Hands Of The Ripper (UK 1971)

Rating: **
Review Date: 11/17/13
Cast: Eric Porter, Angharad Rees

An interesting spin on the "Jack The Ripper" tale, where the spirit of Jack possesses his young daughter, Anna (lovely Angharad Rees), and turns her into a brutal murderer. Doctor Pritchard (stately Eric Porter) is a respectable scientist interested in psychotherapy, and he takes the troubled girl under his wing to study and ultimately cure her. He's convinced there's a medical explanation to her condition, and doesn't believe in ghosts, spirits, and other supernatural nonsense until it's too late. Apart from some rear projection trickery, it's a good looking period piece featuring some of Hammer's most graphic violence. Eric Porter is wonderful and basically carries the entire picture, bringing an indisputable amount of class and dignity to an otherwise unremarkable slasher film. Angharad Rees gives a delightfully tragic performance as the emotionally frail and schizophrenic Anna, who is helpless and unaware of the power she possesses. Apart from a couple of shockingly graphic scenes, the film mostly plays out as a psychological mystery, and the pacing tends to be a bit sluggish as a result. A respectable production, but not in the same league as Hammer's better known classics.