HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Incredibles 2
Big House, The
Night Eats the World, The
War Bus
Back to Berlin
Leave No Trace
They Shall Not Grow Old
Dollman
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Man Who Invented Christmas, The
Tom's Midnight Garden
Lady, Stay Dead
Thieves, The
My Dear Secretary
I Think We're Alone Now
Amazing Colossal Man, The
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
Suzanne
Nae Pasaran!
Kiss of the Dragon
Other Side of the Wind, The
Secret Santa
Wolcott
10.000 Km
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
Hitler's Hollywood
Ghost Goes Gear, The
First Purge, The
House of Wax
Mandy
   
 
Newest Articles
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
   
 
  Study in Terror, A Sherlock ShockerBuy this film here.
Year: 1965
Director: James Hill
Stars: John Neville, Donald Houston, John Fraser, Anthony Quayle, Barbara Windsor, Adrienne Corri, Frank Finlay, Judi Dench, Charles Régnier, Cecil Parker, Georgia Brown, Barry Jones, Robert Morley, Dudley Foster, Peter Carsten, Kay Walsh, Avis Bunnage
Genre: Thriller, Historical
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: London does not know it yet, but after tonight nothing will be the same in the city, because there has just occured a murder of a prostitute in the district of Whitechapel. Another prostitute meanwhile, in a tavern nearby, is trying to steal the wallet of a moneyed gentleman who is slumming it with his friend in this seedy area of town, but he rumbles her and she is held upside down until the wallet falls out of her dress. Then the landlord, Max Steiner (Peter Carsten), throws her out, which seals her fate, for the killer on the loose is Jack the Ripper - this is a job for Sherlock Holmes (John Neville).

It's not A Study in Scarlet, it's A Study in Terror! Wait, that's not even a proper pun. Anyway, as Sherlock Holmes horror movies go, this Herman Cohen production was not really up there with The Hound of the Baskervilles, for it was not based on an original Arthur Conan Doyle tale for a start. In fact, with a script written by British exploitation experts Derek Ford and his brother Donald Ford, it grows clear that nobody connected to the film's production is very sure whether this is supposed to be a lurid shocker or a shot at class.

Certainly John Neville and Donald Houston play their roles of Holmes and Watson very much in the shadow of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, which makes the film look as if it was based on their films of the forties rather than anything by Doyle, and it will probably prompt you to ponder why they were not pitted against the notorious Victorian killer in an instalment of their's (probably because most of their films were not set in the late nineteenth century, but there you go). As it is, Neville and Houston do very well, even if they do look like impersonators.

Opinion is split between whether this film or the next decade's Murder by Decree is the best Holmes versus The Ripper movie, but really neither shows off the great fictional detective to his best advantage. Neville does seem more authentic than Christopher Plummer, and the cod-Doylian dialogue that he and his felllow actors are given is amusingly rendered, but the plotting that brings Holmes into the real world is less than gripping. Here there are no vital theories implemented to give the story a ring of truth, and apart from the names of the dead prostitutes there's little to connect this to the actual case.

What this Holmes and Watson are drawn into is a tale of a fallen aristocrat who, having studied to become a surgeon, may be the murderer. But first the crimefighting duo must track him down, and with the killings being the work of someone well versed in medical practices there is naturally more than one suspect, the chief one being a doctor, Murray (Anthony Quayle), who has set up a hostel for the poor in Whitechapel. Is he too obvious? Well, I'm not going to spoil the twist, but there's only one other character who could be unmasked as Jack anyway, so you pretty much have the choice of two. The Fords add Holmes' brother Mycroft (Robert Morley) to the mix, but too much seems like padding and pussyfooting around the solution. Still, it's a nicely mounted production, and Holmes buffs might well get a kick out of it. Music by John Scott, which includes that instrument most evocative of Victorian London, er, the bongos.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3640 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
Alexander Taylor
   

 

Last Updated: