Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Burke and Hare
Who else but the British could make a true story about serial killing funny? And no, I'm not talking about Jack the Ripper.
On August 5 SundanceNOW, which is sort of like Netflix for independent film, will be offering Burke and Hare a month before it's released in movie theatres. For those of you who prefer to watch films at home instead of with a bunch of rowdy, sweaty, cellphone- and texting-addicted compatriots, this is a great thing.
Ok, so John Landis is American, but don't forget: this is the guy who directed An American Werewolf in London, which makes my top 10 list of films celebrating U.S. and British relations. And the cast? SIMON PEGG! As in Shaun of the Dead, one of the best zombie films ever. Then there's Isla Fisher, who I find sweetly funny, Sir Christopher Lee, and Hugh Bonneville, the patriarch character in Downton Abbey. But I was sold on this when I saw Tom Wilkinson was in the film, one of the finest actors on earth. I'd watch him in a remake of Howard the Duck, I swear.
Anyway, combine this fine ensemble with black humor and a true story about two men in Scotland who sold their victims' corpses to medical science in the early 1800s? I'm so there. (Family history note: my gr-gr-gr-grandfather Alexander Forrest, born about this time not far from Edinburgh, was a physician and surgeon.) How Landis is going to make this funny I don't know, but some of the biggest laughs in An American Werewolf in London came from a decomposing corpse, so let's trust him on this.