Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Doctor and the Devils (1985)

Director: Freddie Francis

Starring: Timothy Dalton, Jonathan Pryce, Twiggy, Julian Sands, Stephen Rea, Patrick Stewart, Phyllis Logan, Lewis Fiander, Beryl Reid

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A man of medicine...a pair of unholy alliance.

Plot: Unable to supply enough fresh cadavers for an eager 18th century doctor (Dalton), two ne'er-do-wells (Pryce and Rea) resort to murder.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

This version of the Burke and Hare story isn't too shabby. The acting is fine (it's nice seeing Pryce in a really juicy villainous role), the atmosphere is nice and grimy, John Morris' music is good (and it even has hints of James Bernard's work from the Hammer pictures), and so on. It's dark but I couldn't help but recall the excellent film, THE FLESH AND THE FIENDS (1960). That one takes the prize for my favorite version of this real life event. Director Francis, who directed a few Hammer pictures in the 60s, does a fine job but it left me wanting. I liked it but there was something missing, something compelling. Beats me.

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