guy nor bad guy and is driven by greed. But with him, he is willing to kill and even when a zombie he still remains his own goofy gruff selfish person. The comic is filled with lots of ghouls like a female Vampire who is hungry for blood and is pure evil.  We also have aliens who just want the body of their dead friend back and of course zombies who want to eat some flesh. But our main baddies in this comic are the House Of Murphy who are cold blooded killers who hate those who stand in their way and will do whatever it takes to get their job done. Samuel Murphy is the leader of this group and calls the shots, but when his son and “daughter” are killed, he finds a way to try and get revenge by acting as a Father! Cornelius Murphy is a mean man who is a master of knives and does like to kill! Valentine Murphy is a woman who was burned in a fire and must wear a mask to hide her disfigured face; she as well is a cold blooded killer. Lastly we have the super strong brute Bulger who is the muscle of the group. While they don’t get to really shine in this comic as being badass bad guys, the way the other characters fear them show that they are terrible people. Also Dr. Quint is a terrible person who clearly does not value life or death and uses people and bodies for his own causes. The comic follows the film pretty well, but does add its own touches in order to keep it feeling a little fresh and make it feel slightly like something new. The cover is okay and looks like a cheap independent zombie comic and does a poor job of letting you know it’s based on a film. Brahm Revel does the interior art and while it’s good and has it’s own style, it at times does not fit the mood of the comic. Over all this is a pretty good Horror Comic based on a Horror Movie and fans of the film will really enjoy it as well fans of fun natured zombie comics. Check out the artwork below to see the style used in this comic.

I Sell The Dead is one of those Horror Movies that many people do not know about and has slipped under the radar of many horror comedy fans and even I feel slipped past many readers of Horror Comics based on films as I only even found out about it this year. So while this comic and movie are not ground breaking, I do think that it should have a cult following and people should give them both a chance. For our next update we are leaving the world of the dead behind and will be taking a look at a Horror Host as we do an Icon update on Tennessee-based short lived host, Benedictine The Mad Monk! So until next time, read a Horror Comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for some quality time with a mad monk!

Lust For Lina Romay…I Mean Frankenstein

Spain has had many great horror and sleazy film directors and at the top of that list has to be the one and only Jess Franco…you do know who Jess Franco is right? Well if not, I am here to fill you in on the man and his legacy. Jess Franco, who was not only a filmmaker but also a jazz musician, started making films in 1959 when he made “We’re Eighteen.”  Throughout the 60’s Franco made many films that would gain a cult status, films like The Awful Dr. Orloff, The Secret Of Dr. Orloff, The Dianolical Dr. Z, Kiss Me Monster, The Blood of Fu Manchu, The Girl From Rio, The Bloody Judge, Count Dracula and many more! But the 70’s was when full-on sleazy horror and sex films came out to play and when he became a mainstay name in the world of Spanish exploitation films with films like Vampyros Lesbos, She Killed In Ecstasy, A Virgin Among The Living Dead, Dracula Prisoner of Frankenstein, The Bare Breasted Countess, Jack The Ripper, Zombie Lake and many other nudie horror and thriller films that pleased fans of grindhouses as well as drive-ins. Even in the 80’s he made films that had some major impact with the fans of his work: Bloody Moon, Oasis Of The Zombies, Mansion Of The Living Dead, Faceless among others, but sadly by the 90’s his films lost steam and he was making shot on video films that lacked the charm and raw feeling of his films of the past. Franco was married in 2008 to Lina Romay, an actress that he had worked with for over 20 years and had placed in his films at the age of 17! Franco never stopped making films even after his wife’s passing in 2012, but he sadly passed away in 2013 of a massive stroke.  Most believed he died of a broken heart, while many blamed the fact he smoked over three cartons of cigarettes a week. Franco’s films will live on thanks to DVD, Blu-Ray and even VHS, and his work has inspired many other filmmakers like Andy Copp. This was only a quick crash course on Franco, and for those who want to learn more about the man and his work, make sure to check out books like “Pornodelic Pleasures: Jess Franco Cinema” by Jack Hunter and “Obession The Films Of Jess Franco” by Lucas Balbo, Peter Blumenstock, Christian Kessler and Tim Lucas of Video Watchdog fame! While I myself don’t love many of his films, I do like many and respect the hard work and art that went into his early film work. Rest in peace, Jess Franco. May you and Lina enjoy your afterlife together.

