Wonderfully Horrible Netflix Instant Films: “Young Sherlock Holmes”

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bill-swift - August 9, 2013

Sherlock Holmes has been one of the most popular characters in film and literature. There are currently two Sherlock Holmes TV shows currently on TV, (Sherlock and Elementary). Together with the recent Robert Downey, Jr. film franchise this has helped bring Sir. Arthur Conan Doyle's detective to a new generation. All of these new Holmes adventures reinterpret the hero and present him in a different light than they way he has been normally portrayed. But they are by no means the first to do this. In the 80's a film came out that asked what if Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson had met as teenagers rather than adults? And what if they went to an prep school together? And what if the dean of the school is the head of an evil Egyptian cult? All of this is answered in the deliciously cheesy Young Sherlock Holmes.

A young John Watson starts attending an elite boy's prep school in late 19th century London and meets a gangly weirdo named Sherlock Holmes. Though he's 17, Holmes has already developed his extremely keen powers of detection and perception. Watson becomes friends with Sherlock and together they begin investigating a series of strange suicides. Holmes believes that several men, that were all connected somehow, have had vivid goofily rendered hallucinations that have led to accidents made to look like suicides. Naturally, Holmes and Watson discover that there is a weird cult that worship the ancient Egyptian god of the dead in a subterranean pyramid, because of course. Holmes discovers that the cult has been shooting darts with a hallucinogenic poison at their victims through an ivory blowpipe. It turns out that the dean of their school is the evil head of the cult! Dum! Dum! Dum! Holmes defeats him but not before his girlfriend eats it. The movie ends with Holmes stealing the evil dean's cloak, deer stalker cap, and Watson's calabash pipe, thereby creating his classic look through thievery. Oh, and the evil dean turns out to be Sherlock's archenemy Prof. Moriarty...Dum! Dum! Dum!

Oh, dear lord the effects in this movie are so splendidly lame! One of the suicidal hallucinations involves a badly animated stained glass window knight that is supposed to be scary but is laughably goofy. I know it was the 80's, but these effects look more like something from a bad Hercules movie from the 70's. The acting is so over the top and the dialogue so poorly written that you find it hard to follow what's even happening. So, so, very wonderfully bad.

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