Burke and Hare (2010) *


The famous true story of the Irish immigrants who murdered 16 people and sold their bodies to anatomists in early 19th century Edinburgh is here replayed as ghoulish farce by the perfect director for the task, back after a 12 year sojourn in television.
The true events lend themselves naturally to black comic treatment, and the film also has a few good ideas of its own, such as Burke, bewitched by a comely would-be actress (Isla Fisher), using his half of the profits to finance an all-female version of Macbeth.

As always with Landis there is a surfeit of cameos (including Michael Winner, Christopher Lee and Jenny Agutter, the latter reunited with American Werewolf co-stars John Woodvine and David Schofield) and equal evidence of quirkiness in the main casting, notably a lovely turn from Ronnie Corbett as the head of the Edinburgh militia.
With excellent use of real Edinburgh locations, and a short and sprightly running time that keeps boredom at bay, it's good-ish fun.