Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Imagine our glee here at the FCU to see that our absolute favorite film studio, that being The Asylum, right off the heels of the big budget piece of nonsense that was Guy Ritchie’s bloated Sherlock Holmes movie, have followed that up with their own little slice of Sherlock Holmses-ness with a movie of the same title. The cool thing about using properties with expired copyrights is that you can use the exact same title and not have to worry about the assholes at whatever big studio suing you. ‘The Day the Earth Stopped’ anybody? I can make a Sherlock Holmes movie tomorrow if I so chose and the Estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle can do nothing but cry at the tragedy of it all. So free from the stench of litigation how exactly did The Asylum’s version of Sherlock Holmes turn out? We realize that this might not be saying a whole lot for some of you out there, but it is one of their better efforts.

Our film opens in the 1940’s as the Nazi’s are unloading yet again on London. Sitting around taking in this carnage is an old man by the name of Dr. Watson who laments to his lady in waiting that ‘this is the second time he’s seen London burn’. Time isn’t long for Dr. Watson and as such he has a story to tell, one that he has withheld for all these years.

The elderly Watson’s tale begins back in the late 19th century where some seafaring men are attacked by a sea beast. How can this be? The powers that be find this quite odd and when something odd is afoot the man to call would be no other than Sherlock Holmes (Ben Snyder) and Holmes does not travel far with out his partner Doctor Watson (Gareth David-Lloyd). The lone survivor of this incident claims it was a sea beast that attacked his ship and while the pragmatic Watson finds this most unlikely, Holmes prefers to reserve judgment.

Some days later a young man propositioning a lady of the evening is attacked by a T-Rex or something. Crazy huh? Why exactly are these rather strange occurrences taking place? Well it could have something to do with Sherlock Holmes long lost smarter

older brother Thorp (Dominic Keating) who we have been alerted has made a reappearance on the scene after years of being incognito. But if Thorp is responsible for this mayhem the next question would be why? With the ultimate question being how? It’s going to take all of Holmes reported great powers of deduction to figure the mystery behind this one. Or not.

If nothing else I have to say that this iteration of the legend of Sherlock Holmes is a mighty ambitious one, that for damn sure. Directed by Rachel Goldenberg who also directed the Asylum’s ‘Sunday School Musical’, a movie which I personally thought was probably the best of the mockbusters from The Asylum that I’d seen, and thus it would also appear, with the release of this Sherlock Holmes flick, that Ms. Goldenberg just might be the most talented person that The Asylum has on staff. The performances in the movie were solid as Ben Snyder made for a serviceable Sherlock Holmes though I always see Holmes as a more imposing figure, somewhat larger in stature, but this is more of a personal issue I suppose. Gareth David-Lloyd was particularly impressive as Watson and Dominic Keating made for an interesting villain. The action sequences were solidly shot, I thought the special effects were above average and the movie had a decent flow to it though the pacing did feel erratic at times.

These are good things, but these good things do not necessarily equate to something I think I can call a good movie. The story surrounding this version of Sherlock Holmes is really, really strange. It’s almost as if the mandate was made first to put Sea Monsters and Dinosaurs in the movie and then work backwards from there and then step back to see how they were going to make that work out. Without giving away any of the twist elements of the story, the reasons that there were Dinosaurs and Sea Beasts, and lest we forget the fire breathing dragon flying around Victorian era London was… well… I don’t know... strange. I got what our villain’s plan was, but considering the fact that this cat seems to be the smartest person who has ever lived, I’m thinking he might’ve come up with another way to execute this nefarious plan of his that didn’t involve mythical beasts. I did kind of like the dragon though. And then this T-Rex had the ability to just basically materialize out of nowhere, completely sneaking up on folks before chomping their heads off. A giant T-Rex walking around is one thing but a Giant T-Rex with stealth cloaking abilities… well that’s something else altogether.

‘Wacky’ would probably be the best way I can describe The Asylum’s rendition of Sherlock Holmes, but wacky with some charm. They were reaching for something here and while I don’t think the quite got a hold of that brass ring it was still kind of interesting to see them reaching for it.

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