This takes elements from ‘The Speckled Band’, ‘The Sign of Four’, ‘The Final Problem’, ‘The Empty House’ and ‘The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot’. Pyjama murders are taking place in London. So while fishing with Watson, Holmes lies to his ‘best friend’ and hurls himself into the river. Why is Holmes, a man who loathes the countryside, fishing?
Holmes is declared dead. Watson is sexist. Holmes promptly returns, insults Watson and pontificates about faking his death to catch the latest killer. The mastermind of the murders is a female criminal, so Holmes disguises himself as an Indian to unmask the hatchet faced harridan Adrea.
Watson has no purpose. The murders are all part of an insurance scam. Adrea kills people via spiders. Watson is a moron, again. Holmes and Watson are nearly poisoned via a candy wrapper thrown on the fire in Baker Street. There is a showdown at a sideshow which was a WW2 themed shooting gallery. Why do the criminals keep coming up with over elaborate death traps? This was not even a hour long and it still outstayed its welcome.
“When you drive a man to suicide, that’s murder.”
“You amaze me Holmes.”
“At least you know now why I left London in the midst of the most shocking crime wave since Jack The Ripper.”
“Why didn’t you jump in after him you big blunderhead?”
“I’ll never forgive you for this Holmes, not until my dying day.”
“Its bite is fatal?”
The Pearl Of Death (1944)
This is the film that features the Hoxton Creeper, the Borgia pearl and is based on ‘The Six Napoleons‘. Jewel thieves steal the famed Borgia pearl. Lestrade bumbles, Watson is an idiot and mysterious murders take place.
Sadly like ‘A Study In Terror’ and ‘The Seven Per Cent Solution’, this is a dull letdown. I need to check out ‘Murder By Decree’ sometime. A manipulative little tart manipulates, criminals get the drop on Holmes and the Hoxton Creeper creeps.
“My dear Watson I really must caution you against hitting newspaper reporters in the teeth.”
“What an amusing statue. Most amusing.”
“Is it? Why?”
“Because I say it is.”
“And the Borgia pearl’s inside that?”
“If it isn’t. I shall retire to Sussex and keep bees.”
Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992)
She knows a sucker when she sees one.
The film that inspired the TV show. You know what kind of movie this is when it jump cuts from a Dark Age’s vampire slayer’s stake to Buffy’s pom-pom in the lite ages. Buffy (Kristy Swanson of ‘Flowers in the Attic’) is a cheerleader and the head of a mean girl posse that consists of Jennifer, Nicole and Kimberly (Hilary Swank). A dirty old man named Merrick (Donald Sutherland) stalks her. He says he is a Watcher and she is a Vampire Slayer.
Soon Buffy and her self declared keen fashion sense is slaying vampires. Nobody comments on Merrick hanging out around teenagers or notices Lothos (Ruteger Hauer) and Amilyn (Paul Reubens) assembling a vampire army or the large number of deaths attributed to really gross hickeys including classmate Cassandra (Natasha Gregson-Wagner)
However local trash Pike (Luke Perry) does notice when his best friend Benny (David Arquette of ‘Scream’ fame) becomes a vampire. Pike and Buffy form an alliance against the undead. As a result Buffy’s mean girl posse turn their backs on her.
Lothos lisps through his fangs, Ricki Lake has a cameo as a waitress, the word sitch is overused, there is casual sexism, a training montage, dull surprise acting and Buffy has to save her ungrateful moron friends. Merrick has no gravitates and then he dies.
The idiot guidance counsellor bumbles, this has as much depth as ‘The Hills’ and has way too much Pike. Ben Affleck has a tiny role as a baseball player menaced by the vampire Grueller (Sasha Jenson). Lothos and Amilyn are about as menacing as My Little Ponies.
It all comes to a climax at the Senior Dance as Buffy’s former friend Jennifer steals her former boyfriend Jeffrey (Randall Batinkoff), Pike crashes the dance wearing leather and looking about 30 and the vampire army attack.
