A man named Salem escapes from an insane asylum where he was confined for an axe-murder. Falsely convicted under a plea of "guilty due to insanity", he does not plan to let his sister and ... See full summary »
The script was originally written and filmed as a tale of William Burke and William Hare, real-life partners in the selling to medical schools cadavers which they obtained by both murder and grave-robbing. (Burke was hanged in 1829; Hare avoided this fate by testifying against him.) However, the British censors refused to allow the film's release because of national sensitivities toward the infamous "resurrectionists." Therefore, to get the film out, the producers had to re-record the sound track, replacing the names of Burke with Hart, Hare with Moore, and Dr. Knox with Dr. Cox. The new names were then meticulously cut into the original soundtrack: one can easily lip-read "Burke", "Hare" and "Knox" as applicable, however. Due to the cost of this activity there was no money left for a music track. See more »
Names of some characters dubbed (see trivia entry.) See more »
Cheap, tattered disappointment, unworthy of Slaughter
Knowing that this movie is Tod Slaughter's take on the tale of Burke and Hare promises a great deal more than this tawdry, cheap little bore could possibly deliver. It's shot on cramped, ugly sets, the story moves in fits and starts, it's endlessly talky and never gives Slaughter a chance to cut loose in his grand style. The movies he made in the 1930s are all entertaining and, for the tolerant, enjoyable and watchable even today. But if you like those, you can safely skip this one. Slaughter is given few chances to emote in his gloriously florid style; instead, he's handed reams of dull lines to read, as is everyone else. He has a few moments, but not many; more are provided by Aubrey Woods as Jamie with the barrow.
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