Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Flesh and the Fiends (1960)

4 / 5 Oct '09
Tagline:  Coffins Looted! Cadavers Dissected!
Directed by:   John Gilling
Written by:   John Gilling
Actors include: Peter Cushing, June Laverick, Donald Pleasance
Genre: Horror
Length: 97 minutes
Banned: Nope
Country: UK

Although this is a bit dry and chatty, this has a surprising amount of nudity and even corpses in it. I mean consider the fact that this was 1960, and in black and white and everything, it's a rather impressive little film. It's based upon the 'ole Burke & Hare (one of whom is played by a young Donald Pleasance) tale, we have two dunderheads who dig up corpses to give to medical research. On the medical research end we have the noble teacher and surgeon Dr. Robert Knox (Peter Cushing) who seems to want to ignore where his specimens are coming from. When Burke & Hare run out of bodies to dig up they start getting bodies the old fashion way, by murdering! When people Dr. Knox know start turning up on his table, well some ask questions but others still try to ignore. This tale even alludes to necrophilia (though none is shown), and the dialog is rather frank. Some of the drunken singing from one particular whorish character is irritating and well it is a bit dull in parts. Still much of it makes up for any shortcomings and it was a rather amusing picture to watch. It felt a lot like a Hammer picture, though it was not, it's actually a fair bit like Val Lewton's The Body Snatcher more than anything.

Availability:  On DVD

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