Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hands of the Ripper (1971)

What a weekend! I did battle with my sink (note: garbage disposals do not like whole grain pasta), dealt with a severe cough that was made worse by Liquid Plummer (which did not work) and listened to Jillian and Markie torture each other for fun. To relax a bit, I decided to check out a different take on the legendary Jack the Ripper, in Hammer Studio’s 1971 tale Hands of the Ripper.

Plot/ The infant daughter of Jack the Ripper is witness to the brutal murder of her mother by her father. Fifteen years later she is a troubled young woman who is seemingly possessed by the spirit of her father. While in a trance she continues his murderous killing spree but has no recollection of the events afterwards. A sympathetic psychiatrist takes her in and is convinced he can cure her condition. Soon, however, he regrets his decision.

As a person that has always had an outside interest in Jack the Ripper, this flick definitely took an interesting trip into that legend. While not one of the most popular or well known entries from Hammer, this one should be. Complete with the signature gothic scenery and atmosphere, this film boasts some great performances, a solid script, and some interesting and bloody killings. Yes, the pacing can feel slow, but the tension created the detailed story and development make this an easy aspect to overlook. In the end, this often overlooked gem from Hammer Studios is a suspenseful ride that many horror fans haven’t experienced. Sure, the pacing may turn some people off, but true horror fans should enjoy it!

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