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Resurrect Dead - The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles (2011)

Justin Duerr , Colin Smith , Jon Foy  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Justin Duerr, Colin Smith, Steve Weinik
  • Directors: Jon Foy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Entertainment One
  • DVD Release Date: January 31, 2012
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005OTGS4Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,692 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Obsessed with an enigmatic series of tiles found embedded into the streets of major cities across the globe, Justin Duerr uncovers a mystery more fascinating than anyone could ever imagine.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Documentary of 2011 August 18, 2011
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Puzzles abound in Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles as three young Philadelphians attempt to solve a particularly interesting one that's drawn them together. In Philly, other major Midwest and Northeast cities, and as far down as South America, someone has placed colorful tiles in asphalt that all say the same basic message: Toynbee Idea/ In Movie 2001/ Resurrect Dead/ On Planet Jupiter. What does it mean and who is behind it? Justin Duerr, Steve Weinik, and Tim Lincecum lookalike Colin Smith try to find out as Jon Foy captures their every move.

The trio has been documenting and dissecting the tiles for years and Foy's film serves as both a springboard to finding the tiles' creator and a concise collective of the entire Toynbee Tile universe for hardcore enthusiasts and novices alike. Once Duerr & Co. bring the viewer up to date with the basics of the tiles and their various theories of the tiles' meaning, the amateur detectives follow up on the most significant leads to entertaining results. Efforts to contact a neighborhood recluse with the help of some local eccentrics gets them somewhere, as do various archival newspaper clippings, a short wave radio convention, internet communications, and a one act David Mamet play that hits on multiple hot spots of tile lore, despite the playwright's prior insistence that he invented the dialogue.

Foy presents the quest and its relevant information in classic "whodunit" style. The trio are knowledgeable of their subject yet patient and caring in relaying their thoughts and findings. The Toynbee Tiles are clearly important to them and their enthusiasm in cracking the case is a joy to witness.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I was not aware of or knowledgeable about the phenomenon of the Toynbee Tiles before sitting down with Jon Foy's fascinating documentary "Resurrect Dead." Starting in the eighties, strange tiled messages started appearing on city streets in Philadelphia as well as other major American hubs and even into several South American countries. The message contained on the tiles apparently refers to historian Arnold Toynbee and to Stanley Kubrick's film "2001: A Space Odyssey." It seems to reference a metaphysical assertion that some form of resurrection is possible, the exact nature of which is open to interpretation.

The principle tiles read, although many also contain peripheral messages or rants:
Toynbee Idea
In Kubrick's 2001
Resurrect Dead
On Planet Jupiter

"Resurrect Dead" follows one man's obsession about finding out the truth behind the Toynbee Tiles. Justin Duerr, along with two other interested parties, made it a mission to discover the identity of the original tiler. Their exploits and investigations are covered extensively within the documentary. It is indeed a fascinating topic, and the film lays out the methodology they used to reach their final conclusions. It is an entertaining journey with some unexpected stops (a shortwave radio convention) and intriguing clues (a David Mamet play). The film covers the investigation well, and I was along for the big reveal.

But while I liked the movie (and I did), I'm not sure what it all really amounts to. The mystery is certainly more appealing than its solution. Once the primary suspect is revealed, we never get any closer. Duerr simply proposes numerous theories and suppositions about his motives. The mystery remains largely unsolved.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I watched this movie after a friend recommended it. I was intrigued by the mystery of the Toynbee tiles and, living in Chicago, have actually seen one or two in my meanderings around the city. What I didn't expect was to be so emotionally moved by the film as the mystery unfolds. It will be difficult to be specific about why I find this film so poignant without giving away spoilers, so I will refrain. But, suffice it to say that there is a beautiful unfolding of a truly confounding mystery as well as a surprising tale of humans desiring to care for others on multiple levels of this story. I was actually moved to tears at one point and in several instances laughed out loud as revelations occurred to drive forward the investigation of these mysterious tiles. I hope that everyone will watch this film for two reasons: to discover something about an amusing and delightful mystery that I wish we had more of in this world and also to learn to take a second look at our neighbors, friends and family and to appreciate their individuality, quirks and eccentricities. It's what makes this world interesting and something we should all value rather than mock.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Fascinating film about the mysterious Toynbee tiles that have been seen all over the world. The doc basically follows one mans journey to find the person or group responsible for the tiles. Over a 10 year period he catalogs the tiles all over Philadelphia, New York and other cities and amasses information on the suspects he thinks are responsible. His path to uncovering the mystery takes him to some very interesting places that are all at once frightening and engrossing! Well worth checking out!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Docu on a great story; I'll be sorry if this means it's over!
Nice work, Jon, et al! I was impressed by the narrative, the pacing, and the score (which I was very surprised Mr. Foy composed, himself). Read more
Published 4 months ago by margaret bernadette
5.0 out of 5 stars Tile of love
My boyfriend and I even found one. I think we are gonna make it our goal to see them all :)
Published 4 months ago by Amanda
4.0 out of 5 stars Philadelphia eccentric
These 'tiles' show up around town, and they mystify everyone. There are even copy-cats now. A local artist made this documentary investigating the possible source of them, and his... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Patricia Freda
5.0 out of 5 stars Great - just be careful who you 'try' to buy it from.
I saw this on Netflix & found it interesting enough to purchase a copy. I ordered from an Amazon seller called 'OLDIES'. Read more
Published 9 months ago by R-W
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Mystery, Greater Film!
I enjoyed this film so much that I have now written 76,000+ words in a novel related to the mystery of the Toynbee Idea tiles! Read more
Published 10 months ago by Justin M. Kolenc
4.0 out of 5 stars Neck Face
It would be cool if he found out who Neck Face is, I've found his work in Shibuya Japan and Manhattan. Read more
Published 12 months ago by rawdizzle
5.0 out of 5 stars a great mysery
With the world all connected, with the internet and all. There is not many Mystery s left. Sure, there are some crimes, but usually the only mystery is (guilty, or not guilty). Read more
Published 14 months ago by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars Confronting Mysteries With Curiosity & Tenacity
The most fascinating part of Resurrect Dead's mission was the limited and amateur means of solving the Toynbee Tile mystery. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Elbows Up
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor plot
The movie itself is well developed for a low budget production, but the plot is mediocre... I don't think the story of a minor urban legend is really worth so much attention.
Published 14 months ago by al
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting documentary.
Very engaging documentary. Quality of the filming was good. It answered a lot of questions about the Toynbee tiles while still keeping the aire of mystery and being respectful.
Published 17 months ago by ManicBride
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