THE CASE OF THE WHITECHAPEL VAMPIRE (2002) Reviews and overview

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The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire is a 2002 non-canonical Sherlock Holmes made-for-television film utilizing an original story.

It was produced in 2002 for The Hallmark Channel as the last instalment in a series of Hallmark Sherlock Holmes films and directed by Rodney Gibbons. Matt Frewer stars as Sherlock Holmes with Kenneth Welsh as Doctor Watson.

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are called to Whitechapel after learning about a series of strange murders only two years after the Jack the Ripper murders in the same neighbourhood. The local belief is that the killings are the work of a vampire brought back from a recent mission in Guyana.

As they investigate the deaths, they engage in an ongoing debate about the supernatural with Watson believing in the possibility of vampires and Holmes remaining sceptical until he is able to prove the murders are the works of a living human rather than any undead creature. At one point, the investigation leads them to the psychic Madame Karasky, who says that Holmes’ will be saved by the church. Coincidentally, Holmes is pushed in front of a moving carriage by the supposed vampire, only to be saved by a street urchin. In order to catch the murderer, Holmes disguises himself as a monk…

“Vampire wise there are some nods towards the genre. Chargas has lodgings on Renfield Place, which was a fairly subtle little reference as no great play was made upon it. In order to make us believe that it might be a real vampire, during a failed attack on a blind nun called Sister Helen (Cary Lawrence), the good sister holds up a crucifix and the vampire backs away momentarily – but then immediately ignores the icon. The cross then seems to glow and the vampire runs, but it is reflected light from a doorway which has opened that causes the effect and the vampire runs because of the appearance of a witness.” Taliesin Meets the Vampires

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