With the Andy Serkis and Simon Pegg led film Burke & Hare, John Landis appears to be fusing the two things he has done well in the past 35 years of filmmaking: silly comedy and blood-spilling horror. Based on this first trailer though, it would appear as if the pendulum is swinging more to the side of silliness than it is to violence. It certainly fits into Landis’ filmography somewhere in between the gnarly nature of An American Werewolf in London and the ridiculousness of Three Amigos, telling the true life story of William Burke and William Hare, a pair of intrepid wanderers who take to the business of collecting bodies. But when the well of fresh ones run out, they find a way to make their own. Of course, the film itself (based on this first trailer) is far sillier than the actual act of murder. If you don’t find murder to be fun, that is…
WILLIAM BURKE and WILLIAM HARE are scratching out a living in 1830s Edinburgh. After yet another failed business venture, they return to Hare’s lodging house to find that their tenant has suddenly died on rent day. As the boys decide how to dispose of the body over a drink, they discover that a corpse can fetch a hefty price. Edinburgh is the centre of the medical universe and the city’s doctors are crying out for more cadavers for their educational lectures. First they try the infamous DR. MONRO, but he’s not interested, so they sell the corpse to DR. KNOX, his vain and ambitious rival who urges them to bring any more ‘unfortunates’ they may stumble upon. Entrepreneurial Hare is quick to realize they’ve hit on a great money making venture and despite the more sensitive Burke’s misgivings, they embark on a series of plans to secure more bodies. They arrange a series of deadly ‘accidents’ for the local unfortunates and to celebrate their success, they go out on the town to celebrate. There, Burke meets GINNY, a beautiful and spirited aspiring actress. In a series of hilarious comic misadventures Burke and Hare begin to secure a steady stream of bodies and the cash starts rolling in.
Burke & Hare is due for release sometime by the end of 2010. It also stars Tim Curry, Isla Fisher, Jessica Hynes, Tom Wilkinson, Ronnie Corbett and Bill Bailey.
Here’s the larger version of the image featured above, taken from a promo poster found at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. [via /Film]