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Film / Art of the Dead

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Art of the Dead is a 2019 American horror written and directed by Rolfe Kanefsky and starring Tara Reid, Richard Grieco, Jessica Morris, Tania Fox, Sarah French, and Lukas Hassel.

When Dylan Wilson purchases a collection of seven paintings to hang in his wealthy estate, he has no idea what horrors he has unleashed for himself, his wife, Gina, his college son, Louis, his teen-age daughter, Donna, and his two little kids. Only Father Mendale knows what evils lurk inside this deadly art and the history of Dorian Wilde, the artist who made a pact with dark forces when he created these paintings that represent the seven deadly sins. Now, anyone who comes in contact with these pictures are corrupted by Pride, Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, Greed, Envy, and Wrath. It's up to Father Mendale and Louis' girlfriend, Kim, to save Dylan and his family before they are all destroyed by the Art of the Dead.



  • Advertised Extra: Despite his prominence in the credits, Richard Grieco plays a Teaser-Only Character who dies before the main action starts.
  • Alpha Bitch: Everything we hear about Donna's rival Tiffany, the head cheerleader, implies that she is this, and we get to see a bit of her in action when Donna gatecrashes her party. However, it turns out Alpha Bitch is no match for a geek empowered by Envy.
  • Animal Motifs: In the 'Animals' painting series, each of the Seven Deadly Sins is represented by an animal. character corrupted by that painting begin to take on aspects of that animal.
    • Pride = Peacock
    • Lust = Goat
    • Gluttony = Pig
    • Sloth = Snail
    • Greed = Toad
    • Envy = Snake
    • Wrath = Lion
  • Anomalous Art: The film is about a collection of seven paintings based on the Seven Deadly Sins that cause those who stay in their presence for too long to slowly be consumed by the corresponding sin.
  • Another Story for Another Time: While explaining to Louis how to create the cursed paintings, Dorian Wilde casually mentions that Jack the Ripper is a friend of his and he knows Jack's true identity, before finishing "But that's a story for another time".
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  • Art Attacker: Not only can Dorian Wilde's seven cursed paintings corrupt those in their presence, and leave them open to possession by Wilde, they can also attack people directly. When Douglas Winter attempts to blast the Wrath painting with a shotgun, the painting sucks the shotgun into itself. The now-painted shotgun barrel then emerges from the painting and blasts Douglas.
  • An Axe to Grind: When Louis is possessed by Wrath in the garage, he grabs an axe and attempts to kill Kim. Shortly after, the Envy-possessed Donna gets hold of it and buries it in the head of the prostitute.
  • The Cheerleader: Tiffany, the Alpha Bitch at Donna's school is also the head cheerleader. Every time Donna has an Imagine Spot regarding her, she is always dressed in her cheerleader outfit.
  • Coitus Uninterruptus: When Douglas Winter is going through his house to trying to tell his family that he has acquired the final painting in the set, he enters his son Richie's room and discovers Richie and his girlfriend Becky about to get it on. They are so wrapped up in each other that they don't even notice the interruption.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: The prostitute Louis hires to be his subject (and his canvas) opens her eyes to discover that Louis has painted vile epithets over her body in his own blood (and backwards, so she can read them in a mirror).
  • Crowbar Combatant: When Louis attacks her with an axe, Kim grabs a crowbar to defend herself. After dropping it, she manages to grab it gain and slug him with it.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Having been corrupted by the Lust painting, Gina exhausts her husband Dylan in the bedroom. When he staggers off to try to get some work done, she finds herself still craving sexual satisfaction, so she plants the kids in front of the television, tells them she needs some "alone time", and retreats to her bedroom to furiously masturbate. While she is in this vulnerable position, she is approached by Dorian's spirit, who promises her eternal pleasure.
  • Deal with the Devil: Mad Artist Dorian Wilde sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for immortality through his work.
