Sherlock Holmes investigates when young women around London turn up murdered, each with a finger severed off. Scotland Yard suspects a madman, but Holmes believes the killings to be part of a diabolical plot.
A yakuza enforcer is ordered to secretly drive his beloved colleague to be assassinated. But when the colleague unceremoniously disappears en route, the trip that follows is a twisted, surreal and horrifying experience.
This isn't the first time Holmes has met Jack the Ripper in the movies, but this particular encounter leaves all others for dead. Handsomely photographed and produced, this notable addition to the Holmes cycle not only presents a credible yet intriguing Sherlock in Christopher Plummer, but just as importantly a Doctor Watson more akin to Conan Doyle's creation than the silly ass usually presented on the screen by Nigel Bruce and his successors. Full marks to James Mason.
The support cast is also top-notch, though some false beards were a trifle obvious. Another minor complaint lies in the poorly conceived, tacked-on ending in which Holmes is examined by John Gielgud's unyielding Prime Minister.
Otherwise this is a remarkably handsome film that transports the viewer right back to a teemingly authentic Sherlock Holmes London.
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