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Hands of the Ripper

Hands of the Ripper (1971)
A new terror filled X film

Peter Sasdy

L W Davidson
Edward Spencer Shew – Story

Eric Porter
Angharad Rees
Jane Merrow
Keith Bell
Derek Godfrey
Dora Bryan
Marjorie Rhodes
Lynda Barron
Marjie Lawrence
Margaret Rawlings
Elizabeth MacLennan
Barry Lowe
A J Brown
Anne Clune

Review by The _Void

Another excellent film from Hammer
I’m a big fan of Hammer Horror; their inventive camp styling puts their output above the majority of other horror studios. Adding to that is the fact that when you watch a Hammer film, you know that you’re in for a good time. While Hands of the Ripper isn’t the best film to come out of the studio, it still represents another success for the studio and it’s a film that will no doubt delight their fans. The great plot line follows the daughter of the infamous murderer; Jack the Ripper.

After witnessing her father kill her mother, the young girl is permanently scarred and now, years later, her past is beginning to surface. The film finds a space between a psychological thriller and the familiar ‘slasher’ sub-genre (and it’s yet another film in this style that pre-dates Halloween), and it blends brilliantly. The first thing you will notice about this movie is the way that the murders are done – stylishly, brutally and extremely camp! They’re extremely over the top and a great treat for the horror fanatic.

Eric Porter stars as a psychiatrist who takes our heroine in after she murdered the woman who was looking after. Porter gives a fine performance as the good doctor, and keeps in with the style of the older leading male that Hammer have created. The film is noteworthy for it’s excellent creation of the period in which the film is set, and that too adds to the delight of the film. One thing that I have noticed about Hammer’s product as they entered the seventies is that the films lost that colourful camp edge that epitomised the earlier films and it had been replaced by a more European style. Captain Kronos is the prime example of that change, but luckily Hands of the Ripper is more like the Hammer films of yore. Not as colourful, but it still has that Hammer charm that us fans love so much.

As usual, the film isn’t quite perfect; it’s dogged by a less than perfect script, and at times the psychological elements of the film ground down to walking pace, which makes the film boring; but generally this is a lovely piece of kitsch and Hammer fans won’t be disappointed!

Review by Theo Robertson
Hands of the Ripper (1971)

Moving Towards The End Of Hammer,

By 1971 it was becoming more and more obvious that Hammer film studios were on the way out . HANDS OF THE RIPPER is a case in point where even the idea smacks of desperation – The spirit of Jack The Ripper posses his own daughter ! Yeah okay no one was expecting a documentary but this plot seems to be scraping the bottom of the barrel for stupid premise and you do find yourself questioning why on earth the producers brought Jack The Ripper into the story . Was this to give the movie a snappy title ?~

The production values are unimpressive and the cinematography gives the whole movie a cheap TVM feel but you know you’re not going to be watching a classic Hammer horror as soon as the title starts because the music is laughably inappropriate . I think the composer was trying to make the theme tune haunting and touching but the music resembles something out of a soppy romantic movie . I will give the cast some credit as they do take their roles seriously in what’s a far from serious movie

I didn’t enjoy this film much and it instantly reminded me of the Phantom Raspberry Blower Of London Town from The Two Ronnies which I’d been laughing at in the weeks before I saw this

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70s Films

A tour through the great and not so great films of the seventies The seventies saw a huge change in styles and genres from the advent of the slasher horror movies like Halloween and the blockbuster summers films started by Jaws. More...

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