Burke and Hare struggle to make a living. By chance, they hear local doctors are willing to pay handsomely for the corpses of the recently deceased, and, by chance, a boarder in their home has died. Burke and Hare discover their new trade. The taste of money inspires Hare to conceive of murder. Along with his greedy, exceedingly horny drunkard wife, Hare's desires never exceed profit, even when contending with dangerous local pimp and gangster Danny McTavish, who demands a cut of their earnings. Burke, however, wants only to impress spritely young would-be actress Ginny Hawkins, whose dreams of an all-female production of Shakespeare's Macbeth make Burke's need for more blood money urgent when he agrees to be her sole backer.