Burke and Hare
(2010) is a Black Comedy
based on the infamous Burke and Hare
and their killing spree in 1820's Scotland. Follows the two as they help a doctor find "patients", an all female version of Macbeth
get produced and all while trying to stay one step ahead of the militia. Directed by John Landis
and starring Simon Pegg
, Andy Serkis
, Isla Fisher
, Tom Wilkinson and Tim Curry
Not to be confused with the 1972 British horror movie of the same name, which is also inspired by the real life murderers.
This movie provides examples of:
- Black Comedy: Very much so.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Angus telling us, the audience, about 1820's Edinburgh, Scotland.
- The Cameo: Christopher Lee has one scene as Burke and Hare's first victim. Stephen Merchant is a footman.
- Crapsack World
- Fake Nationality: The Irishmen Burke and Hare are played by English actors, Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis. Australian Isla Fisher plays a Scottish bar girl.
- Gallows Humor
- Go Out with a Smile: "I did it for love."
- Grave Robbing
- High Pressure Blood: Happens to a poor man behind Dr. Monro when he cuts an artery during an amputation For Science!.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: The real Burke and Hare were quite a bit more cold blooded, preying on old ladies, a boy, and a mentally retarded man. And Hare ratted Burke out in exchange for immunity.
- Hollywood Heart Attack: How one of the victims dies.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Ginny, although she's actually a retired prostitute.
- Hypocritical Humour: "Watch your language, you fucking son of a bitch bastard."
- The Immodest Orgasm: Lucky.
- Jump Scare: Burke appearing out of nowhere in a darkened tunnel, used as part of an attack to get an obese man to have a heart attack.
- Last Request: Burke confesses to the killings on one condition - that he is allowed to spend the night with Ginny, his true love.
- Love Makes You Evil: In a sense. One of the reasons that Burke keeps going along with the killings is so he can finance Ginny's version of Macbeth.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: No other way to keep the "product" coming.
- Neck Lift: One intended victim does this with Burke and Hare at the same time.
- Not What It Looks Like: When Hare is checking Burke's wound and their landlady walks buy. "You have a perfectly lovely arse."
- Off The Wagon: Lucky.
- One Steve Limit: Averted, as in real life. Both Hare and Burke are named William.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Both Burke and Hare are often referred to as "Willy".
- Running Gag: Burke's constant unsuccessful attempts to have sex with Ginny. They are finally able to make love the night before his execution.
- The militiaman who faints at every moment of gruesomeness.
- Shot In The Ass: Burke by the militia.
- Snake Oil Salesman:The "moss" that cures everything, according to Burke.
- Spit Take: Ginny when Burke tells her he'll bankroll the play.
- Staircase Tumble: Used by the duo in one of their attempted murders, much to their chagrin when the drunk gets up and continues dancing down the street.
- Sympathetic Murderer: Burke.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The opening disclaimer reads "THIS IS BASED ON A TRUE STORY EXCEPT FOR THE PARTS WHICH ARE NOT". In addition to Historical Hero Upgrade above, the story of Burke bankrolling a play is invented. Knox continued to practice in Edinburgh for many years.
- Video Credits
- Villain Protagonists: Although Burke is portrayed as more of an Punch Clock Villain, being much more reluctant to go ahead with the murders and, unlike Hare, is guilt-ridden over his part in them.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue:
Burke: On display in Edinburgh's anatomy museum to this very day
Hare: Founded the first funeral parlor with Lucky, which eventually got a royal seal
Ginny: Became a famous actress... though not a very good one
Photographer: Became one of fathers of photography
Doctor's assistant: Went on a voyage of discovery and wrote a very controversial book
Doctor who ordered all the "product": Went to America