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Burke & Hare (Remastered Edition) [Blu-ray] (1972)

Derren Nesbitt , Glynn Edwards , Vernon Sewell  |  R |  Blu-ray
2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Derren Nesbitt, Glynn Edwards
  • Directors: Vernon Sewell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007UQ8IP6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,069 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

When a man in their Edinburgh boarding house dies, poor Irish immigrants Burke (Derren Nesbitt) and Hare (Glynn Edwards) discover they can make good money by supplying corpses for scientific study to a doctor at the university medical school. Inconvenienced by the lack of available cadavers, the cunning pair soon turns to murder to maintain their revenue stream. Vernon Sewell (Ghost Ship, The Blood Beast Terror) directs this classic horror film with a dose of dark comedy. Newly remastered in HD and in it s original aspect ratio for the first time. First time ever on Blu-ray!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed and Unclassifiable British Rarity February 8, 2013
Throughout the seventies, many British studios tried to compete with Hammer Films in the Horror genre output and few succeeded. Here we have a rare British title , Director Vernon Sewell's 'BURKE AND HARE'- 1972, which received limited distribution in the states and appeared in mom and pop video stores in the eighties via a muddy VHS transfer. The story of grave robbers doing murderous business with surgeons in 1800's Edinburgh had been filmed many times before and because it was the seventies , this version contains dark and crude sexual humor taking place in brothels and pubs making it hard to classify it as a Horror film or an exploitation comedy. It is peppered with many familiar British actors : Harry Andrews as Dr. Knox who seems to be slumming it, the always excellent Derren Nesbitt in a front and center role for once , an unrecognizable Yootha Joyce as Burke's Sweeney Todd/Mrs. Lovett-like unpleasant wife, and as the gorgeous brothel trollops ,Francoise Pascal and a blink or you'll miss cameo by Yutte Stensgaard who played Mircalla/Millarca Karnstein in Director Jimmy Sangster's 'LUST FOR A VAMPIRE'- 1970 who gave that role an underrated performance. Director Sewell directs the proceedings in a straight forward manner having come off the set of the much better guilty pleasure 'THE BLOOD BEAST TERROR' aka 'THE VAMPIRE BEAST CRAVES BLOOD'-1971 also available from Redemption Films in Blu-Ray or DVD. The Blu-Ray is a nice clear transfer in its correct 1.66 aspect ratio showing off the production design giving a you are there feel to the dirty alleyways and interior hovels enhancing the crisp cinematography by Desmond Dickinson although the negative fluctuates with bluish blemishes and brownish tones. Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The story is OK, the Redemption DVD quality is not April 29, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
For those familiar with the Burke and Hare tale, (as also done in "The Doctor and the Devils" and "Flesh and the Fiends"), the story is familiar. There's a bit of fooling around to be had here, a bit of bumbling comedy, some womanizing, all mixed in with the more "grave" material. I did enjoy this to a point, but boo and hiss to Redemption for the quality of this DVD, which is quite poor. This is the best print they could come up with? I think my old New World Video VHS was better. I wonder if Redemption would have put something of this quality out if they were still affiliated with Image Entertainment?

At any rate, the film does have a rather fun theme song courtesy of Scaffold, a band featuring Mike McGear, who is Paul McCartney's brother.

But the DVD quality....OY! 3 out of 5 stars...
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3.0 out of 5 stars Two Very Different Movies Rolled Into One. October 1, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Like so many early 1970s British horror movies, I first saw BURKE & HARE at a drive-in as part of a double or triple bill. I don't remember what else was showing that night but this was the movie that I came to see and it wasn't the first feature on the program. I knew director Vernon Sewell from two earlier films, THE CRIMSON CULT and THE BLOOD BEAST TERROR (both 1968) and from being mentioned in David Pirie's landmark study of British horror cinema, A HERITAGE OF HORROR. Neither of the two movies I mentioned were particularly good but they were entertaining and well made and boasted powerhouse horror casts (Peter Cushing, Robert Flemyng, Christopher Lee, Barbara Steele, Michael Gough, and Boris Karloff). This one didn't have the cast but it was about Burke & Hare.

I am fascinated by the Burke & Hare saga. Though he was hanged in 1829 Burke's skeleton, along with a calling card case made from his skin, is still on display in Edinburgh. I am also a huge admirer of John Gilling's 1959 version of the story THE FLESH & THE FIENDS. I have all 5 of the major cinematic versions of the story and this one is by far and away the weakest of the set which is too bad because there was real potential here. The problem is that the producers wanted to have their cake and eat it too. They combined a horror movie with a period sex romp in the vein of FANNY HILL. The bordello scenes look like a completely different movie. The lighting is different, the music is cheerful, and the editing between the two storylines is very haphazard. This is really too bad because the B & H scenes are well staged and well acted by Derren Nesbit & Glynn Edwards. Yootha Joyce and Dee Shenderey are also very good as the women behind the men. Harry Andrews looks the part of Dr.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Carry On Graverobbing October 24, 2014
By M2
Format:Amazon Instant Video
I went into this film expecting some real early 70s British trash, along the lines of "Virgin Witch" or "Horror Hospital" (which is delightful trash, but trash). Instead I found a faintly serious, highly droll take on the Burke and Hare story, that may be the best acted rubbish film of its decade. The cast ranges from Royal Shakespeare Company staple Harry Andrews to Benny Hill stooge Bob Todd, but everyone is uniformly good. Derren Nesbitt plays a somewhat naive Burke, while Glynn Edwards channels Robert Newton as Long John Silver as Hare. Their scenes together are terrific. Harry Andrews plays Dr. Knox, and he gives it his all, even though the film was probably nothing more than a bit of lolly to augment his lower-paying stage work. Director Vernon Sewell, nobody's candidate for great British filmmaker, does very well here, emphasizing the humor without totally burlesquing things. And somehow, the inane rock theme song fits perfectly. If you are expecting a thoughtful treatise on the historic Burke and Hare, you'd better look elsewhere. But if you want a freewheeling, historical melodrama that has some genuinely funny moments and a lot of boobies thrown in for good measure, this is the ticket. Think Hammer meets Tom Jones.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't like it.
This didn't appear to be a low budget movie, but I don't like English movies that have difficult to understand dialogue.
Published 4 months ago by Michael Cooper
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Story.
This was an interesting story. It was about two people that got involved in the body selling trade that went on in the early 1800's. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't finish it!
I have heard of the story. I think the dorky music in the background put me off more than the cheap scenery and bad actors. I didn't hear one Scottish accent. Pity.
Published 6 months ago by C. Thomason
2.0 out of 5 stars Neither as funny nor dark as it should have been.
I expected much more from this cast. Sigh. I enjoyed the detail of the sets and the costumes, and that's about it.
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. Marilyn A. Lowe
2.0 out of 5 stars No John Landis
Perhaps the most important thing I discovered in the 15 or so minutes that I watched of this is that John Landis had a precedent for his delightful version of the film. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Polly Prissypants
2.0 out of 5 stars No chance for Redemption
Gave it a shot just due to Redemption promoting it - but there are other more current films out there if you like the "Burking" films (which I do) and this is a good example of... Read more
Published 22 months ago by S. Banzhaf
1.0 out of 5 stars Total Trash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When this was first brought to my attention via Amazon it was touted as the John Landis version. Now, I know that Landis is making a film on the infamous Scottish sickoes - and... Read more
Published on October 6, 2009 by Richard Masloski
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