01 September 2014

Hands of the Ripper (1971)
82 min.
Directed by Peter Sasdy.
With Eric Porter, Angharad Rees, Jane Merrow, Keith Bell, Dora Bryan, Derek Godfrey, Marjorie Rhodes.
An excellent slasher film from Hammer.

In Edwardian London, the homicidal Jack the Ripper murders his own wife in front of the couple's infant daughter.

Years later and now grown, young Anna (Rees) is still terrorized by the horror she witnessed as a child...a trauma that, when triggered, turns her into a savage killer!

Psychoanalyst Porter vows to help the poor woman, but how many will Anna murder before his treatment proves successful?

Superbly plotted and dotted with a number of surprisingly gory death sequences (the maid's neck slashing is particularly brutal, the prostitute's end by hatpins is nicely done), this is also extremely well acted by Porter and Rees both of them confident in their respective roles as they begin an inevitable descent into tragedy.

The memorable climax in St. Paul's Cathedral is masterfully done by director Sasdy (he directed 1969's Taste the Blood of Dracula and 1975's The Devil Within Her).

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