Hands Of The Ripper (1971) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Peter Sasdy
Producers: Aida Young
Writers: L.W. Davidson, Edward Spencer Shew
Date Released: October 3, 1971
Eric Porter as Dr. John Pritchard
Angharad Rees as Anna
Jane Merrow as Laura
Keith Bell as Michael Pritchard
Derek Godfrey as Mr. Dysart
Dora Bryan as Mrs. “Granny” Golding
Marjorie Rhodes as Mrs. Bryant
Lynda Baron as Long Liz
Marjie Lawrence as Dolly, the maid
Margaret Rawlings as Madame Bullard
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The story is about the daughter of Jack The Ripper, Anna, who witnessed his father kill his mother in cold blood. Years later, she was adopted by a spirit medium who conducts fake séance sessions using her as the voice from the spirit world. When she was about to be sold to a man for money, her possession was triggered and she killed the spirit medium. A psychiatrist and believer of Freud, Dr. Pritchard, witnessed the murder and took Anna in his care for psychoanalysis experiments. But as Anna gets triggered by the possession, more and more murders took place. It is up to the doctor to either find a cure or stop the killings once and for all.
For a Jack The Ripper spin-off, this movie had lots of random kills as well. The opening credits already showed the mother getting stabbed. The next deaths include the granny impaled through the door, the maid having her throat sliced, the prostitute stabbed with pins in the eye, the fortuneteller stabbed by the eyeglasses, and Dr. Pritchard with the very long sword through his body.
The Grave Review
The movie was interesting enough because of the idea of taking on the story of Jack The Ripper’s daughter continuing the murders.
To make it even more believable, the acting was so good. Even the very minor characters were giving it their all. It had a lot of close-up shots and the actors were showing off their prowess through facial expressions.
In terms of the story, the inclusion of psychology and understanding the murderer’s mind added to the depth of just having a direct descendant of a serial killer doing random killings. It gave the movie a sense of direction as to where it was headed and created a narrative where the doctor treats the problematic patient.
However, the idea of the possession having to go through a trance and the killings instantly happening after a kiss made the deaths a bit predictable. This only became interesting as to how Anna was going to conduct the murders in an instant. For example, the scene with the prostitute with the pins pushed to her eyes and the fortuneteller stabbed with her spectacles.
Another problem was the ending. Although it was a bit dramatic like falling down into each other’s arms and dying together, it would have been better if the issue of the possession was explained. The open-ended question was what happened to Jack The Ripper’s spirit after the whispering scene, if the cure was for Anna to find love or if it died with her.
Overall, this movie is recommended for those who are into themes of possession and serial killing.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Hands Of The Ripper (1971) three graves out of five graves.
Do you agree with our review? Comment below.