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.
"Murder by Decree" could have been one of THE great Sherlock Holmes films but suffers from problematic scenes that need to be edited or cut altogether. Outstanding art direction and recreation of London in 1888 help to salvage it. It also features winning interpretations of Holmes and Watson by Christopher Plummer and James Mason (my favorite Dr. Watson), and fine performances by a strong supprting cast. It also features one of the scariest moments I've ever seen in a film, when the black eyes of the killer appears in a tight close-up. Scary! Overall: sluggish at time, but entertaining.
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