Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Burke & Hare - dvd review

It's been a long time since John Landis has made a film let alone a good film so I've been looking forward to this as soon as I heard he'd be directing Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis and of course Jessica Hynes.

For those not familiar with the plot, two Irishmen in 19th century Edinburgh hit on a way of making some sorely needed cash. Selling bodies to the medical establishment in order for the doctors to dissect them is a profitable business but one with obvious limitations. Burke and Hare see a way around this: create more bodies. In the poverty and squalor of the city, this isn't too difficult at first, but as demand exceeds supply, things begin to get difficult for the two men. Throw in a love interest and a demanding wife, and it's not long before our heroes are in trouble.

It's about as historically accurate as Braveheart, but overall, Burke and Hare works well as a black comedy. While it doesn't quite reach the heights of either Pegg's or Landis' other films, it doesn't need to. Judged on its own merits, this is a highly enjoyable film with some great performances especially from Tim Curry and Jessica Hynes who hasn't been this funny since Spaced (speaking of Spaced, nice to see Tyres again) and a load of cameos from famous faces - at least three of which are from American Werewolf In London.

If you like this, I Sell The Dead is also worth checking out.


  1. I was thinking of picking this up but it's got such mixed reviews. Mind you, I generally love Simon Pegg in everything and I love Jessica Hynes. I had no idea she was in this.

  2. Trust me, it's worth watching. If you do, let me know what you think.