Count Dracula DVDJesus FrancoFemale Vampire DVD

I first laid eyes on the beautiful Lina Romay in the 1974 film Bare-Brested Countess, better known as Female Vampire, when my brother bought it from Renaissance Music when it came out as part of Image Entertainment’s Euroshock Collection. From the moment I saw her, I was hooked on her beauty.  My brother, who is three years older than me, was already a fan of her’s and I could see why! The whole film she walks around naked…yeah, she is naked in almost every shot.  At the time I saw this film, I was going through my blonde women craze, and Lina changed that back to dark haired women real quick. While at the time I found the film itself very slow paced (I later grew to like it) and forgettable, I was forever marked as a fan on Romay’s. Lina Romay, whose real name is Rosa Maria Almirall Martinez, had acting in her blood as after high school she studied the arts and worked on many stage productions.  During this time she briefly married photographer and actor Raymond Hardy. Her big break in film work came in 1971 when she meet Jess Franco who put her in his films, and a partnership was born. It was upon meeting Jess she changed her name to Lina Romay after a jazz singer and starred in over 100 films, most of which were horror/adult in nature.  In most of her films Lina had nude scenes as well as sex scenes, making her a sleazy icon to fans. Lina and Jess married in 2008, and she continued acting for him until 2010, still getting nude even at the age of over 50. Sadly in 2012, Lina passed away from cancer; her death marked a loss of a true Spanish exploitation actress and ended a long career of entertainment. In her prime Lina was a goddess and could easily be one of the hottest horror actress of the 70’s.  Lina is truly missed by her fans. Below are some pictures of Lina in her prime.  Don’t stare to long…because then it becomes weird.

Lina Romay 1Lina Romay 2Lina Romay 3

Before Lina, Jess’s “IT” girl was the stunning Soledad Miranda, the shinning stare and breathtaking beauty of his films. Soledad broke into entertainment in Spain at the age of 8 when she became a dancer and singer, and by the age of 16 she was in films, only having minor roles and struggling.  She pushed on, making minor waves with audiences, and she was in all types of films from westerns to horror, finally retiring in 1964 for the first time after getting married and having a child. She returned with a roar when in 1969 she started working with Jess Franco and the pair made 7 films together in just that year. Franco saw that Soledad, who was going by the name of Susan Korda, was such a talent he wanted to sign her to a multi film deal. The day she was to sign her deal, she and her husband went for a drive and got into a wreck with a truck.  Her husband was banged up but okay; sadly Soledad was not.  She suffered fractures to her skull and spine and was in a coma.  A few hours after the wreck, she passed away at the age of 27. It’s a shame she passed away so young and to be honest, she had what it took to be a major star not only in Spain but around the world.  Franco went on record as saying the day she passed away was the worst day of his life. Soledad may be gone, but she will never be forgotten. Her key Franco films include Count Dracula, Vampyros Lesbos and She Killed In Ecstasy.

Soledad Miranda 1Soledad Miranda 2Soledad Miranda 3

In the 90’s Franco seemed to have another beauty on tap and that was Ohio born Amber Newman, who was from Tipp City. Her first role in films came with the 1995 film “Vamps: Deadly Dream Girls” directed by Mark Burchett and Michael D. Fox about vampire strippers.  She later did a film called “Satanic Yuppies” for the pair of directors in 96. It was in 1997 that she started to work with Franco and got roles in his films Tender Flesh, Lust For Frankenstein and Mari-Cookie And The Killer Tarantula. Newman than stared in a string of Cinemax style adult films and even spiced in some horror films. I first saw Newman in a VHS copy of Vamps that I bought from West Coast Video, and while the film was pure cheesy, Newman caught my eye.  At the time I was hot and heavy making films for Independent B Movie and thought one day I would work with her on a film….that day never happened. As of 2011 Newman is still making movies and starring in TV shows and who knows maybe one day she will have a cameo on Terrifying Tales of The Macabre.

