This film has got me wanting to read the story that spurned it. I've always liked the psychological idea of hereditary madness and this is a pretty good example of that... but with a possible twist.
Jack the Ripper is being chased down so he runs to the safety of his mistress' house. Still caught up in the killing fugue, he attacks and kills his mistress in front of their young child. Years later the child has become a young woman, Anna (Rees) and is helping an old woman to run a medium scam, pretending to be the dead family members and friends of the clients she entertains with her seances. It's at one of these meetings that her path crosses with Dysart (Godfrey)... a pervert who buys her virginity from Mrs Golding (Bryan). However, things take a nasty turn when he tries to force himself on her and Mrs Golding comes to her rescue. Mrs Golding is killed, but who is the murderer?
The thing I liked most about this story is its darkness. Not only do you have a psychotic killer, but a doctor who is willing to overlook the murders so he can view and record the killer's moods. He's even willing to team up with a miscreant to get his results.
There's nothing bad about this movie at all. It could have been stronger had the director opted to add a darkness to the atmosphere. For me, it was a little light, especially when considering all the bleaker subject matters. Though there are some really good shots in the film. The ending in the whispering gallery at Saint Paul's is very well done. As is the "Oh My God!!! That's gonna leave a mark," moment when Dr Pritchard (Porter) pulls the sword from his side. The moment when the bloody sword hangs from the doorknob, swaying and banging, will stay with me for a while. Very iconic and well thought out.
Another thing that may have strengthened the film is the hinted at possession of Anna by her father Jack The Ripper. If this had become a story arc on its own then it would have opened up a few more possibilities for twists and turns. It would have turned it into a full horror film by doing so.
However, this is a good psychological thriller based on The Ripper mythos. I would recommend this to everyone.
Hands of the Ripper
Hands of the Ripper
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.
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July 21, 2014 at 01:08 PM