Friday, August 11, 2017

200 Items Or Less: The Flesh And The Fiends (1960)

A few thoughts: Burke and Hare are a popular subject of horror (and horror-comedies), but with two leads like Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasence, it should be pretty obvious why this particular adaptation caught my eye. Obviously, there are a good deal of comparisons that can be made between this and Frankenstein, especially when you consider Cushing is playing essentially the same character here as in the Hammer series, but even in a similar role, he brings something new to the table here as a deliberately confrontational and charmless doctor -- with deep humility by the film's conclusion. Pleasence is pretty great as a slimy murderer who sells bodies, but the third focus of the story involving a younger doctor and his always-drunk girlfriend is a bit tedious and feels a lot like filler. They make it work into the main story though, so it at least wasn't pointless. As a whole, this movie definitely seems like an attempt to capitalize on the popularity and success of Hammer's Frankenstein movies, but it still has its appeals -- and unsurprisingly, those appeals are mainly Cushing and Pleasence's performances.

Who would I recommend it to? Anyone who might enjoy a pitch black Frankenstein-esque horror movie with less of an emphasis on science and more on violent death.

My grade: C+

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