Or rather the vamps pose instead of attacking. Buffy cleans house. Amilyn overacts his overlong death scene, it’s really funny. Lothos finally gets got and this had some amusing moments but could have been better. Still this Buffy was far more likable than the Buffy from seasons 5 to 7 of the TV show. Also the soundtrack was good.
Crimes Against Fashion
The yellow and blue cheerleading uniforms.
The yellow leather jacket.
Pike’s soul patch.
Buffy’s green knitted belly shirt that is embroidered with flowers.
Buff’s mean girl posse love of denim.
Buffy’s workout attire of pink tights, floral shorts and mustard yellow bra top.
Buffy's floral leggings.
Buffy’s flannel shirt and denim shorts ensemble complete with white ankle socks.
Buffy’s horrible white dress at the Senior Dance.
“I am a person. I have a right to the ball.”
“You got a C+? I can’t believe I cheated off of you.”
“Excuse much, rude or anything?”
“Please it’s so five minutes ago.”
“It’s way past medication time.”
“I can’t believe I’m in a graveyard with a strange man hunting for vampires on a school night.”
“This is a naked place.”
“You threw a knife at my head!”
“And you caught it.”
“It’s drugs isn’t it?”
“What do you want me to do if I see Benny?”
“My secret weapon is PMS, that’s just terrific. Thanks for telling me.”
“It’s not a weapon. It’s an alert system.”
“I play my part.”
“You can play with your part all you want.”
“They found Cassandra’s body in the hills.”
“I know. It’d been there for weeks, all icky.”
“It’s awful, she still had my jacket.”
“Assert your personhood!”
“You acting like the thing from another tax bracket.”
“Get out of my facial.”
“Send her out.”
“Or we’ll come in.”
“I have detention slips here and I’m not afraid to use ‘em!”
The Scarlet Claw (1944)
In La Morte Rouge, a village of the doomed in Canada, a legendary swamp monster stalks its prey. Or does it? A woman is killed in La Morte Rouge and Holmes and Watson, who were at a meeting of the Canadian Occult Society for some reason head off to solve the case.
There’s a nasty widower, a bullying father, ominous close-ups of a garden weeder, a paranoid judge and a glowing man. Watson falls into a bog not once but twice. This was sadly full of clichés that are the enemies of originality. It looked high gothic and the town had groupthink that made the place stagnate and enabled poor decisions but after starting out okay this film cannot be considered worthy of attention. The actor giving the broadest performance is obviously playing the killer BTW.
“Mr Holmes is it your custom to burst into peoples houses without ringing the bell?”
“Excuse me if I don’t show you out.”
“Under the circumstances I’m helpless to prevent your death.”
“There were people in my life who had no right to live.”
The House of Fear (1945)
The 10th entry is the series is based on ‘The Adventure of the Five Orange Pips’. Citrus death threats are sent to members of the Good Comrades Club. As in ‘The Scarlet Claw’, it is clearly the Victorian era in all but fact. A housekeeper with a face like a bag full of spanners lurks. Holmes and Watson head up to Scotland on the Flying Scotsman train.
There is no mention of Holmes being a cocaine fiend and no Mycroft. Watson must have battered self respect as Holmes continually insults him, then again he does display all the IQ of a rock. Holmes solves the case while standing around looking sharp featured, while Watson just stands there looking stupid.
Lestrade shows up, no-one mentions he is way out of his jurisdiction. Watson’s life is in peril twice. People sneak around an old dark house. Watson digs up a grave while Holmes sits on his ass. An owl hoots. This reminds me of ‘And Then There Were None’. There is a twist ending involving a secret passage and a smuggler’s cave. This was okay. Holmes refers to his and Watson’s “long and happy association” which makes you wonder.
“You snored like a pig.”
“Must you smoke that filthy stuff? It smells like an old sock.”
“What are doing with that cleaver?”
“You wall eyed idiot.”
“How dreadful of you.”