HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Ciambra, The
Reflection of Fear, A
Aurora Encounter, The
Breaking In
Breaking In
Please Stand By
Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County, The
Deadpool 2
Smart Money
Lupin the Third vs. Detective Conan: The Movie
Gangsta
3 Nuts in Search of a Bolt
Magic Serpent, The
That's Not Me
There Goes the Bride
Billy the Kid versus Dracula
Liquid Sword
I, Tonya
Universal Soldier: Regeneration
Bad Match
Güeros
Anchor and Hope
One, The
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Lucky
Still of the Night
Home Sweet Homicide
Mannaja - A Man Called Blade
Spitfire
Killers from Space
   
 
Newest Articles
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
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
   
 
  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 3518 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
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
  Dan Malone
   

 

Last Updated: