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Jack's Back (1988)

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0:30 | Trailer
A serial killer in Los Angeles celebrates Jack the Ripper's 100th birthday by committing similar murders and only one has a chance of stopping him.

Director:

Rowdy Herrington
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Spader ... John / Rick Wesford
Cynthia Gibb ... Chris Moscari
Jim Haynie ... Sgt. Gabriel
Robert Picardo ... Dr. Carlos Battera
Rod Loomis ... Dr. Sidney Tannerson
Rex Ryon Rex Ryon ... Jack Pendler
Chris Mulkey ... Scott Morofsky
Wendell Wright Wendell Wright ... Capt. Walter Prentis
John Wesley ... Sam Hilliard
Bobby Hosea ... Tom Dellerton
Danitza Kingsley ... Denise Johnson
Anne Betancourt ... Mary
Diane Erickson Diane Erickson ... Andrea Banks
Sis Greenspon Sis Greenspon ... Martha
Graham Timbes Graham Timbes ... Surgeon
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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, in the city of London, in the East-End slum of Whitechapel, a man shocked the world by murdering, raping and mutilating five women. He was never caught. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 May 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Rain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$492,519
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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 »

Goofs

Identical twins do not have the same fingerprints. See more »

Quotes

John: [dressing the old woman's hand wound] "You free Saturday night?"
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, Claude François and Gilles Thibaut
Published by Publishers Management Agency / Music Publishing Inc.
Rerecorded by Rod Loomis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ripper has got himself a modern-day copycat.
26 April 2008 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

This item might be trapped in its 80s decor (fashion, music), but this stylishly compelling and crisp psychological thriller holds it cards close and leads the way with an appealingly subtle and sincere James Spader performance. This guy has charisma! And he strongly pulls off the whole dual part of playing twins. The premise is one of those, the less you know, the better off you are. When you think you have it figured out, you'll find yourself at square one again. It's a simple, but cleverly penned whodunit murder mystery story. Its odd and manipulative multi-layered structure offers unpredictable turns, hidden clues, suspicious red herrings, but in the long run leaves some spotty developments and a real lack of motivation. It might annoy and could've used some tweaking, but the well-paced story (that takes time to give our protagonist some depth) and sense of urgency just grips you that you just go with it. Director / writer Rowdy Herrington's directorial debut shows assurance in his abilities. The thrills are routine, but confidently done with razor-sharp timing and jarring force. They're menacing, brooding, bloody and a little disturbing. He really does hold you at bay with powerful visuals and anxious suspense. The moody photography and lighting composition drills in well with the stirringly blues music score. This blends well in with eerily glum and sullen atmospheric tinge coming from the Los Angles' setting. The performances are well-suited. Spader is the film's main drive, but Cynthia Gibb is capably good and Robert Picardo turns in a sound performance. Its also stars Jim Haynie, Chris Mulkey, Rod Loomis, John Wesley and Rex Ryon in amusingly fine support.

A wonderfully quirky and darkly projected thriller that's better than your average output.


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