The Flesh and the Fiends 07/14/20
John Gilling’s chilling-est horror item is an historically accurate tale of bodysnatching in Edinburgh. When Peter Cushing’s Dr. Knox needs cadavers for his controversial anatomy studies, the enterprising Burke and Hare (George Rose & Donald Pleasence) procure them — creating corpses when the graveyards are guarded. It’s a straight demonstration of how idealistic scientists get the axe every time. The production is handsome and the cast ideal: June Laverick, Billie Whitelaw, John Cairney, Renee Houston, Dermot Walsh, Andrew Faulds. The incomparable Peter Cushing gives his all to the misguided surgeon with the paralyzed eyelid yet Donald Pleasence’s looney ghoul all but steals the show. Reviewer Charlie Largent shows us how to ‘Burke them,’ with style. On Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics.