Sherlock Holmes (Matt Frewer) is asked by Brother Marstoke (Shawn Larence) to investigate a series of murders at the Whitechapel abbey. The victims have two puncture marks on their necks. The locals are convinced that the killer is a Vampire that the monks brought back with them from their mission in Guyana. Holmes and Dr. Watson (Kenneth Welsh) visit Brother Marstoke at the abbey. He is not above the idea that the killer is a demon called Desmodo. Desmodo is a giant bat-like creature.

While in Guyana, Marstoke was responsible for killing a large colony of bats that were said to have caused illness in the village. He had an argument with Dr. Chagas (Neville Edwards) about killing the bats. Dr. Chagas, a naturalist that studies bats, disagreed and was confident that the bats had nothing to do with the illness. Nevertheless, the bats were killed, the villagers fled, and the mission was closed. The missionaries returned to Whitechapel and Marstoke went on a pilgrimage for a while. When he returned to the abbey the killings began. Marstoke believes that something supernatural could be involved but he also realizes that if there is something human that has a hand in what is going on, then Holmes is the man to be able to find out whom.

Holmes and Watson begin their investigation with talking to those that were at the Guyana mission. Those that are still alive are Brother Marstoke, Brothers John (Matthew Tiffin), Caulder (Joel Miller) and Abel (Tom Rack), and Sisters Helen (Cary Lawrence) and Mardaret (Jane Gilchrist). Also brought back from Guyana were Signora de la Rosa (Isabel Dos Santos) and her son Hector (Danny Blanco Hall). Holmes is tasked with sorting out the facts from the superstitions and finding out whom or what is the Whitechapel vampire.

“The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire” was released in 2002 and was directed by Rodney Gibbons. It is a Canadian made for television horror movie and is the last of four Sherlock Holmes films made by Muse Entertainment. The other three films were “The Hound of the Baskervilles” 2000, “The Sign of Four” 2001 and “The Royal Scandal” 2001. All the films starred Matt Frewer and Kenneth Welsh and were directed by Gibbons. They were also all made for the Hallmark Channel. “The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire” is the only one of the four that is not based on a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story.

I am probably one of the few people that actually liked the movie. Most found Matt Frewer a fake and cartoonish Sherlock Holmes and the setting unbelievable. I didn’t have a problem with Frewer as Holmes. I also liked Kenneth Welsh as Dr. Watson. He was smart, amiable and a respected companion to Holmes. Many had issues with a Catholic monastery in a largely non-catholic setting. To me, nothing says creepy like the Catholic religion. It’s full of demons and evil. The concept of hell is mostly a Christian belief. I also enjoyed the eerie gothic atmosphere, although in some places it may have been a little too dark.

The most unusual aspect of the movie is the Sherlockian deductions. Instead of Sherlock explaining his deductions throughout the film they are mostly saved for the end. After the killer is stopped and the mystery over, Sherlock then goes through the various clues and how he figured out who did what. It was similar to how detectives gather the suspects together and expose the criminal only in this case the killer has already been exposed. A lot of the clues were never revealed in the movie so there wasn’t any way you could have them all to make your own deductions.

Matt Frewer is best known for playing Edison Carter and the electronic Max Headroom. For you Trekkers he was also Berlinghoff Rasmussen in the “Star Trek: Next Generation” episode “A Matter of Time” 1991.

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