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Movie review: Burke and Hare (2010)

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Movie review: Burke and Hare (2010)


Based on the true story of two 19th century body snatchers, Burke and Hare find themselves in the business of supplying corpses to a medical school for dissection. When a shortage of bodies causes a stagnation in business, the two take matters into their own hands.

Simon Pegg (Burke), Andy Serkis (Hare), Tom Wilkinson (Dr. Knox), Bill Bailey (Hangman), Michael Smiley (Patterson), Tim Curry (Dr. Monro), Christian Brassington (Charles), Gabrielle Downey (Mad Maggie).

Burke and Hare is a black comedy that begins with a bit of backstory that creates the setting for the rest of the film. As Burke and Hare find their unusual niche business things get a bit more interesting as the duo deal with the expected problems that come with acquiring and selling bodies. The comedy is a bit dark and subtle but helps to keep the film from being depressing or boring. With a happy ever after ending the film ties up loose ends neatly.

Acting was good with Pegg and Serkis both doing quite well, and playing against each other nicely. Wilkinson was well cast for his role, as was Bailey. Curry was an interesting addition and as always, fit his quirky role well. The remainder of the supporting cast with a nod to Downey, did a good job.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were nicely done and the film felt as if it had a nice budget. Physical effects were fun and fit the film well. Dialogue was good and brought nice depth to the storyline. Sound and soundtrack were both nicely done.

Overall Burke and Hare is an unusual dark comedy from John Landis, renowned horror director. Those who enjoy a bit of humor with their horror story will enjoy this the most.

With plenty of gore, corpses, some foul language and fairly explicit sexuality, save this one for older teens and above.

Released: 2010
Reviewed: 11.9.13
Star rating: 2 out of 5

copyright ©2013 Dave Riedel

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