Dead Bodies (2003) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • The return of a vengeful ex-girlfriend sets into motion a series of gruesome events for a hapless Irish bachelor in director Robert Quinn's grim black comedy.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Slacker Tommy lives in a rundown flat with his dragon lizard. He gets back together with his annoying ex-girlfriend, Jean. During a fight Jean accidentally falls, hits her head and dies. Even though it was an accident Tommy is afraid of going to jail and decides to hide the body in a local wood, abetted by his friend Noel. Whilst digging the grave he stumbles across another buried corpse. Tommy reports Jean missing to the police and tries to get on with his life. While Tommy and Noel are bingeing on liquor shots to aid in their denial of the terrible truth, they run into Jean's winsome friend Viv, a university phycology student. They somewhat mask their mutual attraction, but ultimately agree to see each other the following day. Meanwhile, a sniffing dog leads his master to the two buried corpses. Detective Inspector Wheeler informs Tommy that Jean's body has been found, along with an unidentified corpse that was several years old. Tommy keeps his cool and acts like an innocent person. Subsequently, Wheeler identifies to Tommy the other body was the wife of very prominent local politician Gordon Ellis who happened to be in the midst of an election. Following the funeral service for Jean, Tommy and Viv return to his flat, whereupon Detective Inspector barges in and announces that an anonymous caller has informed him of evidence at the apartment. The police go directly to a very obscure hiding place in the flat and find that someone has planted a photograph of Kathleen Ellis, who Tommy has already denied knowing. Tommy is once again questioned at the police station, but doesn't admit to either murder. As he is preparing to leave the station, Gordon Ellis is arriving to meet with Detective Inspector Wheeler. Ellis threatens Tommy that he will be convicted of both murders and will spend his life in jail. Feeling he has no other choice, Tommy enlists a very reluctant Noel to helped him murder Ellis, and stage the scene to look like a suicide by overdose and hanging. While carrying out this plan, they are interrupted by Wheeler paying a visit to Ellis and finding him with a noose around his neck but clinging to life. Tommy and Noel take cover, and overhear a conversation between Ellis and Wheeler, where they hear that Ellis has always been the prime suspect in his wife's murder, but Wheeler was unable to make a case against him. Ellis pleads for help, but Wheeler tells him it's not coming and then finishes off the murder. Wheeler hears Tommy and Noel escape, but doesn't see them. However, he finds a cigarette lighter at the crime scene, which he recognizes as belonging to Tommy. Noel is repulsed by what he has witnessed and wants to report the dirty cop, but Tommy reminds him he is in too deep and had better keep quite. Nevertheless, their friendship is seriously strained. Tommy telephones Viv for a date, dropping all pretext of a "just friends" relationship. With Tommy and Viv in his flat, soaking wet after getting drenched in the rain, both Noel and Wheeler at some point also drop by, to, respectively, attempt to repair their friendship and confront Tommy about the lighter found at the murder scene. Lots happens here: Tommy finds that Viv knows a lot more about Jean's death than she has let on, and there is another accidental murder, with the witnesses once again agreeing to hide the body rather than face potentially being jailed for a crime.

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