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The Greed of William Hart
Horror Maniacs

UK 1948
produced by
Gilbert Church for Bushey
directed by Oswald Mitchell
starring Tod Slaughter, Henry Oscar, Ann Trego, Jenny Lynn, Patrick Addison, Arnold Bell, Winifred Melville, Aubrey Woods, Dennis Wyndham, Edward Malin, Mary Love, Hubert Woodward
written by John Gilling

Burke and Hare

review by
Dale Pierce

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On the surface, modern fans would laugh at this movie or consider it horrible, but in judging some of these old flicks you must do so by the standards of their time and not now. Thus, with limited technical capacity, the poor lighting, poor sound, tacky set design that looks like something from a grade school play should be overlooked. Focus on some of the merits rather than the defects and this is an enjoyable film.

The star of the show is Tod Slaughter once again, one of the most under-rated actors of all time, who specialized in saving badly-scripted movies such as this, Sweeney Todd and The Face At the Window from total disaster. He is as hammy and as campy as ever, but for him, the style always works.

The plot centers around grave robbers in Scotland who get tired of digging up bodies to sell for medical experiments and look into murder instead to keep a good business going. The villains of course, get more vile as they go along and pay for their sins in the end.

The Bodysnatchers, with Boris Karloff and Lugosi, covered this theme far better, but The Greed Of William Hart is not without merit as well.

I believe this film was also released either in theatres or on video as Horror Maniacs or some silly alternate title along the same line, to draw in the  horror fans, as frankly, The Greed Of William Hart sounded more like a western or a gangster picture.

The story was based on a real crime involving a couple of characters named Burke and Hare, who did in fact rob graves to provide bodies for medical experimentation, then started killing people as a more convenient way to make a profit, without lumbering around a cold graveyard, shoveling up stiffs. The two were eventually caught and one turned evidence against the other, escaping with his life while his partner went to the gallows.

When watching this particular movie, keep in mind cicumstances would not allow the graphics that could have made  things far better, for censorship was such a big issue back then. Murders could not be graphic, blood was limited if at all, and of course profanity was out of the question.

And Slaughter is, of course, Slaughter at his finest in this movie.

 

review © by Dale Pierce

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

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