BURKE & HARE (2010)


DIRECTOR: John Landis


Will we be adding this to our collection? YES

John Landis’ first film since 1998’s Susan’s Plan, (Has anybody actually heard of this one?) Burke & Hare also marks the return of the Ealing Comedy, notoriously black and VERY British. The somewhat true story of William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis) has reached the pearl screen before with a little known 1970’s version, but this was a real, serious as it were, attempt to tackle this fascinating tale of two of Edinburgh’s most notorious grave robbers and serial murders, the perfect subject for a black comedy…?

The trailers had been criticised for presenting this as a “knock about comedy”, which it isn’t, but it is still VERY funny in parts, with Pegg and Serkis holding this intriguing story together. The weakest link here is the sub plot revolving around Isla Fisher’s character, who could easily have been extricated from the script without anyone noticing. Landis has a fascinating take on British culture for an american director, as he had already proved before with An American Werewolf In London and this is no exception to his under-appreciated talents.

His timing is impeccable as is the tight script and the brilliant performances all round, making this somewhat of a puzzle as to why it failed to do well at the box office. If you haven’t seen it, SEE IT and it might just surprise you. Not five-star material but miles better that you might think.

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