Burke & Hare


Action / Horror


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May 15, 2015 at 06:18 AM



Yootha Joyce as Mrs. Hare
Harry Andrews as Dr. Knox
Derren Nesbitt as Burke
720p 1080p
756.62 MB
24.000 fps
1hr 31 min
P/S 2 / 0
1.45 GB
24.000 fps
1hr 31 min
P/S 3 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MARIO GAUCI ([email protected]) 6 / 10

BURKE & HARE (Vernon Sewell, 1972) **1/2

Fairly maligned but, in retrospect, reasonably enjoyable version of the notorious body-snatching double act – played here by Derren Nesbitt (a regular in director Sewell's work) and Glynn Edwards (surprisingly, for a title role, played by a prolific character actor rather than a star or even a familiar face); both men are now married and their spouses get wind of their nefarious activities before long. The end is also closer to the truth, with Hare turning State's Evidence (eventually dying blind and destitute), leaving Burke to hang alone, and Dr. Knox (a typically full-blooded Harry Andrews, with an eye-patch over his right eye and given to cracking dirty jokes for his colleagues' amusement!) – the eminent surgeon they sold the bodies to – being expelled from his profession but subsequently setting up a traveling medicine show! Oddly enough, the rivalry between Knox and the other surgeon-lecturers is all but inexistent here!

The style is agreeably redolent of Hammer Films (nicely book-ended by recreations of period illustrations dealing with the case), though like the brand-new John Landis rendition, the tone is bawdily comic rather than the sleazy seriousness adopted by two more British treatments of these events (unfolding in 1820s Edimburgh) by notable directors – John Gilling's THE FLESH AND THE FIENDS (1959) and Freddie Francis' THE DOCTOR AND THE DEVILS (1985), both of which I had reviewed soon after their first viewing. For the record, the screenplay is the handiwork of Ernle Bradford; his major claim to fame was penning the bestselling chronicle of The Great Siege of Malta of 1565 and, not only is a street in my hometown named after him, but he was to die on our shores in 1986!

The brothel scenes (ostensibly demonstrating Knox's students' leisure time, as well as provide convenient victims for the titular duo, but all-too-obviously mandated by the new-fangled permissiveness) feel rather like padding – incidentally, former Hammer starlet Yutte Stensgaard appears briefly as one such prostitute (which she unconvincingly plays drunk much of the time!). One unexpected asset, however, is a rollicking folk-tune sung by The Scaffold during the film's opening and closing titles.

I do not know if the copy I acquired is culled from the film's DVD edition (through Redemption) but it came accompanied by an interesting 12-minute 'lecture' featuring an unusual-looking (displaying tattoos and piercings galore!) female Professor who, amongst other things, parallels the real-life Dr. Knox's dabbling in body parts so that others may live with the literary figure of Baron Frankenstein attempting to re-animate composites of dead tissue (especially since both came by them illegally).

Reviewed by gavin6942 7 / 10

A Great Interpretation of the Classic Legend

Two men go into business supplying medical colleges with cadavers by robbing graves.

What you might recall about this film more than anything else is its theme song, which is certainly rather fun and moving. Bringing this tale to life is important and a great addition to horror cinema. Sure, it had been done before as "The Body Snatcher" and "The Flesh and the Fiends"... but it is my understanding that this was the first to be so explicit in the title.

The film also asks another question, perhaps philosophical or ethical: do dead bodies have value? Certainly murder is a terrible crime, but what of people who died naturally? Certainly their owners do longer need them -- why not be taken for medical science? (We now have donor cards and the like, but indeed, how were surgeons to learn their craft without practice?)

Reviewed by The_Void 7 / 10

Lesser known but effective retelling of a horror classic!

While not as well known as the likes of Dracula and Frankenstein, the tale of Burke and Hare is still undoubtedly one of horror's classics (even more so for the fact that it's based on actual events!). There has been an impressive amount of films based on this story - the classic 1945 film The Body Snatcher being the best and closely followed by The Flesh and the Fiends and The Doctor and The Devils. Horrors of Burke and Hare is a somewhat more obscure film version, and while that's not surprising considering the competition - this is still a good take on the classic story and surely deserves to be better known! The film would appear to stick to the story quite closely and doesn't bring anything new to the table that wasn't already seen in previous versions. We follow two paupers, Burke and Hare, who soon realise that there is money to be made by delivering bodies to the local doctor. It's not long, however, before they realise that there's only so many dead bodies available and later set out to make some bodies of their own...

The film is directed by British director Vernon Sewell, who previously made The Blood Beast Terror and The Curse of the Crimson alter. This film is undoubtedly better than both of those. While previous films based on this story have put their focus mainly on either the grave robbers or the doctor; this one is happier to broaden its scope and focus on not only both of these, but also things as well. This would not be a flaw if the point of the film still shone through effectively; but unfortunately this is not the case and big chunks of the story and its implications are left out. There also some confusion over exactly what style the director was going for; as the film takes on a very macabre tone at first, which works well, while at other times we are shown how much fun the lead characters are having (courtesy of an upbeat pop song!). The director does present his story very well, however, and the locations used all fit the tale very well. Unlike previous and later versions of this story, this one doesn't feature any real big stars, although all the main players are effective in their roles. Overall, if you're looking for a film based on this story; there are better ones out there, but this one is still worth seeing!

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