Latest Articles

  • 1644a3bb1b38dcb570323f4f0a549ed1 450 750

    Chatting Blossoms 666 and the Anti-Christ with Cullen Bunn

    The writer of the upcoming Archie Horror series talks about the project, artwork, and who would win against Damian from The Omen. Read More
  • Fb4dd072219aea662811fdd28ba95f0a 450 750

    Frightfest: Beneath the Dark Heart of Cinema

    Beneath the dark heart of the dark heart of cinema. Read More
  • D9d5fbf69564efb9997bee26f391a050 450 750

    Dracula A.D. 1972

    Dracula A.D. 1972 is a Hammer Film starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, so why isn't it better? Read More
  • 893283041126eccbe917fe67ebd640e2 450 750

    Blue My Mind

    Torturous teen trauma makes mermaid transformation look like a blessing. Who likes fish? Read More
  • Ab424302fc81d0bd4d396980135cb93d 450 750

    Limited Run Games - Douglas Bogart Interview

    Douglas Bogart is the co-owner of Limited Run Games, the company keeping collectors on their toes. Read More
  • 7e118c73ddb8a8986d38b01ab9a10e08 450 750

    The Farm

    Bring your bib (and some patience) and ask yourself: how much do I like human flesh? Read More
  • 688d7a4ab57f8b6c5108b0d632985d6e 450 750

    Regression #13

    Past lives come back to terrorize the present as this series builds towards a monumental climax. Read More
  • 1206a984989e69f4bbaa1874d7d026df 450 750

    The Gorehound's Guide to Splatter Films of the 1980s

    Zig checks out this highly opinionated guide to horror. Read More
  • 321f63ec54b64786d91dfce9105f9a77 450 750

    Suspiria (2018): Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

    Radiohead front-person Thom Yorke leaves listeners bewitched as tackles his first film score. Read More
  • F04234d4a8cb696918e0e6af1ef69d19 450 750

    Slay Belles

    Have you ever wanted to see Santa fight Krampus while busty cosplayers shriek? That’s a rhetorical question. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

Latest News

  • In a Stranger's House Scares its way to VOD +

    0f460804e41f711a12939c2ece4ab13a 160 120 The O'Briens director Richard Waters brings found footage scares to the small screen. Read More
  • Calamity Kate Fights Zombies, Vampires, and More This February +

    183a252d112c1a4f749434ab6ac6e912 160 120 Dark Horse Comics to publish the adventures of your new favorite monster hunter. Read More
  • Christmas Blood Starts Running This Week +

    C16a6f84c2345a0033833eecc4be1553 160 120 Santa Clause is coming to town on December 11th, and you better watch out. Read More
  • Get Your Craft on with Zombie Cross-stitch +

    2284a68e6f7f50e1dd8d443857c3b1da 160 120 Be artsy and show off your love for horror; check out some pages inside! Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3




The Doctor and the Devils Blu-ray Review

Written by ZigZag

Blu-ray released by Scream Factory


 The Doctor And The Devils Poster


Directed by Freddie Francis
Written by Dylan Thomas & Ronald Harwood
1985, Region A, 92 minutes, Rated R
Blu-ray released on November 4th, 2014


Timothy Dalton as Doctor Thomas Rock
Jonathan Pryce as Robert Fallon
Stephen Rea as Timothy Broom
Twiggy as Jennie Bailey
Patrick Stewart as Prof. Macklin
Julian Sands as Dr. Murray
Phyllis Logan as Elizabeth Rock


The Doctor And The Devils 01 The Doctor And The Devils 02




The Doctor and the Devils is an interesting look at the crossroads of medical science and religion in the 1800s. Dr. Thomas Rock is an anatomist at the University of Edinburgh, but unlike many of his colleagues he is unsatisfied with the legal restriction that his cadavers be limited to those provided courtesy of the hangman. In search of fresh specimens, he is willing to pay a fair price without asking too many questions. This policy draws the attention of opportunistic grave robbers Fallon and Broom. Rock's assistant, Dr. Murray, is uncomfortable with the arrangement, as the bodies that begin arriving are considerably fresher than what they are used to receiving.

