Blu-ray Review: A Study in Terror (1965)

February 14, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Victorian England: Saucy Jack is stakin’ and slayin’ and generally rippin’ the ‘hores of Whitechapel a new one! With that level of mayhem on the streets, it doesn’t take long for Sherlock Holmes (John Neville) and Dr. Watson (Donald Houston) to get involved in solvin’ that creepy case right quick…especially after they receive a box containing a surgical bag with the scalpel missing. Their investigations take them through a list of possible suspects and from locations as diverse as a stately aristocratic manor, a pawn shop, and a soup kitchen all in the name of ending the terror of Jack the Ripper before he kills again!

Full to the brim with Tempera paint blood, heaving bosoms, fog enshrouded streets and the fun of seeing Holmes and Watson work through one of the most notorious crimes in history; A Study in Terror is one fine time in the ol’ horror biz indeed! Comprised of a superb cast, with Neville and Houston bringing an excellent interpretation of the beloved Holmes and Watson (respectively) to life, a complex (yet not infuriating) level of mystery courtesy of the pen of Derek Ford (whom exploitation fans will recognize as the director of sexploitation fare such as The Wife Swappers) and his brother Donald, and some truly lavish production value in the form of a convincing recreation of the cold 1800’s London streets as well as the posh digs of the moneyed (not to mention the period costuming) the entire affair is a highly watchable, brisk watch that’s sure to thrill fans of the venerable Victorian sleuths!

On the negative side; the victims of Jack’s rage are barely fleshed out individuals who’s primary character trait is that they are female. We definitely don’t get to know them, and since the brutality of what actually happened is toned down considerably (another minus for those wanting a touch of historical accuracy to the proceedings), they come off as “just another victim” rather than someone we grow to care about.

As for extras on this Blu-ray release from Mill Creek Entertainment we get zip, but it must be said the transfer ol’ Mill Creek used for this release is sharp looking indeed; especially in regards to color as the film has a rich palette that truly pops in this release.

If you dig on Jack the Ripper and/or Sherlock Holmes, this is an absolute essential to grab for your creepy collection; it’s equal parts thrilling and lurid, and does justice to the character of Holmes while pitting him against one of history’s most vile murderers!



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