The Oxford Murders Review

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Set at Oxford University, Professor Arthur Seldom (Hurt) and his student Martin (Wood), join forces to discover the truth behind a series of puzzling murders...


A mathematician/philosopher (John Hurt) and a would-be disciple (Elijah Wood) are thrown together at the scene of a murder which seems to be the first of a string of serial killings committed in answer to the professor’s declaration that there is no such thing as a purely intellectual murderer.

Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia presents a weird, skewed vision of British university life, and offers a mystery which would like to be profound but comes across as a knock-off of UK-TV staples like Morse, Marple and Messiah.

Wood is disastrous in a key role, especially since other characters’ obsession with him is key to the plot, but Hurt waffles like a pro, and there are scene-stealingly bizarre red herring turns from Burn Gorman and Alex Cox as demented mathematicians. Extra points for the sexy Spanish nurse who whips up spaghetti while nude but for an apron and then drips it on her breasts so Wood can gobble it up.

Not so terrible that you can understand why it’s been practically buried by its distributors, but you can get better ridiculous whodunits on TV.