Fallon and Broom grow more confident in their skills at obtaining fresh merchandise, largely due to their change in operation as they shift from grave robbing to murder. Rock refuses to inquire further, even when faced with the obvious, all in the name of advancing medical science. He becomes the target of suspicion by the board of medical advisers at the university, but arrogantly refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing. Rock's willingness to pay for their services sends Fallon and Broom into a killing frenzy that escalates as they grow more unbalanced.

Famed Welsh playwright Dylan Thomas (Under Milk Wood) adapted the story of the notorious Burke and Hare crimes, committed for Doctor Robert Knox in early 1820s Scotland, into an original screenplay titled The Doctor and the Devils. The material was eventually turned into the film of the same name and produced by Mel Brooks, under his Brooksfilms company reserved for serious work (The Elephant Man, Frances, The Fly). Legendary cinematographer Freddie Francis (Tales from the Crypt) was brought in to direct the picture and screenwriter Ronald Harwood (The Browning Version) was hired to punch up the script. The end result is a thoughtful look at a dark period in Scottish history.


The Doctor And The Devils 03 The Doctor And The Devils 04


The cast is an interesting ensemble led by Timothy Dalton (Hot Fuzz) as Dr. Rock, Jonathan Pryce (Something Wicked This Way Comes) as Fallon and Stephen Rea (The Crying Game) as Broom, each of whom give powerhouse performances. Supporting turns from Julian Sands (Gothic) and Patrick Stewart (Lifeforce) as Dr. Murray and Prof. Macklin, respectively, ground the story in reality as outsiders who are not caught up in either greed or glory. Just about everyone in the principal cast has gone on to enjoy a lengthy career and it is interesting to see their early work here. Singer/model Twiggy (The Blues Brothers) does a fine job as Jennie Bailey, the prostitute who has attracted the attention of both Fallon and Dr. Murray.

The Doctor and the Devils is a grim story that features the gallows humor of the legendary Grand Guignol theatre productions and serves as a cautionary tale. The most unsettling aspect of the story is that it was inspired by the actual crimes of Burke and Hare, who reportedly murdered sixteen people for the good doctor. In an interesting spin, the film simply tells the relevant story and when it comes to the end, it stops. There is no punishment for Dr. Rock, no follow-up text discussing what happened to the rest of the people involved, just a haunting finale that will leave audiences talking. It is nice to see a mature take on the subject matter that in lesser hands could be easily reduced to a stalk-and-slash B-picture.


The Doctor And The Devils 05 The Doctor And The Devils 06


Video and Audio:


The Doctor and the Devils is presented in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and is a step up from the earlier DVD release in terms of picture quality. The earthy color scheme is effectively grimy and flesh tones appear natural throughout.

The DTS-HD 2.0 track nicely balances dialogue and music cues, with each remaining clear and free from distortion.
English subtitles are provided for anyone in need.


The Doctor And The Devils 07 The Doctor And The Devils 08


Special Features:


The audio commentary with Steve Haberman is a straightforward piece in which he informs viewers of the historical facts of the original crimes as well as sharing stories of how the film came into production. There are a few awkward silences, and Haberman is clearly reading his comments, but neither aspect make the track any less interesting.

The real coup here is an interview segment featuring Executive Producer Mel Brooks, joined in conversation with fellow producers Jonathan Sanger and Randy Auerbach as they reflect on the origins of the project and how they got the film made. Brooks is as entertaining as ever, and it is nice to see his serious side as a producer discussing the process of making a genre picture.

The original trailer rounds out the special features on this disc.


The Doctor And The Devils 09 The Doctor And The Devils 10




Movie: Threestars The Doctor And The Devils Cover
Buy Amazon Us
Video: Fourstars
Audio: Threeandahalfstars
Features: Twoandahalfstars
Overall: Threeandahalfstars












About The Author
Author: ZigZag
Staff Writer
ZigZag's favorite genres include horror (foreign and domestic), Asian cinema and pornography (foreign and domestic). His ability to seek out and enjoy shot on video (SOV) horror movies is unmatched. His love of films with a budget under $100,000 is unapologetic.
Recent Articles


Popular Categories



cheap halloween costumes in dhgate stores


Join Us!

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...