Saturday, April 5, 2014

A STUDY IN TERROR - "Keep Your Fingers Crossed And Hope You Can Afford The Cost" (1965)

Tonight's Saturday Night Special is a real study in terror, so much that it's even titled "A Study In Terror!"

 "A Study In Terror" is an interesting little movie on a number of levels! The basic premise is a battle of wits between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, and another character well known in British history, Jack The Ripper!

 This is the first of the many victims of Jack The Ripper's blade! The viewer gets the immediate sense that maybe this Ripper fellow is not such a nice guy!

 Here they are, Donald Huston as Dr. Watson on the left and John Neville on the right as the always calm, cool, and collected Sherlock Holmes! Both actors do an exceptional job, and John Neville's Sherlock Holmes is every bit as good as Basil Rathbone or Peter Cushing's version, and quite possibly even better!

 That's one thing I like about 1960's English films, there's almost always going to be a scene set in a pub! I don't know the name of this place but it's particularly lively with more than it's share of drunks and whores! Without a doubt, these people knew how to party! Georgia Brown sings a rousing version of the insane sing along classic written by Henry J. Sayers, and heard in over 25 movies and videos, "Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-De-Ay!"

 This is quite the bawdy and risque joint! Georgia Brown does what is basically a turn of the century lap dance for this shoulder, and then when he gets just a little bit frisky, she pours her drink over his head while singing the whole time! You can't really see it in this shot, but after the song is over, everybody goes back to what they were doing, heavy petting!! This whole place is make-out city!

 This cheap whore lifts this dude's wallet while they're swapping spit, so when it comes time to pay for the drinks, and he's got no money, he's got a pretty good idea what happened to it, and turns her upside down and shakes his wallet out of her cleavage! That's the kind of movie this is!

 All these murders are really starting to interfere with all these people's good times! The whores are dropping like flies!

 Most of the dialogue between Holmes and Watson is borderline genius, but there's also strange comic book overtones! It's no wonder one poster from the movie, had pop 'Biff' 'Pow' 'Bang' symbols and included a tagline that states, "Here Comes The Original Caped Crusader!"

 This hooker gets kicked out of her room for non-payment, so in a desperate attempt to get off the streets, she offers it to one of her regular customers for free, but he's busy gutting pigs, and isn't in the mood!

 I've lost count, maybe that's five or six, Jack is a very busy fellow!

 Holmes disguises himself as a holmesless person that looks a lot like Mick Fleetwood, and even fools Dr. Watson!

 "A Study In Terror" is filled with late night foggy scenes like this, and that's one of the reasons that Jack can get away with so many murders and not get caught, plus there's not a whole lot of police intervention since this is a notorious lowlife district, so nobody really cares that much!

Robert Morely puts in a sterling performance as Sherlock's brother Mycroft Holmes! Their verbal dueling is a lot of fun to watch! What kind of parents would name their kids Sherlock and Mycroft anyway? Wouldn't that be considered child abuse in today's politically correct world?

 This case is really bugging Sherlock, so he hasn't talked for 24 hours and only sits around and plays his violin very badly! Mycroft is totally dismayed by the fact that Sherlock has had a violin since he was a young boy, and yet he still is unable to play the damn thing!

 Georgia Brown performs another number, and is quite animated while doing it!

 This short scene explains a lot about this film!  While listening to Georgia perform, the camera pans around the room, and at this one table, this sweet innocent looking little olde lady sneaks a drink from her companion's glass!

 Probably a good part of why "A Study In Terror" is so lively is because one of the producers was Herman (I WAS A TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN, BLOOD OF DRACULA, I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF, HOW TO MAKE A MONSTER, HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM, KONGA,  BLACK ZOO, BESERK, CRAZE) Cohen!

 This whore is so desperate and dumb, she even invites Jack The Ripper up to her room! Anyway, I think you get the general idea!! I liked "A Study In Terror" a lot because it's probably the funnest slasher movie I've ever seen, and I would highly recommend going to see it if it ever comes to your local theatre! Big Thanx to Darren S. on this one!!


Margaret said...

I really like this film.

Eegah!! said...

Me too Margaret!

iain said...

The shirtless pork butcher was played by Terry Downes, a British boxer who turned to acting (after a fashion); he also popped up as the deformed vampire henchman in Polanski's glorious Fearless Vampire Killers.

Eegah!! said...

Thanx Iain,
Any extra interesting information anybody wants to contribute is always appreciated!

Greg Goodsell said...

Producer Herman Cohen was VERY displeased with the American ad campaign for this film, which tried to tie it with the BATMAN TV series. One-sheets for this dignified thriller were splattered with cartoon word balloons that said BAM! POW! BIF!

Eegah!! said...

That's the exact reason I didn't use that poster Greg! This is a good movie, and deserved better than that silliness!

Richard S. said...

And don't forget Judi Dench (yes, *that* Judi Dench as Sally!

TC said...

It's a shame that Neville and Huston didn't do a series as Holmes and Watson.

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