Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire|
Actors: Matt Frewer, Kenneth Welsh
Genres: Television, Mystery & Suspense
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If You're a Sherlock Holmes Completist ...
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 02/20/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Canadian TV Muse Entertainment produced (and Hallmark Entertainment presented) four Sherlock Holmes made-for-TV films starring Matt Frewer as the world's most famous sleuth 2000 to 2002, and this is so far the last entry of the series. Unlike the three previous films - "The Hound of the Baskervilles" "The Sign of Four" and "The Royal Scandal," "The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire" is based on the original script written by Rodney Gibbons who also directed the film. (The film's title may remind you of Conan Doyle's original short "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire," but the Muse/Hallmark film has nothing to do with it.)
In "The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire" Sherlock Holmes (Frewer) investigates a series of murders which might have been done by a vampire. It begins with a death of an Anglican monk and fear quickly spreads in the church and the community. Some say the deaths are related to Desmodo, legendary vampire demon in British Guyana where some of the members of the church were sent, but Holmes is the last person who would believe in the existence of supernatural power.
First of all, I didn't find Matt Frewer's Holmes is as terrible as some people say. Surely he is prone to overact when he doesn't need to and we have seen more convincing Holmes in Jeremy Brett and Basil Rathbone, but perhaps we are asking too much, and Frewer's Holmes and Kenneth Welsh's Dr. Watson are not bad. Rather, I suspect that like other three Muse/Hallmark Holmes films, the film's weakness comes from something else.
That is the lack of mystery and mood. In spite of its part supernatural, part detective-story setting, the story of "The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire" isn't mysterious enough, not knowing how to draw the viewers into its fictional world. Actually the photography and production designs are okay, even effective at times, but they seldom create the atmosphere of the gas-lit city of London and its underworld. Plus the story is too slow; relations between some characters are confusing; and worst of all the clues (and red herrings) are not intriguing. You don't find any `speckled band' or `The Red Headed League,' proof of the genius of Conan Doyle as great storyteller. This film gives us a fair amount of clues in the course of 90 minute story, but few of them are really interesting.
Considering its low-budget origin,"The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire" is a so-so entry, perhaps marginally better than "The Sign of Four" of the same series (which changed its content substantially), but that doesn't amount to much."
5 STARS FOR MATT FREWER'S HOLMES
Robin Simmons | Palm Springs area, CA United States | 11/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am surprised at the hostility of several reviewers to these very interesting and atmospheric Sherlock Holmes' stories. As fan of Conan Doyle's stories in print and on film since childhood, I think Matt Frewer is by far the best screen emodiment of Holmes. The arrogance, cynicism and touch of self-aggrandizement are just about perfect. To say nothing of the physicality of Frewer's take on Holmes. And of course that marvelolous voice with it's barely concealed snobbishly modulated inflection.
The Sherlock Holmes Collection ("The Hound of the Baskervilles," "The Sign of the Four," "The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire" and "The Royal Scandal") are not big budget productions, but they are effective and entertaining and the screenplay interpretations of these familiar public domain stories are fresh. However, it's Frewer who makes it worth every penny (or should I say farthing?).
My favorite is the creepy "The Case of the White Chapel Vampire.""
Not Bad, but Not Great either
L Gontzes | Athens, Greece | 09/24/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire was quite a disappointment considering that Sherlock Holmes adventures should be nothing less than AMAZING!
In this mystery, the master detective is investigating a series of murders involving an Anglican monastic order whose members are picked off one by one by what seems to be... a vampire.
The major setbacks lie in:
1) The poor choice of actor for the leading role of Sherlock Holmes in Matt Frewer; obnoxious, conceded, and overall not likeable, his was a poor performance indeed.
2) The lack of that sense of mystery that must accompany Sherlock Holmes at all times.
In short, it's a decent plot, a familiar setting, and a mediocre cast.
Though far from being a masterpiece, by no means is it a bad movie, as it will provide for an evening's entertainment.