Amber Newman 1Amber Newman 2Amber Newman 3

The 1980’s was the best time for horror films.  Not only could you go to your local theater and see a chiller, but you could also watch them on cable TV, horror host shows as well as rent them from a video store..the bottom line was horror was popular and was everywhere. The 80’s also was the boom period of what is known as The Scream Queen, attractive women who were always killed in the films who could scream and get naked in the blink of an eye. The Queens of B-Movie Screams at this time were Brinke Stevens (my favorite), Linnea Quigley and Michelle Bauer, all who thrilled horror fans with their powerful lungs and heavenly bodies. The Scream Queen we will be looking at is Michelle Bauer, who later in her career would work with Franco on a few films and would prove that even an aging scream queen still has some life in her career when working with him. Michelle Bauer in 1981 was the Penthouse Magazine Pet Of The Month for July.  This helped her get roles in some pornographic films like Cafe Flesh, Nightdreams and Bad Girls, but during this time she used the name Pia Snow and the story goes she used a double during the sex scenes. But her break in films came when her centerfold for Penthouse segment aired on the Playboy Channel and director Fred Olen Ray spotted her and gave her an audition that lead to her acting in his film called “The Tomb” in 1986. This team up kicked off a film acting boom for the actress as she stared in such films as Nightmare Sisters, Reform School Girls, Sorority Babes In The Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Evil Toons, Vampire Vixens From Venus, Attack Of The 60 Foot Centerfold to name a few. It was in 1998 when Bauer teamed with Jess Franco on a few films that included Mari-Cookie And The Killer Tarantula and Lust For Frankenstein, and after that she went on to be in films like Gingerdead Man 2, Voodoo Dollz, The Naked Monster, Timegate: Tales of the Saddle Tramps and even starring along Paul Naschy in the final Waldemar Daninsky film called Tomb Of The Werewolf! Bauer at the age of 55 is still acting and still thrilling her fans with all her talents. I first seen Michelle Bauer in the film Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and became a quick fan as she ran around in shots topless wielding a chainsaw and looked not only sexy but also zany crazy! Michelle Bauer became one of the actresses that when I went shopping for Horror Films on VHS that if her name was attached I would buy it. Here is to you Michelle Bauer for being an icon in the world of Scream Queens and for all the films that you have made that has entertained us for many years. Below is some great pics of Bauer to show you just how beautiful she is.

michelle bauer 1michelle bauer 2michelle bauer 3

The 1998 Jess Franco film Lust For Frankenstein was a shot on video sleaze horror film that was released on VHS and DVD via Shock-O-Rama Cinema and is about Frankenstein’s Daughter who is getting visited by the ghost of her father who wants her to take control of the family castle and restore honor to the family name. While going back to the castle she sees the sleazy way her step mom is acting and also finds Goddess, her father’s latest “monster” who is a nude female with the body parts of both man and woman! They fall in love and rid the castle of the nasty sleaze. I first saw this film on DVD as I bought it from Suncoast in the Dayton Mall. I thought to myself, it can’t be bad as it was directed by Franco and starred Romay, Bauer and Newman the later two were even on the cover looking all hot….but boy was I wrong as the film was a boring mess that looked like it was shot on a consumer camera that was bought on sale at Wal-Mart that was the display unit. The films acting and dubbing was terrible as was the blood and gore and the sex scenes making this a film that missed at every thing it tried to do. I could forgive the fact that most of the nudity came from the aging actresses Romay and Bauer, but what I could not forgive is the terrible script and the dumb look to the rasta bleeding head ghost of Dr. Frankenstein. It would be safe to say that I downright hated the film and found it to be a film that almost seemed phoned in by Franco and its cast, I even lent the film to my friend Jason Gilmore who also disliked it, in fact I cant think of one of my friends who are into Euro-Sleaze movies that did like it! So you can imagine when in 2013 I found out that a comic book adaptation of the film was made how much shock I had and to add more puzzlement it was a photo comic….why…why was this made and who was to blame…Draculina.

Lust 1Lust For Frankenstein DVDLust 2

Draculina is a Magazine in the same vein as Scream Queen Illustrated that showcases the sexy woman of B-Movies in photos and articles. The magazine would also do some reviews as well as interviews with filmmakers and actors. Draculina later also got into making comic books as well as some side magazines like Oriental Cinema and Sirens Of Cinema. Growing up my brother nor I ever had a Draculina Magazine nor do I ever remember seeing them on a news stand, in fact I think now and days they no longer print the magazine they take the lame digital only route. In fact I really don’t know much about this Magazine and I could find very little info on the web to try and learn about it so with that just know they are to blame for the Franco Photo Comics!

Draculina 1Draculina 2Draculina 3

To be honest readers, I am not looking forward to reading this comic and can only imagine it being just as bad as the movie.  But maybe, just maybe, the comic will be good or at least entertaining. Plus when else would I get to talk about Franco and Romay. So I need to thank my friend Andy Copp for this comic, and I want to remind everyone once again I grade these on a standard 1-4 star rating and am looking at how well the comic keeps to the source material, its entertainment value, its art and story. So let’s head to Frankenstein’s Castle and spend some time with Goddess and try and enjoy the ride that is a photo comic.

Lust For Frankenstein 3

Lust For Frankenstein # 1  *
Released in 1999   Cover Price $4.95   Draculina Comics   #3 of 4

Moira Frankenstein is the daughter of Dr. Frankenstein, and after his death she is visited by his spirit who tells her that she must listen to his records and find the Goddess to set the family’s name straight. Moria is puzzled by his message but goes to the castle to find that her stepmom Abigail has turned it into a house of decay as she sleeps with everyone from the paper guy to the creepy sleezy gardner! While her mother screws around, Moira sits inside her father’s old study and listens to his records and finds out that Goddess is really a naked female monster who is built with both male and female parts…if ya know what I mean, and I am sure you do. Moira finds out that Goddess is her love slave and that they will work together to clean up the castle and kill Abigail and her lovers.  When killing them, Goddess drains them of their power.  Moira goes out and tricks a stripper to come to the castle to feed her more power, but Goddess has her eye on a woodcutter and Moira finds her checking him out.  The two make love as they watch him chop logs, then go back and drain the life out of the stripper, and this makes Goddess more powerful. The comic ends with Moira tricking her soon to be ex-husband into coming to the castle where he is killed by Goddess, and the two ladies live together happily, in their minds, restoring the Frankenstein name to honor. 

The photo Comic is just as bad as the film and crams an already poor story into photos on cheap black and white pages. Moria, in the comic, comes off as a self centered woman who seems to do whatever her bloody headed ghost dad tells her.  She seems not to care about lives as she shows no remorse for killing her stepmom, a stripper and whoever else stands in her way of love and “honor”. I mean I get the fact she is supposed to be a little crazy as she has the blood of Dr. Frankenstein in her veins, but she just isn’t likable in the comic at all. Goddess is very robotic and just does what she is told by both Moria and Frankenstein’s Ghost.  She could be one of the worst of Frankenstein’s monsters as she really doesn’t do much besides break some necks and make love. Frankenstein’s Ghost is also crazy and also self centered and only thinks mostly of his own legacy. The rest of the characters are throw aways and none of them make an splash on the reader, making each of the side characters’ deaths have very little impact and mean very little. The comic’s plot also just seems very blah and leaves a sense of wow this could have been so much more if the makers of the comic did actual art and added something more to the story. The comic has ZERO art, and I guess I could say that the photos chosen are well selected, but I can’t stress enough that they should have done actual art and made this comic something more and better than the film it was based on.  Instead we just got a half assed comic that by no means is worth the $4.95 price tag placed on it. Over all I would say that this comic was pretty bad and its only charm is the fact it’s based on a Franco film and has pictures of boobs…but those two things don’t make this a good comic at all, I would say skip reading this. 

Lust Photo 1Lust Photo 2Lust Photo 3

I hate to say it, but I think Lust For Frankenstein could be the worst comic I have read here at Rotten Ink thus far.  It just felt so lazy and uninspired. So to get the bland taste of this comic out of my mouth, I am going to order some pizza….thinking Dominos…but wait, that means I will have to try and avoid the Noid who is the topic of our next update..so make sure to check it out.  It will be like we are having one big pizza party! So until next time, make sure to watch a good horror film, read a good horror inspired comic, watch and support your local horror host and just enjoy life. 

Noid Logo