The story of the Burke and Hare murders, told with surprisingly little movie imbellishment. Is that a wiry young Donald Pleasance I see throttling a poor retarded kid?

hey cool
Pleasance is pure e-vil, Cushing is cold as ice
but YUCK
More historical drama than a pure horror movie

Say what you will about old movies, but at least they gave 'em titles. How can you not watch something called The Flesh and the Fiends? If this movie were made today it'd likely be called something like Exhumed or Cadavers. The US release title was Mania though, so I guess nevermind my little dig at the 21st century there. My point is although I'm not as fascinated by real world murder stories as a lot of horror fans are, if you call your movie The Flesh and the Fiends and have Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasance in it, guess who's going to be watching: Me.

The murderous young Pleasance is just...I can only use the word delightful. He's remembered as a gentlemanly actor but I love him in these rough and tumble roles. And Cushing is here wielding his voice like a scalpel as only he can. Man it's so sharp you don't even know you've been insulted until you get home and find your balls in your socks. Listening to him cut those other doctors off at the knees is as good as the kills in most slasher movies.

This is only maybe just barely horror, and there's a bit of genteel business going on here with the doctor's charming niece and some handsome guy, but the murders are surprisingly chilling for an older movie. There's a certain unsettling authenticity, and I imagine a few 1960 movie-goers went home feeling not so hot.

Seriously I love Doctor Loomis, but if he's all you've seen y'all need to check this out and next time you see Halloween something will be just a bit different.