Of all films I have seen helmed by Spanish Director Jess Franco, this is far and away my favourite. It may lack the exotic juxtaposition of horrific incident occurring in beautiful sun-kissed arenas, but what we have here is a satisfactorily recreated Victorian London, with a talented cast, and a consistent story that doesn't meander.Many events take place in the spacious 'Pike's Hole' tavern, a convincingly cockney meeting ground, where 'Jack' finds many of his victims. The death of Marika Lina Romay is the most gratuitous of all, with a protracted scene suggesting <more>
Orloff has violent sex with his victims as the life fades from them. Inspector Selby Andreas Mannkopff proves to be a very effective foil for Orloff. Hans Gaugler is also excellent as Breidger, the blind man. In fact, the cast as a whole is very good, and a lot better than usual with Franco projects. Probably this is because he is working with a larger budget here – and it shows in other ways too. Beams of smoky light casting shadows through the branches of trees. Apart from a few panoramic shots of Big Ben and various London buildings, the bulk of this is shot in Zuerich Switzerland, and there is much genuine night-time filming, a very expensive procedure.The storyline is a good one. There's no point in trying to do a 'whodunit' – when you cast Klaus Kinski in a film about Jack the Ripper, he could hardly be playing a peripheral character. The intrigue is why he commits his atrocities, why does he appear to carve chunks off his victims while they are still barely alive? Inspector Selby's girlfriend Cynthia played by Charlie's daughter Josephine Chaplin appears to have the answer due to her resemblance to his mother. With his final victim finally degraded, it is apt in a way that he be captured and taken away in a finale that is disappointingly tame compared to the effective macabre nature of the rest of the picture.
In several respects, this movie seems to be a little untypical for a Franco movie. Since Franco proposed the subject himself, the film seems to be a rather personal project. Nevertheless, it is one of his most conventional movies. One could say that it is a rather tame slasher movie.Sexual perversion is still a subject, but in "Jack the Ripper" it is confined to the madmen and is not the general background. There is also some gore which - at least on some occasions - would have better been left out. What is equally untypical for a Franco movie are the production values. One can see <more>
that Franco worked on a higher budget. The film plays most of the time during the night, and the night photography is carried out in an excellent way. The scene when Lina Romay is killed in a foggy park is certainly one of the best Franco has ever filmed. A funny fact here is that apart from a few exteriors like Big Ben , all the movie was shot in Zuerich Switzerland. It is much fun to see how Franco has transformed this into London especially if you know the places in Zuerich Franco used . The interiors are also nice and colourful, and this is complemented by the costumes. Finally, the great plus of the movie is that is has Klaus Kinsky in it. Kinsky was one of the few actors who could create a certain ambiance by their mere presence. Of course, Kinsky's acting is also very subtle. Especially, his transformations from philanthrop into madman and back.The only thing which spoiled my viewing of "Jack the Ripper" a bit where some stupid beginner's mistakes by Franco. The two most obvious ones are: 1 Klaus Kinsky standing at the wrong side of the car when he "meets" the inspector's girl friend; 2 When Lina Romay is killed, the puppet used for the cheap looking gore effect is lit in a completely false color maybe this is the producer's fault who might have insisted on including some gore . One less obvious mistake occurs at the beginning: The first hooker which is killed walks on her way home! back half the way she came.All in all, "Jack the Ripper" is an atmospheric, unpretentious, and well directed slasher movie with a formidable Klaus Kinsky as the madman.
Franco Creates A Fine Version Of This Often Filmed Tale. (by Skeeter700)
Jess Franco Night of 1000 Sexes, Oasis Of The Dead, Lesbian Vampires this time uses his real name as director of Jack The Ripper - a very fictionalized version of the familiar murderer's crimes. Klaus Kinski stars as a seemingly generous doctor, tormented by his mother as a youngster, who now seeks to alleviate his childhood trauma by murdering prostitutes. The performances are all quite good and the most interesting character in the film is an old blind man with capabilities similar to Sherlock Holmes who witnesses two of Jack's crimes. One of Jess Franco's favorites, Lina <more>
Romay, also shows up to be butchered in an obviously phony yet disturbingly gory scene. One complaint is the storyline involving the girlfriend of the Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard, who is looks remarkably similar to Jack's mother. Yet, overall, Skeeter liked this movie: 8 for 10!
One of Jess Franco's best and most disturbing horror movies (by Woodyanders)
Seemingly compassionate and respectable Dr. Dennis Orloff a creepily credible and compelling Klaus Kinski is really the vicious and evasive serial killer Jack the Ripper, a savage sexual psychopath who preys on prostitutes in Victorian-era 19th century London, England. It's up to dedicated Scotland Yard Inspector Selby a solid Andreas Mannkopff to catch the foul fiend. Selby's ballet dancer girlfriend Cynthia the lovely Josephine Chaplin; Charlie Chaplin's daughter uses herself as bait to lure Bloody Jack. Writer/director Jess Franco, whose films tend to be very hit-or-miss <more>
type of affairs, comes through here with one of his best, most shocking and disturbing forays into the horror genre: the brooding gloom-doom tone is potently rendered, the sets and costumes are surprisingly lavish, the rich, vivid and flavorsome period atmosphere rings true, the murder set pieces are suitably harsh, graphic and upsetting, and there are even a few amusing touches of raw earthy humor sprinkled throughout. William Baumgartner's spooky score and Peter Baumgartner's slick cinematography are likewise fine and impressive. Nice supporting performances by Herbert Fux as the affable Charlie the Fisherman, Hans Gaugler as a perceptive blind beggar, Olga Gebhard as concerned land lady Mrs. Baxter, Esther Studer as saucy hooker Jeanny, and the always alluring Lina Romay as bawdy ballroom tart Marika. But it's the inspired central casting of Kinski in the lead that really makes this picture work as well as it does: With his sharp facial features, pale, piercing blue eyes and extremely intense'n'edgy presence, Kinski qualifies as a frightfully convincing madman. Only the crummy dubbing distracts a bit from this otherwise strong and praiseworthy effort.