  • Death by Gluttony: Murphy, a guard at the gallery, is affected by the Gluttony painting and starts gulping down water straight from a hose until his stomach bursts.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Dorian Wilde creates the canvas for the Lust painting from the skin of a dead prostitute provided for him by Jack the Ripper. in the present day, Louis hires a prostitute to serve as a subject (and canvas) for his painting intending to kill her afterwards. She manages to escape his attack but is later killed by Donna.
  • Eye Scream: When Father Mendale is affected by the Envy painting, he rids himself of its influence by plunging his crucifix on his rosary into his eye.
  • Fictional Painting: The film centres around a series of seven painting by Mad Artist Dorian Wilde. Known collectively as 'The Animals', each of the paintings depicts an animal representing one of the Seven Deadly Sins.
  • Genuine Human Hide: Mad Artist Dorian Wilde paints the seven cursed paintings on canvases made from human skin. He and Louis are seen flensing the skin from the back of a dead prostitute supplied by Jack the Ripper to make the canvas for the Lust painting.
  • Glass Eye: Father Mendale has a glass from when he gouged his own eye out to free himself from the influence of the Envy painting.
  • Going Commando: During her shopping spree, Donna leaves behind her panties in a bag as a present for the shop assistant: telling him that she doesn't wear them any more.
  • Grand Theft Me: The spirit of Mad Artist Dorian Wilde can possess the body of anyone who been completely corrupted by one of his evil paintings. He possesses Gina after she has been completely corrupted by Lust.
  • Kill It with Fire: Father Mendale tells Kim that the only way to destroy the cursed paintings is to gather them together and burn them.
  • Little Bit Beastly: As people fall victim to the corruption of one of the Seven Deadly Sins, they start to develop characteristics of the animal which represents that sin. For example, as Louis is consumed by Wrath, he develops lion fangs, and as Dylan is consumed by Greed, he develops the green skin of a toad.
  • Mad Artist: Dorian Wilde made a Deal with the Devil to achieve immortality through his work. He created a series of seven paintings known as 'The Animals' (or the 'Sinsation Series'), each one representing one of the Seven Deadly Sins. He used human skin as canvases and mixed his victims' blood, sweat and tears in with the paints. These paintings can corrupt anyone who comes in contact with them.
  • Off with Her Head!: Donna is decapitated during the battle between Dylan and Gina in the garage.
  • Organ Theft: While possessed by Envy, Donna murders the Alpha Bitch head cheerleader Tiffany, amputates her breasts, and gives herself a 'boob job' by transplanting them on to herself. She does the same thing with Tiffany's lips.
  • Out with a Bang: Richie Winter and his girlfriend Becky are murder by Richie's father while having sex.
  • Overly Long Tongue: The satyr-like embodiment of Lust has an obscenely long tongue that he forces down Kim's throat when she is being raped.
  • Pater Familicide: Douglas Winter becomes this after being corrupted by the Wrath painting: moving through the house with a knife and killing every member of his family.
  • The Pen Is Mightier: During Louis' vision , Dorian Wilde kills a critic by stabbing him in the neck with a paintbrush.
  • Pig Man: While attempting to escape from the Portal Paintings, Kim and the kids have to get past the porcine embodiment of gluttony.
  • Portal Painting: The paintings can not only corrupt the souls of those in contact with them, but once they are fully corrupted, they will be drawn into the painting and trapped there permanently. Wilde can also cause the paintings to reach and snatch people and objects into them.
  • Reusable Lighter Toss: After dousing the collected canvases in paint thinner, Louis turns them into a bonfire by tossing a lit Zippo on top of them.
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Mad Artist Dorian Wilde made a pact with dark forces when he created seven paintings that represent the seven deadly sins. Now, anyone who comes in contact with these pictures are corrupted by Pride, Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, Greed, Envy, and Wrath.
  • Teaser-Only Character: Douglas Winter (Richar Grieco) and his family in the pre-title sequence who show what happened to the last person to assemble all seven paintings in one place.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The art gallery owner who auctions off the seven cursed paintings.


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