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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Blu-ray Review: HANDS OF THE RIPPER (1971)


HANDS OF THE RIPPER
Directed by 
Distributed by Synapse Films / CAV

 If you are a fan of Hammer horror films, you will definitely want to take a look at HANDS OF THE RIPPER.  This is one Hammer film I had never seen before.  Synapse Films has recently released this film onto a great Blu-ray/DVD combo pack so now is the perfect time to check out this great film!   Here is the plot synopsis of the film courtesy of the Synapse Films website:

An infant girl watches in horror as her father, the infamous “Jack the Ripper”, brutally murders her mother. Years later, young Anna (Angharad Rees) is now under the care of a fake psychic and has been forced into prostitution. At the end of a séance one evening, a woman is mysteriously killed. Dr. John Pritchard (Eric Porter) suspects Anna is the murderer but cannot understand how she could do this unspeakable act. Using new Freudian psychoanalysis techniques, Pritchard experiments on Anna and discovers a shocking secret. The spirit of the “Ripper” is alive and well, and may be possessing his own daughter! Can this evil be stopped before it’s too late?
   
  The back cover states that this film is widely recognized as one of the most gruesome Hammer horror films ever made. It wasn't really gruesome by today's standards, but considering the film came out in 1971, I bet it was quite shocking for it's time. Don't get me wrong, the film still holds up very well, even by today's standards.

  If you have never seen a Hammer film, this would be a great one to start with.  The plot is easy to follow and stays suspenseful throughout the film.  The film reminds me of Italian giallo films, but mixed with a slasher film.  In fact, this could be a film that paved the way for all the slasher films of the 1980's.  The film has some very painful death scenes, including the final scene of the film that was shot very well.   The film is very stylish in the way the it was filmed, especially the opening credits scene.  The use of pauses during the opening flashback scene of Anna as a young girl was a very cool effect.

  HANDS OF THE RIPPER is available now from Synapse films on a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, and includes the following special features:

*  THE DEVIL'S BLOODY PLAYTHING:  POSSESSED BY THE HANDS OF THE RIPPER -- Featurette
*  SLAUGHTER OF INNOCENCE:  THE EVOLUTION OF HAMMER GORE -- Motion Still Gallery
*  U.S. Television Introduction
*  Original Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots
*  HANDS OF THE RIPPER -- Motion Still Gallery
*  Isolated Music & Effects Track (Blu-ray Only)
*  Reversible Cover Art


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack
 

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