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 »
Under an hour in length, this film about two bodysnatchers named Wally Hart and Mr. Moore(obviously meant to be Burke and Hare)showcases the immense talent of British ham Tod Slaughter, one of the truly forgotten kings of horror. It is weak in plot development, and it has little action, but the film does a good job creating the atmosphere of the poor and wicked in Edinburgh during a time when bodies were needed for medical use. A lot more could have been done with the film, but taken as it is, it is entertaining just as a vehicle in which to see Tod Slaughter cackle and gesture about. It is not Slaughter's best, however, but he does have moments as an amoral ressurectionist who kills for money with no compunction or moral barrier at all. The rest of the cast is average at best, and the film suffers from a very evident low budget. This was one of Slaughter's last "big" films. It is a shame that he was never given a budget for a film that would have made him more popular with audiences today. So few people have seen his films, and this film seems to be somewhat obscure. I recommend the film based on his presence(not performance).
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