MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,426 this week

Jack's Back (1988)

 -  Crime | Horror | Mystery  -  6 May 1988 (USA)
6.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.0/10 from 1,502 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 13 critic

A serial killer in Los Angeles celebrates Jack the Ripper's 100th birthday by committing similar murders.

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 29 Aug 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 06 May 2012
 
a list of 708 titles
created 18 Nov 2012
 
a list of 780 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 26 titles
created 3 days ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Jack's Back" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Jack's Back (1988)

Jack's Back (1988) on IMDb 6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Jack's Back.
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Bad Influence (1990)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Michael, a wimpy young executive, is about to get pulverized by a jealous boyfriend in a bar when a handsome, mysterious stranger steps in--and then disappears. Later that night, while ... See full summary »

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Rob Lowe, James Spader, Lisa Zane
The Stickup (2002)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

It's a quiet little town where nothing happens - until the day the bank is hit for half a million dollars by a thief wearing a clowns mask.

Director: Rowdy Herrington
Stars: James Spader, Leslie Stefanson, David Keith
Storyville (1992)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

While investigating his own blackmailing, a young politician uncovers his family's deep secrets.

Director: Mark Frost
Stars: James Spader, Joanne Whalley, Jason Robards
The New Kids (1985)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A brother and sister arrive in a small town to help their relatives run an amusement park, and they find the town is terrorized by a local street gang.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham
Stars: Shannon Presby, Lori Loughlin, James Spader
Starcrossed (TV Movie 1985)
Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

An alien woman is running from a deadly enemy and tries to hide on Earth where she meets a young mechanic, who helps her to get back home and to fight for the freedom of her people.

Director: Jeffrey Bloom
Stars: James Spader, Belinda Bauer, Peter Kowanko
White Palace (1990)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Max Baron (James Spader) is a 27-year-old high flying advertising executive still recovering from the death of his wife. One night he is in a bar when he meets Nora Baker (Susan Sarandon) a... See full summary »

Director: Luis Mandoki
Stars: Susan Sarandon, James Spader, Jason Alexander
True Colors (1991)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Best friends from law school to election night, their friendship is sorely tested when one learns of another's betrayal.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: John Cusack, James Spader, Imogen Stubbs
Dream Lover (1993)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A successful businessman tries to uncover what is wrong with his wife.

Director: Nicholas Kazan
Stars: James Spader, Mädchen Amick, Fredric Lehne
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two men face the consequences of gambling after playing with men beyond their league.

Director: Philip Haas
Stars: James Spader, Mandy Patinkin, M. Emmet Walsh
I Witness (2003)
Drama | Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

After 27 bodies are discovered in a collapsed tunnel in Tijuana, a man tries to unravel the mystery before becoming the next victim.

Director: Rowdy Herrington
Stars: Jeff Daniels, James Spader, Portia de Rossi
Tuff Turf (1985)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A street rebel and his gang have trouble understanding themselves and their world.

Director: Fritz Kiersch
Stars: James Spader, Kim Richards, Paul Mones
Greasy Lake (Video 1988)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Damian Harris
Stars: Eric Stoltz, James Spader, Tegan West
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
John / Rick Wesford
...
Chris Moscari
...
Sgt. Gabriel
...
Dr. Carlos Battera
Rod Loomis ...
Dr. Sidney Tannerson
Rex Ryon ...
Jack Pendler
...
Scott Morofsky
Wendell Wright ...
Capt. Walter Prentis
...
Sam Hilliard
Bobby Hosea ...
Tom Dellerton
...
Denise Johnson
...
Mary
Diane Erickson ...
Andrea Banks
Sis Greenspon ...
Martha
Graham Timbes ...
Surgeon
Edit

Storyline

A young doctor is suspected when a series of Jack the Ripper copycat killings is committed. However, when the doctor himself is murdered, his identical twin brother claims to have seen visions of the true killer. Written by Alexander Lum <aj_lum@bigpond.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One hundred years ago the world was shocked by a man they called The Ripper. He was never caught... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 May 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Red Rain  »

