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.Written by
Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>
Lynda Baron's character is named after one of Jack the Ripper's real-life victims, Elizabeth Stride, whose nickname was "Long Liz". See more »
Dr. Pritchard (Eric Porter) tells Dysart (Derek Godfrey) that he believes that Anna (Angharad Rees) may suffer from schizophrenia and that he wants to use Signmund Freud's psychoanalysis to treat her and later insists multiple times that he's sure he can "cure" Anna. However, Freud believed that psychoses like schizophrenia could not be treated by analysis because the patients were divorced from objective reality and did not recognize or acknowledge that they were ill. See more »
Damn it Pritchard you've got a possessed being in your home, as savage as any wild beast.
See more »
For an R rating in the US, the murders of Long Liz and the housemaid were trimmed, notably the second stab wound on the latter. See more »
Agnus Dei (from 'Requiem')
Written by Giuseppe Verdi
[heard during the climactic 'Whispering Gallery' scene] See more »
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!
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