I missed a ’31 yesterday, so why not continue with grave robbing today? Here goes, with Burke and Hare!
Story: Back in the early 1800s, medical colleges in Scotland had a shortage of bodies. When there’s a market, there are…enrepreneurs!
Scares: A comedy that happens to have it’s basis in a creepy point in history, so no real scares. Well, unless you’re squicked by dead bodies.
Splat factor: Dead bodies. Murder. Medical dissection. You do the math.
Closing scene “shocker”?: Nup. Though there’s a “what happened to ’em” epilogue. Who doesn’t love that?
Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Burke and Hare came out in 1971, so the 2010 film is a remake/homage.
Trick or Treat?: Like I Sell the Dead, Burke and Hare is a hilarious look at an ooky true history tidbit. Grave robbing was indeed a thing, and Burke and Hare were indeed fellas that sold dead bodies to medical colleges…killing people when they ran out of “product”.
With a stellar cast including Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Tom Wilkinson, Isla Fisher, Tim Curry, Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes, this is both a horror comedy and a “ZOMG I love that actor!” ensemble cast. Pegg and Serkis particularly do fantastic deadpan, and director John Landis has his usual deft touch with editing scenes together for maximum flow and humor. (Example: a man threatenes B&H…cut to that man on the medical college dissection table. )
Come for Peg, Serkis and Curry, stay for the brilliant British humor and lightning comedic delivery all around. Not technically horror? Perhaps. But it’s too much fun to skip.
4 out of 5 pumpkins. Would make a great double-feature with I Sell the Dead. In fact, that’s exactly what I did.