Saturday 19 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Documentary · Resurrect Dead: The...

Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of The Toynbee Tiles

An urban mystery is paved with mad intentions in the marvelous documentary ‘Resurrect Dead.’

Rod Lott December 21st, 2011

Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of The Toynbee Tiles
7:30 p.m. Wednesday
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch

Imagine coming across a homemade tile on a city street or sidewalk bearing the enigmatic, four-line message of “TOYNBEE IDEA IN MOVIE 2001 RESURRECT DEAD ON PLANET JUPITER.” Now imagine coming across dozens of such tiles.

Starting in 1994 on the East Coast, Justin Duerr did, and wondered what it meant. The more he encountered them, the more his interest was piqued. Curiosity beget obsession when an in-its-infancy Internet search yielded no results, and the documentary “Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles” follows Duerr in his roughly 15-year search for a solution.

An admirable alternative to the new “Sherlock Holmes” sequel, “Resurrect Dead” screens tonight at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Don’t miss it.

As debuting feature director Jon Foy’s film informs us, “Toynbee” refers to deceased historian/philosopher Arnold Toynbee, which is the lone clue Duerr had to pursue. His digging eventually uncovers tiles as far west as Kansas City, Mo., and as far south as South America. Sidebar messages and an eventual manifesto reveal the tile maker’s conspiracy theory about the “cult of the hellion,” a belief that the FBI is funneling info about him to the Soviets, and an instruction to readers to “Murder every journalist. I beg you.”

This whodunit is simultaneously a whydunit and howdunit, especially with the discovery of tiles in the middle of busy interstates. As Duerr’s list of suspects forms and grows several lines deep, the documentary becomes as engrossing as any murder mystery by our finest fiction authors. So barbed are its tendrils that the puzzle branches out to include Stanley Kubrick, David Mamet and Larry King as important pieces. Like Errol Morris’ “Tabloid,” another wildly accessible doc screened by OKCMOA, “Resurrect Dead” grows crazier at every turn.

Some of Foy’s re-enactments are a bit clunky; Duerr is no actor, but who expects that? I was nearly as hooked as he.

“Resurrect Dead” reminded me of an excellent nonfiction book from 2002, Tom Standage’s “The Turk,” which detailed the mystery behind an 18th-century chess automaton. Both works shed light on a relatively unknown stunt bundled tight with secrets, complete with one of those “ah, but of course!” V8 moments at the end.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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