The Flesh and The Fiends - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Flesh and The Fiends Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2010
This is a pretty good attempt at a "body snatcher" flick, but it could be a lot better. Cushing plays a creepy looking guy, but that's not enough for a good horror movie.
flixsterman
Super Reviewer
½ February 4, 2009
"Coffins Looted! Cadavers Dissected!"

Nice bit of macabre horror from England's Shepperton Studios. (Based on the real life exploits of William Burke, William Hare and Dr. Robert Knox.)
RCCLBC
Super Reviewer
½ July 12, 2010
Enjoyable little romp, though the fact that it's based on a true story makes it all the more interesting. It's sort of a cross between Frankenstein and Sweeny Todd.

Now I have to check out the John Landis version (Burke and Hare) which stars Simon Pegg & Andy Serkis in the title roles and has Tim Curry as the infamous doctor! That coud be fun!
July 14, 2007
This is probably where I started liking dark comedies ( although the comedy part was most likely an accident) .
October 16, 2006
Excellent filming of the Burke & Hare story. This one's emphasis is on Dr. Knox, the physician who bought the fresh corpses from Burke & Hare. Cushing is excellent in the role.
February 25, 2014
Reminds me of one of the Hammer Frankenstein films with Cushing as the doctor. This film though is more a drama and less a horror, based on historical cases.
Though interesting and educational the entertainment factor is rather low.
Acceptable late night fare for the horror aficionado.
½ August 6, 2013
Directed by John Gilling (The Plague of the Zombies (1966), The Reptile (1966) and The Mummy's Shroud (1967)), this horror was written by Gilling and Leon Griffiths (who later created Minder) and it retells the story of the crimes of Burke and Hare whose exploits were written as The Body Snatchers by Robert Louis Stevenson, although this focuses more on the man they did business with, but this is a very effective and moody film with a good cast. In Edinburgh in the 1820's, Dr. Robert Knox (Peter Cushing) does medical research for classes of students, for this he requires cadavers, but the bodies that come in are of dubious quality. Local wheeler-dealers William Burke (George Rose) and William Hare (Donald Pleasence) come up with a way to provide Dr. Knox with bodies, fresh ones too. At Burke's house, they kill the lodgers and give them to Knox to cut up for his students, but someone notices people going missing. Plus, Knox's colleague Dr. Geoffrey Mitchell (Dermot Walsh) becomes suspicious at how many corpses Knox seems to be getting when other doctors are struggling to get any. It all seems very mysterious, but Burke and Hare slip up and after barmaid Mary Patterson (Billie Whitelaw) is killed, that's one too many. It has some good moments, and it's a very effective film shot in a stark black and white, but it shows what a good actor Cushing was, and even if this was made on the cheap, it manages to do quite a bit with so little, and it's quite heavy going for it's day too. But, it's a good history lesson of medical history, something which Cushing researched for the part.
October 17, 2012
Awright exploration of the Burke and Hare story, with many different character subplots slowly weaving together into this movie. Very cleverly done for the most part, the problem is, the filmmakers just kept going when a logical conclusion existed and just went on and on, Still quite interesting though.,
June 1, 2012
nowdays it seems mediocre
October 16, 2011
nowdays it seems mediocre
December 7, 2010
A similar theme to Fisher's Frankenstein, helped by the presence of thel great Peter Cushing. Gilling's film is a solid thriller which paint very well the mood of Victorian's England.
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2010
This is a pretty good attempt at a "body snatcher" flick, but it could be a lot better. Cushing plays a creepy looking guy, but that's not enough for a good horror movie.
flixsterman
Super Reviewer
½ February 4, 2009
"Coffins Looted! Cadavers Dissected!"

Nice bit of macabre horror from England's Shepperton Studios. (Based on the real life exploits of William Burke, William Hare and Dr. Robert Knox.)
August 3, 2010
The directing was good and the acting by Peter Cushing and both the murderer's in this film is impeccable. The scene where both murderers are killing an old drunk woman especially demonstrates their great acting.

Overall, all the cast did a good job and the story is very interesting. I just wish it had let itself wrap a bit more on some things at the end. Some things really aren't explained very well and it felt like the kind of movie you would want explanations from. We can assume what happened but we can't be sure, why is one of the murderer's let free of charge? Why do people end up clapping at Peter Cushing after knowing all the evil he has done?

Maybe if it had reflected on those things a bit more I could have been entirely satisfied. But I do recommend this film for those interested on the Vicent Price, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing horrors.
RCCLBC
Super Reviewer
½ July 12, 2010
Enjoyable little romp, though the fact that it's based on a true story makes it all the more interesting. It's sort of a cross between Frankenstein and Sweeny Todd.

Now I have to check out the John Landis version (Burke and Hare) which stars Simon Pegg & Andy Serkis in the title roles and has Tim Curry as the infamous doctor! That coud be fun!
½ March 23, 2010
Excellent gothic horror with a tremendous, sensitive performance by Peter Cushing as the misunderstood Dr Robert Knox, the Edinburgh surgeon who purchased cadavers from Williams Burke and Hare. Donald Pleasence is particularly sinister as Hare. The portrayals of the debauched Edinburgh slums are somewhat twee, but the scenes of angry mobs are dark and gritty while also referencing the Universal era horrors. George Woodbridge appears in a fairly large role as a bumbling, bombastic surgeon and rival of Knox. In fact the supporting cast, comprising George Rose, Renee Houston, Billie Whitelaw and Melvyn Hayes as Daft Jamie, whose gruesome murder scene is particularly memorable, are very good.
½ October 28, 2009
not horror per say, but a very good story. Burke & Hare are both good, and Peter Cushing could do the drama with one eye closed. the opening is rather wonderful.
½ October 23, 2009
Donald Pleasence is such a weasley rat bastard in this. And I am always pre-disposed to enjoying a Peter Cushing film. A fun little dark flick.
½ May 1, 2008
I just love Peter Cushing.......really.
½ May 5, 2009
It's not really a horror film as its marketed. The idea of grave robbers selling dad bodies to doctors who will use them for medical purposes while turning a blind eye to how the bodies were acquired is an interesting subject. Peter Cushing is great as usual as is Donald Pleasance. If it takes place in Edinburgh, why are the two graverobbers Irish? I also found that the movie spends its last fifteen minutes or so going on this unnecessary tangent about humanity and the Hippocratic Oath.
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