Friday, October 06, 2006

"Howl, howl, howl, howl..."


It sounds like a recipe for certain success.
Two of my all-time heroes in the world of entertainment.
One of my most deeply-worshipped fictional characters, in a much-cherished novel.

Oh, and even better: a seeming, smug media consensus of ridicule and nay-saying.
Exhibit A, from Time Out:
"... truly one of the crummiest movies ever made. In case the idea of a Conan Doyle send-up doesn't itself have you in stitches, Paul Morrissey and his stars/co-scripters Cook and Moore try to slay you with every other kind of joke their clapped-out minds can remember. There's even a pathetic lampoon of The Exorcist, a mere four years too late. Every single gag and every single comedy role is mistimed, misplayed or simply misconceived. It also looks worse than any film from a 'name' director in years: a first-year film student would be ashamed of the flat, stilted compositions and the dingy little sets."

Oof.
But still, even more defiantly so...

How could I fail to enjoyably immerse and indulge myself in Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes (and Dr Watson) in their 1977 The Hound Of The Baskervilles?

Well...
Actually...

So our idols can have feet of clay, after all.
This was awful. From Cook’s often-wooden acting, and inexplicable decision to play Holmes annoyingly throughout as the most caricatured, cantankerous Jewish North Londoner (Shylock Holmes I assume, arf...) To poor Dud’s energetic but one-note shrill-Welsh-accented irritation. (Though his Mumsy act, salvaged from Derek and Clive, is about the warmest aspect of the cold whole). To terribly-negligent cameos by Kenneth Williams, Irene Handl, Penelope Keith (as a very-very-misleading bordello hostess, of all things), and many embarrassed more…

It’s enough to make you wish Moriarty won...

Only (sort-of, just-about, perhaps-possibly-maybe) salvaged by the exchange:
"Did you manage to drag yourself up on deck?"
- "Oh no... I just dressed casual."

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