SHERLOCK HOLMES IN CHINA. Beijing Film Studio, 1994. Original title: Fu er mo si yu zhong guo nu xia. Also released as Sherlock Holmes and the Chinese Heroine. Wang Chi, Hanson, Alex Vanderpor, Zongquah Xu. Directed by Wang Chi and Yunzhou Liu.

   Don’t expect me to decipher the version I saw of this since it was in Chinese with Chinese subtitles, but basically the title says it all, Sherlock Holmes (Alex Vanderpor) and Watson (Zongquah Xu) are in 19th Century China on a case that of course involves Kung Fu and quite a bit of broad comedy at Holmes’s expense as a fish out of water, though still Sherlockian.

   Holmes’s attempt at disguise as a tall gray eyed Chinese replete with pigtail is a major disaster as he and Watson duck out of a brawl that turns into an opportunity of director/star Wang Chi to show his fighting skills, but the real highlight of the film is when Holmes takes on a Kung Fu master with his own brand of Violin Fu — who knew the Japanese art of baritsu involved defeating your enemy with nothing but a bow and violin?

   There is some sort of a case involved and a master criminal of sorts with Kung Fu skills, but that’s about all I could make out.

   Vanderpor, wearing a black suit and stove pipe hat, who looks more as if he is trying out for Abe Lincoln than Sherlock Holmes, manages not to be too embarrassing, but there is no way this film is anything but a curiosity of the first order for Holmesians everywhere.

   Desperate Holmes fans can find this on YouTube, or view it below, if you must. If nothing else it proves Holmes is universal if not always translatable.