Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper: Der Dirnenmörder von London
Switzerland/West Germany 1976
Erwin C. Dietrich, Max Dora (executive) for Cinemec, Elite
directed by Jess Franco
starring Klaus Kinski, Josephine Chaplin, Andreas Mannkopff, Herbert Fux, Lina Romay, Nikola Weisse, Ursula von Wiese, Hans Gaugler, Francine Custer, Olga Gebhard, Angelika Arndts, Peter Nüsch, Regine Elsener, Esther Studer, Lorli Mucher, Mike Lederer, Otto Dornbierer
written by Jess Franco, music by Walter Baumgartner, cinematography by Peter Baumgartner
Jack the Ripper
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Jack the Ripper is roaming the Limehouse district, and he especially
likes to cut up his victims (in a grenhouse of all places) and throw them
into River Thames, where fishermen like Charlie (Herbert Fux) tend to find
bodyparts every now and again. Thing is, nobody knows who Jack the Ripper
might be, and police inspector Selby (Andreas Mannkopff) is getting more
and more frustrated over the case, not at all helped by the fact that his
girlfriend Cynthia (Josephine Chaplin) has decided they should stop seeing
Nobody knows who Jack the Ripper is ?
Not quite, we the
audience do, it's a benign Doctor for the poor (as played by Klaus
Kinski), who is suffering from a deep hatred towards women in general and
prostitutes in particular, and who every now and again can't help but
kill, identifying all his victims with his prostitute mother.
fisherman Charlie finds out about the Doctor's secret, but instead of
going to the police, he tries to blackmail the doctor ... and ends up on
the wrong end of a rope.
When inspector Selby pretty much breaks down in
front of his girlfriend Cynthia, she tries to help him by tracking down
the killer on her own - thing is, she hasn't thought the whole thing
through, and instead of her finding him, he finds her, all dressed up as a
whore, and soon enough has taken her to his greenhouse - and it's only
thanks to the acute sense of smell of a blind beggar and witness to a
former Ripper-crime that Selby and the police manage to get to the
greenhouse just in time before the Ripper can kill Cynthia too - but
catching the Ripper and bringing him to justice might be two entirely
different things ...
One of Jess Franco's most readily
available and most famous films, primarily due to Klaus Kinski turning in
a wonderful, multi-faceted performance - yet the film is certainly not
among Franco's best, on a story level Jack the Ripper is awfully
reminiscent of Franco's earlier masterpiece Awful
Dr.Orloff from 1962, and on a directorial level, Franco only
rarely goes beyond functional - partly of course because of the necessity
to make Zurich look like London, in which the film only occasionally fully
succeeds. Still, the film is not a total loss, Franco has managed to add
enough perversion and gore to make it easily recognizable as one of his
films, and as I said, Kinski's performance is just wonderful ...