The Flesh and the Fiends
Directed by John Gilling
Horror audiences have long been fascinated by the tale of Robert Knox, a Scottish doctor who in 1828 became notorious for his complicity in a series of murders committed by grave robbers Burke and Hare, who received cash in exchange for fresh cadavers. John Gilling’s exceptionally eerie 1960 retelling stars Peter Cushing, who had just become a horror star thanks to Hammer’s FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA and MUMMY films, and HALLOWEEN’s Donald Pleasence.
A Scottish doctor doesn’t ask questions when two killers begin bringing him suspiciously fresh cadavers.
Cast: Peter Cushing, June Laverick, Donald Pleasence
4/5: Great performance by Peter Cushing.
Cushing at his wittiest and Pleasance at his most villainous.
Peter Cushing always delivers.
The always great Peter Cushing AND an almost unrecognizably young Donald Pleasance in a fairly accurate portrayal of the Burke and Hare murders and their unruly dealings with Dr. Knox. Found this little gem to be a real surprise. It's a little slow but it takes its time developing story until the greed of Burke and Hare causes their schemes to unravel. And then there's the startling full frontal nudity for a black-and-white 1960 film, gratuitous without a doubt, and yet shocking for how completely unusual it was— especially in a film of notable quality and character. It serves to add a sting that probably couldn't be achieved otherwise. Worth the watch, absolutely. Might even buy this movie.
I saw this years ago on tv but didn’t realize how edited that version was. This version has entire scenes and even brief nudity that were edited out. I def recommend checking this out. Peter Cushing is amazing as always