Genre: Horror,Serial Killer, Psychological
Source: TV (Channel AMC)
This is now definitely one of my all time favorite Peter Cushing movies, as well as just being one the best horror movies i`ve ever seen! I honestly have nothing bad to say about this movie, everything in the film was perfect and happened for a reason. Wonderful setting in the bleak 19th century England probably my favorite settings for a horror film. Great cast overall with Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasance in starring roles, two amazing horror movie icons. Then of course the story was flawless, in fact its based on actual events that really happened in Edinburgh, England around the 1820s, Plus I like to think of these movie as somewhat of a prequel to 1944s The Body Snatcher.
This story is flawless and thorough, to say the least. Basically what its about is these two guys Burke and Hare go around killing people and selling there bodies to a Dr.Knox. Who uses the bodies in his medical school, for education in anatomy reasons. So Doctor Knox (played wonderfully by Peter Cushing) is a sympathetic character, he really means no harm, hes just persistent in his passion in the field of anatomy. But While on the other hand you have Burke and Hare, who are much less than charming or sympathetic people. They are greedy, brutal, and unmerciful in there murders. They really don`t care who gets killed as long as they get some money for it afterwards. To make it even better you had Donald Pleasance playingWillam Burke. And Pleasance really put in a great performance it was incredibly sinister to say the least, very very creepy character.
On top of all that you had some pretty amazing direction put into the movie. Just within the first few seconds, how the whole introduction is laid out I knew this movie was going to be really good. Then with all the authentic, detailed sets the movie gets even more in depth in its dark atmosphere. Just the way they made the city look was fabulous, and especially at the end gave it great senses of suspense. The sound was another thing that stood out for me, it was crystal clear. The costumes they all had were great, all that 19th century style of coat and top hat, classic and never gets old.
So in conclusion this was a great movie, with superb quality. A flawless story, were everything that happened had a point and significance to the story. Plus the fact that its based on a True event which makes it even more awesome. Then to top it off you had Peter Cushing as Dr.Knox, who was at one of his absolute finest performances. He Just really added great depth and sympathy to his character, that you felt bad for him,while at the same time he was stern and a bit unsympathetic to how he got his cadavers and who got hurt in the processes. Donald Plesance was also great in his portal of the vile, low class, greedy William Burke. Who adds this sinister aspect, that makes it all around more terrifying. And finally remember how I said that I viewed this movie a kind of Prequel or Prologe to 1944s The Body Snatcher. Here's why, it takes place in around the same time period just a few years later, in more the 1830s and it has basically the same concept getting bodies for medical reasons at any cost with no matter who gets killed or who's grave gets robbed. Next it even takes place in Edinburgh the same town this movie takes place, and the characters in The Body Snatchers occasional make references to Burke, Hare, and Doctor Knox. Some even talk about being in league with them,and not getting caught. Its really good, and both films are just golden, two of the best horror films ever.
So please by all means when you get a chance watch The Flesh and The Fiends! Its by far one of Peter Cushings best movies.