Saturday, January 19, 2013

BURKE & HARE (2010) movie review

Burke & Hare (2010) d. Landis, John (UK)

“This is a true story. Except for the parts that are not.” Engaging horror/comedy about the infamous pair of 19th century Edinburgh confidence men who resort to grave robbing (and eventually bumbling murder), embodied by the superb comic team of Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis. Tom Wilkinson stars as eminent surgeon Robert Knox, complicit in the duo’s crimes in the interest of furthering science. Pegg’s Spaced co-star Jessica (formerly Stevenson) Hynes is terrific as Serkis’ conniving bawdy bride while Isla Fisher’s fetching barmaid turns on the sexy-cute in the hopes of finding a financier for her theatrical aspirations.

Piers Ashcroft and Nick Moorcraft’s highly fictionalized comic script meshes well with Landis’ trademark brand of grotesque, absurdist leanings, and the scene is rife with cameos from the likes of Christopher Lee, Jenny Agutter, Ray Harryhausen, Costa-Gavras, Tim Curry and Landis’ longtime cinematographer Robert Paynter. Released without fanfare (to subsequent piddling box office), surprising considering the talent involved.

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