Back in 1985, Mel Brooks produced a Gothic horror film with a former 007 agent and a former Captain of the Starship Enterprise. That film was called 'The Doctor and the Devils', and is based on real events from a few 19th century murderers in England. And I'm not talking about the infamous Jack The Ripper, but rather 'Burke and Hare', who went on a big killing spree, where they took their deceased victims and sold them to a Dr. Knox, who would experiment on the cadavers to further the knowledge of science and the human anatomy.
That is more or less of what is going on with 'The Doctor and the Devils' here. You can add to that with the iconic poet Dylan Thomas writing the screenplay for the film, who was recently seen in the film 'Interstellar' with the 'Do not go gentle into that good night' piece of dialogue. The film centers mostly on one Dr. Thomas Rock (Timothy Dalton), who is a a professor and doctor who examines and studies the human body.
Dr. Rock wants to further the science and research of the human body, while others think that his methods aren't exactly kosher, including Professor Macklin (Patrick Stewart), who constantly tries to expose and stop Dr. Rock. Since Dr. Rock is needing more and more dead bodies to do his experiments on, he enlists the help of Robert Fallon and Timothy Broom (Jonathan Pryce and Stephen Rea), who hear about the "good" doctor's needs. Fallon and Broom both embark on a killing spree and deliver the newly dead to the doctor for a hefty fee and no questions.
It seems like a reasonable deal, but Broom and Fallon (Burke and Hare) start murdering innocent people wherever they are, instead of doing the deed more rationally. There is an unfleshed out side story with Dr. Rock's apprentice (Julian Sands) and his lover (Twiggy), but it doesn't go anywhere really. To add to the Gothic horror tones, Thomas focuses on the religious themes of what happens to people's souls and bodies after death. And Rock must struggle with whether to keep accepting these dead bodies when he finds out that they were innocent murders.
Everyone does a great job here with their roles, even if it seems a little too Gothic, but the dialogue is delivered perfectly. 'The Doctor and the Devils' is a great look with one hell of a cast and crew at some of the most horrific murders ever to grace the newspapers, and it still holds up thirty years later.
The Doctor and the Devils
The Doctor and the Devils
In the Nineteenth Century, the renowned professor of anatomy Dr. Thomas Rock gives classes to neophyte medicine students in the local university. Dr. Rock uses his assistant Dr. Murray to buy corpses for his experiments from body snatchers paying a little fortune for the cadavers. When the alcoholic scum Robert Fallon and Timothy Broom overhear the conversation of grave-robbers about Dr. Rock, they decide to supply fresher corpses that worth more to the doctor, killing the poor inhabitants. Dr. Murray has unrequited feelings for the cockney whore Jennie Bailey that usually hangs around with the also prostitute Alice. When Dr. Murray discovers that Fallon has just sold the corpse of Alice, he seeks out the worthless Fallon and Broom to stop them from murdering Jennie. Will he arrive in time o save Jennie?
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May 30, 2016 at 09:07 PM