The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
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BURKE AND HARE (2011) **

Director John Landis returns to horror-ish territory with this comic tale of the infamous graverobbing duo Burke and Hare (Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis). Strapped for cash, they sell a dead body to a medical school ran by Tom Wilkinson. When Burke falls in love with an aspiring actress (Isla Fisher), he soon learns that he needs lots of dough to keep their relationship afloat. He then enlists the help of the unscrupulous Hare to keep the med school supplied with fresh corpses.

Burke and Hare is a very droll movie. There are some clever moments, but no real laugh out loud ones. The best material is weighted towards the beginning of the film. Once Burke and Hare start selling corpses, the flick gets more tiresome as it goes on. If you find pratfalls and people fainting at the sight of a dead body funny, you might be amused.

The teaming of Landis and Pegg seems promising. He doesn’t give a bad performance, but he doesn’t exactly stand out either. He doesn’t have a lot of chemistry with Serkis and because of that; the movie never really kicks into gear.

I think the problem lies with the characters themselves. No matter how the picture tries to paint them as likeable characters, it just never quite works out that way. It’s as if Landis is trying to say that even though they peddle dead bodies, they’re not “bad” guys. Unfortunately, there’s nothing in the performances or script to make us think otherwise.

Burke and Hare was Landis’ first movie since Susan’s Plan. It’s a lot better than that movie, but that’s about all I can say for it. I did enjoy seeing bits by An American Werewolf in London stars John Woodvine, Jenny Agutter, and David Scofield as well as Christopher Lee in a small role. Other than that, Burke and Hare is a minor and forgettable Landis offering.

Tags: b, christopher lee, comedy, horror, landis
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