The streets of London are filled with shrieks of terror in this atmospheric shocker from cult director Jess Franco (Vampyros Lesbos). Klaus Kinski (Nosferatu) stars as a respectable Victorian doctor whose nocturnal activit... more »ies include the stalking and butchering of prostitutes, with Scotland Yard hot on his trail. Josephine Chaplin (The Canterbury Tales) co-stars as the innocent woman placed as bait in the Ripper's path, with Lina Romay as one of the hapless victims.« less
"This is a good looking package. The print is fine and the color and photography are sumptuous. But the film itself is another matter. The dubbing is laughable with voices mismatched to the characters so that whole scenes are comical when they should be serious. The victims are too healthy looking and pretty and costumed for a rock video---not the Whitechapel period of the Ripper. And boy do those costumes come off fast. The girls don't even put up a fight. They just whimper. The gore is confined to one scene that's gross but not very convincing. Klaus Kinski is sufficiently sinister as Jack but he just mopes around and tangles with the girls. So this is just a sexploitation effort by Franco although it looks good. Too bad it isn't."
Kinski cuts and runs...
A. Gyurisin | Wet, Wild, Wonderful Virginia | 12/02/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Let me begin this review with the statement that DVD packaging does make or break a film. Also, DVD packaging that attempts to be creative and exciting (when it is actually not) will only break a film. I mention this because it is what I experienced with Jack the Ripper on DVD. When the film's menu started it seemed like there was some time and effort put into this release. As the menu opens there is Kinski's spooky eye twitching back and forth with several options for special features and extras. I was impressed; I thought that this film would just start without really any detail going into the DVD. This is what I thought, until I tried to work the audio options. With my German not up to par, I needed some subtitles or anything to help translate this film. What I discovered were flags for different countries to have the characters speak. This was a dubbed film, and the only flag that I knew (since there was no American flag) was Britain's flag. A made the choice and changed the outlook on this film forever. While it was grizzly to watch, there was quite a bit of humor behind it as D-grade British actors attempt to dub over German words. The character voice placement was horrendous. The main police officer sounded more effeminate than respectable and the others had this feel that they were behind the microphone speaking their lines. You never really felt like the voices matched the characters. What began as a developed horror story soon turned into a possible MST3K episode. It really detracted from the overall feel of the film.
This was my first Jesus Franco film and let me say I was taken aback. I wasn't expecting to see the gore and disgusting acts that Jack the Ripper did to these unsuspecting women. Franco holds nothing back from these deeds. The blood is fake, the bodies are doubles, and Franco is behind the camera making this all work. Outside of Clint Howard, Franco could be a master of this genre. I need to see more of his work, but this initial taste left a flavor in my mouth I cannot seem to fathom. I was impressed, and not impressed with this body of work. Kinski did a fantastic job of creating this hellish creature devoid of fear and compassion. The raw power in his eyes alone will send shivers up your spine as you sit in the comfort of your own couch. This was awesome to see, but then on the other side of the spectrum the voice and sound that came from Kinski's mouth was embarrassing. You were scared, yet laughing at the same time. This is the first time that I have ever experienced this feeling while watching a film. Kinski pulled me into this film, but the sound yanked me back out.
Before you expect too much from this film, you need to realize that this was a B-rated horror film. The young women show their breasts, they run into the woods instead of into safety, there are dark alleyways and implausible characters. This is not a film to win awards, but to a newbie into the world of Jesus Franco, it was fascinating. This was not in anyway the caliber of From Hell, because it is a slasher film to the utmost degree. It was somewhat of a tame slasher film, but nonetheless one in that genre. Sexual instability is the culprit in Franco's eyes that built this mass murderer known as Jack the Ripper. While Franco does skew the truth a bit about the actual murders involved with Jack the Ripper (throwing the bodies in the Themes, etc.), it still makes an interesting story.
Overall, it was decent. After I watched it and thought about it for some time, I had a better respect for the film. It wasn't the greatest, yet it wasn't horribly bad. The dubbing caused me the most irritation, while Kinski raised the bar on this film. If you go into this film with high expectations, you will be utterly disappointed, but if you go in with an open mind and an ability to laugh, than it may just be up your dark alley. The DVD packaging is impressive, yet very misleading. The transfer of this film to DVD is impressive for it being made in 1976. Again, not expecting a lot will lead to a better film experience. You should also accompany this film with your favorite six-pack of beer and your most eccentric friend. Sit back, relax (as much as you can with this film) and enjoy the next hour and a half.
Grade: ** out of *****"
Klaus Kinski stars in bizarre shlock film from Jess Franco!
Dave | Tennessee United States | 04/15/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Fans of director Jesus "Jess" Franco will probably enjoy this more than the typical horror fan, as this is certainly no masterpiece. But, in spite of the awful dubbing, bright orange blood (as is so typical in 60's & 70's horror flicks!), and frequently graphic violence, I actually found this watchable. However, I don't think it's worth seeing more than once, and I've already sold the dvd I bought.
Klaus Kinski plays Jack the Ripper, although there's VERY little similarities between this one and the infamous serial killer who terrorized the women of Whitechapel District in London beginning in August, 1888. In this film he kills because of his universal hatred of all women (particularly prostitutes), brought on by the shame of his own mother being a prostitute. The women in this film are quite beautiful, in stark contrast to the real victims of Jack the Ripper who were...well, ugly. There's frequent nudity and gore throughout this movie, including one disturbing scene where he mutilates one of his dying victims (with neon orange blood everywhere!).
As a previous reviewer already mentioned, the fact that this movie was poorly dubbed makes many of the scenes (especially the police interrogations) unintentionally hilarious, and in fact the whole movie is pretty ridiculous. But if you enjoy watching cheap 70's horror flicks then you might want to give this one a try. The Image dvd has great bonus features for such a mediocre movie, and the picture and sound quality are quite adequate. Overall, I recommend that you rent this before buying."
One of Franco's "better" movies. That is not good.
Flawless Sean Black | oh boy | 02/01/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Make no mistake about it, the movie is very poorly made and has laughable acting, but this one is still entertaining. "Jack The Ripper," One of Jesus' most well known films, is a test for average film goers. Necrophilia (almost) and really low budget gore make this movie hard for the "Lord Of The Rings" viewer to witness. But that fact is the beauty of it all. If you ever watch a Fraco movie it's a badge of honor: "Hey, that movie was funny as junk, it was awesome." Jesus Franco's perception of The Ripper is a unique one, making him an insane doctor who treats the less than fortunate Fellow. Warm hearted doctor Luv by day, Cold blooded pscho necrphyliac murderer. Doesn't fit, but is certainly entertaining. Great camp perfornces from Kinski(Jack) and Romay (uh... wife.)"
Great new transfer makes this film a whole new experience
George Gadgethead | 12/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"... Buy this DVD instead. Image's disc is the US version of the legendary European VIP edition, featuring a new, longer transfer which adds so much more atmosphere to this masterpiece of horror. Kinski as the maniac killer and Lina Romay as a sexy prostitute are reason enough to make this movie a classic."