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Conrado San Martín,
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A serial killer walks the streets of Whitechapel, London, attacking and killing women, which later came to be known as the 'Whitechapel murders' stretching from 3 April 1888 to 13 February ... See full summary »
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A Swiss-German horror film with Klaus Kinski as the notorious Jack the Ripper. A respected doctor by day, Kinski dismembers London prostitutes by night, until the local Inspector's girlfriend (Josephine Chaplin) goes undercover to catch him. Written by
The royal coat of arms shown outside Scotland Yard bears the letters ER - presumably for the current Queen: Elizabeth Regina. In 1888 when Jack the Ripper was loose Victoria was on the throne and the letters would have been VR: Victoria Regina. See more »
This version of the oft-filmed story doesn't bother to hide who The Ripper is. By day, he is the kindly and well liked doctor Dennis Orloff (the one-of-a-kind, well cast Klaus Kinski). By night, he gives in to his homicidal and kinky impulses and becomes The Ripper. Scotland Yard is represented by the dedicated Inspector Selby (played by the stone faced Andreas Mannkopff), who relies on the testimony of witnesses who happen to encounter Dennis / Jack one way or another.
"Jack the Ripper" '76 is far and away one of director Jess Franco's best, in this viewers' humble opinion. Fans of his ultra trashy output need not worry, for the degree of sleaze is kept at a respectable level (there's nudity aplenty), but Franco does *not* just focus on sex and perversions here. A reasonable attempt is made at good atmosphere and good period detail; this benefits from some solid production value. Franco, who also wrote the screenplay, creates a compelling and sober depiction of one mans' severe psycho-sexual hang-ups. Things do get quite violent - one victim is chopped up repeatedly, Herschell Gordon Lewis style. And the English dialogue does include some effective and literate lines.
Franco gets superb performances out of his cast. His longtime muse, the sensual Lina Romay, appears as one of the victims. Josephine Chaplin, one of Charlie C.'s daughters, has the leading lady role. Herbert Fux is great fun as Charlie the fisherman, who hooks something unpleasant at one point. Hans Gaugler is excellent as Mr. Bridger, the old blind man who makes up in smarts - as well as knowledge of unique smells - what he lacks in visual ability. Olga Gebhard is good as the landlady Mrs. Baxter, who's touching when her efforts to reach out to her aloof tenant don't pay off. But Kinski rightfully commands most of ones' attention, as he was always able to do. He sure can play crazy well, but here he gets to show other facets to what might have been a one-dimensional psychopath character otherwise.
In terms of end results, this may be one of the most accomplished things that Franco ever did, with a striking surreal hallucination sequence rating as a standout.
Seven out of 10.
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