Box Office

Gross:

$492,519 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Rowdy Harrington originally wanted the movie to be titled "Red Rain" and Peter Gabriel's song of the same name was meant to play at the opening credits. Since this was a low budget film, he couldn't get the rights to the song, so he hired Paul Saax to compose the song "Red Harvest" instead. Shortly before the movie release, the studio felt that the title "Red Rain" had no relation to the plot so they decided to change to a more appealing title, "Jack's Back". See more »

Quotes

Sgt. Gabriel: They say that Jack the Ripper was surgeon... this maybe the same as our current killer
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Jack the Ripper Goes West (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

My Way
Words and Music by Paul Anka, Jacques Revaux (as J. Revaux), Claude François (as C. Francois) and Gilles Thibault (as Gilles Phibault)
Published by Publishers Management Agency / Music Publishing Inc.
Rerecorded by Rod Loomis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Surprisingly good thriller with a terrific lead in Spader.
5 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

Rating: *** out of ****

Despite having one of the worst titles I've ever heard, Jack's Back is actually a nifty little thriller, a true hidden gem if I ever saw one. I happened to come across the film at a used video store (like the title, the cover box is pretty awful, too) (makes you wonder if the trailers and TV promos were also just as lame), and being a James Spader fan, decided to give it a look. Nice to see this turned out to be one of the better impulse buys I've made in a while.

The title refers to Jack the Ripper, or more specifically, a copycat who's committing similar murders in Los Angeles on the same days on the hundredth anniversary of when the original killings occurred. Without giving anything away, I'll simply say that James Spader and Cynthia Gibb are the protagonists who are searching for the killer, even though Spader himself might be the one.

Despite a plot that plays somewhat like a routine thriller, the story is still fairly enjoyable for what it is. There are a few plot twists and turns, some unpredictable, some which are fairly obvious. Fans of whodunnits (and let's face it, I think everyone enjoys a good whodunnit every once in a while) will find just enough intriguing detail to make this at least an average viewing.

But what sets this apart from many thrillers, particularly those of the late 80's, is the emphasis on characters. Writer/director Rowdy Herrington probably spends even more time developing the lead protagonists than he does fueling the main plot (I can actually see how this might somewhat disappoint whodunnit fans hoping for a very convoluted plot, or slasher fans expecting more, well, slashing). Consequently, the suspense is ratcheted up a few notches and we find ourselves caring about the outcome.

Most of the credit for this should go to Spader, who delivers a terrifically charismatic and extremely likable performance. He plays a man who's hardly a saint, but realistic in that he's flawed, and simultaneously more than capable of showing a genuine conscience. Cynthia Gibb (who's very cute) works well with Spader, she's charmingly convincing and adorable. The rest of the cast isn't really worth mentioning except for maybe Robert Picardo as a thoughtful police psychologist (who happens to live in a mansion, no less). Everybody else is mostly present to act as suspects or people who are simply in Spader's way.

Herrington's direction is quite good, setting up a creepy atmosphere, nicely accompanied with an equally creepy score. It's Herrington's storytelling that could use more work. While many details are set up well, the finale stumbles due to a rather large leap in logic. To some, the film's conclusion might also seem rather abrupt, without quite enough explanation for all that transpired. If Herrington had tightened up his story, he might have had a great thriller on his hands. As it is, this is merely a good movie that rates well above average. But I shouldn't be complaining. Jack's Back is a pleasant surprise, even moreso for a movie with such an awful title.


21 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
OMG! The Netflix version has an entirely DIFFERENT ENDING theprovinces-1
DVD release ficathon
This movie rocks. pizowell
What's your type? John or Rick? andie_reynolds
Soundtrack oisinm
My biggest problem with this movie... ThresholdDweller
Discuss Jack's Back (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?