Jack the Ripper

Directed by Jess Franco 
Cast - Klaus Kinski, Herbert Fux (so do most of us), Josephine Chaplin, Lina Romay, Nikola Weisse, Ursula V.Weise, Olga Gebhard 

  This German produced period piece takes place in England. Klaus Kinski is a generous well to do doctor, who devotes much time to helping patients with very little money. When night falls, Kinski is haunted by sexual nightmares, which cause him to go out and brutally hack up prostitutes. Scotland Yard has only lead, a blind man who heard the killer and could describe various details of the person's smell and manner of movement. The Ripper taunts the authorities with letters, teasing them for not being able to catch him. Worried about her lover, a detective's girlfriend decides to pose as a prostitute, to find this killer. 

  Jess Franco does the Jack The Ripper story justice, with this interesting psycho thriller. Most of the film revolves around Kinski's fine performance, as he frequently becomes mentally unstable and cannot control his urge to kill. As the film goes on, it's revealed that Kinski had a traumatic childhood incident, that he could never come to terms with, and left him psychologically scarred. There's plenty of cheap thrills with lots of naked women and some gore. One scene features Lina Romay getting her breasts cut off in bloody detail. The film's ending does leave it to the viewer to draw their own conclusion, as Franco may have left this open for a sequel. Recommended viewing for fans of European horror.

-T. Luster



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