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The Great Blackmailer

USA 2010
produced by
Queen City Productions
directed by Nathaniel Jamison-Root
starring Gordon Telling, Nick Smith, Nathaniel Jamison-Root, Jenny Rehkugler, Henry Jamison-Root, Leah Niemasz-Cavanagh
based on a story by Arthur Conan Doyle

featurette
Sherlock Holmes

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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On behalf of one of his clients, Sherlock Holmes (Gordon Telling) tries to dissuade professional blackmailer Milverton (Nick Smith), a man he positively detests, from publicising certain incriminating letters or at least push for a much lower price, but Milverton shows no mercy - so Holmes and Watson (Nathaniel Jamison-Root) break into his house one night to retrieve the letters rather illegally. But first they are almost caught by Milverton, then they witness one of his earlier victims (Jenny Rehkugler) shooting him dead. After that they manage to get their hands on the letters, then make a hasty escape.

The next day, the inspector (Henry Jamison-Root shows up on Sherlock Holmes' doorstep to ask for his support in the case of the murdered blackmailer, but Holmes declines since in his eyes the murder was justified.

 

This movie was made on no budget on amateur level - and for that it actually looks pretty good, the directorial effort is very smooth and shows at least some inspiration, the actors might not look all that convincing and are uniformly too young for their roles, but at least they can act, and in terms of plot this is a very literal adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle's story, down to the dialogue.

Sticking too close to Doyle's story though is the major problem of the film though: Numerous references are made to the film being set in London, but due to budgetary reasons, it was very clearly not shot in London or anywhere in England but in an US American village or suburb, and many a location shot clearly show that, too. On top of that, there's the stilted dialogue from Doyle's time - now the actors handle that remarkably well, but it does sit remarkably unwell with the modern day sets and locations.

In all, it would have been a good idea to adapt the film's plot to modern times USA, and it wouldn't have cost a cent more, but even if it is, the whole thing isn't bad and shows promise.

 

By the way, this movie is not available in any shops but can be (legally) downloaded for free here: http://www.archive.org/details/TheGreatBlackmailer.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD