Thursday, January 07, 2010

The 'other' Sherlock Holmes

While Guy Ritchie's brilliant Sherlock Holmes is racking up well-deserved millions at the box office, there's another group of people trying to cash in on the good detective's name.

Burbank, Ca. based The Asylum is an admirably pragmatic film production company specializing in 'mockbusters' - or low-budget knock-offs of Hollywood blockbusters (with release dates cynically plotted to cash in on the larger movie's free publicity.)

The latest production to hit the shelves of your local blockbuster? Sherlock Holmes.

Written by Paul Bales and directed by Rachel Goldenberg, Sherlock Holmes is a low-budget feature filmed largely in Wales. In keeping with the Welsh location, it also stars Gareth David-Lloyd (better known as the ill-fated Ianto from BBC's Torchwood) as the inimitable Doctor John Watson.

Gareth David-Lloyd, late of Torchwood, pulling off his signature 'deeply uncomfortable' scowl. On the right is unknown Ben Snyder.

The bad guy, legendary Victorian villain 'Spring Heeled Jack' is portrayed by another sci-fi star, Star Trek: Enterprise's Dominic Keating. More of a mystery is the man they've picked to portray Britain's greatest detective. Has anybody else even heard of 'Ben Syder' before? In any event, he sounds game for the challenge.

Dominic Keating, in the fashionable steam-powered suit that every gentleman is wearing this season.

Mixing steampunk and fantasy, the plot of 'Sherlock Holmes' is described thusly:
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective faces the ultimate challenge when enormous monsters attack London.
I can't quite remember reading that one in 'The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes' but, then again, I was drinking a lot of sherry back in those days.

Unsurprisingly, Sherlock Holmes won't be hitting your cinema screen any time soon - but it will be released in your local Blockbuster at the end of January (and presumably reach the SyFy channel shortly afterward.)

In the mean time, to whet your appetite, here are some special effects shots from the upcoming movie. I have to admit, you can give Asylum as much grief as you want, but a giant steam-powered dragon attacking London is just cool.

1 comment:

Connecticut Yankee said...

I've just put this into the "saved" queue in my Netflix account, thanks to you. I loves me some Gareth David-Lloyd and have fond memories of Dominic Keating from Enterprise (even though that's by no means the best of the Star Treks).

I don't think you can be too hard on The Asylum folks; they're just following in the illustrious path of all those porn movie knock-offs of popular films and TV Shows. American Booty, This Ain't Star Trek, The Office - A XXX Parody...and the list goes on.

I had to laugh at some of the titles in The Asylum's catalog" 18-year-old Virgin (at least they hyphenated it correctly, unlike Steve Carell's more famous movie), The Day the Earth Stopped, AVH: Alien Vs. Hunter, Halloween Night...