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Hands Of The Ripper (Blu-ray + DVD Combo)


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Hands Of The Ripper (Blu-ray + DVD Combo) + Twins Of Evil (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack) + Vampire Circus (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Eric Porter, Angharad Rees, Jane Merrow, Keith Bell
  • Directors: Peter Sasdy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Synapse Films
  • DVD Release Date: July 9, 2013
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00CLIAACC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,678 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Released in the waning years of Hammer Films' two-decade reign as one of the top producers of horror films, Peter Sasdy's Hands of the Ripper (1971) is the studio's last successful attempt at bringing its trademark blend of lush Gothic atmosphere and graphic violence to a suspenseful and mature thriller hinged on the Jack the Ripper case. UK TV and stage vets Angharad Rees (Poldark) and Eric Porter (Moriarty to Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes) are top-billed as, respectively, a young woman plagued by murderous impulses and the Freudian psychiatrist determined to root out the cause of her homicidal urges. The killings--spurred by the stabbing of Rees's mother by her father, the notorious Ripper himself--are quite gruesome, even by latter-day Hammer standards, but the most lasting impression left by the picture is the doom-laden relationship between Rees and Porter, which perversely twists the traditional arc of Hammer's previous efforts, with the forces of reason and science not only failing to overcome superstition, but also falling victim to them. The result is a distinctly downbeat but still rewarding Hammer effort that benefits greatly from its professional cast, Sasdy's muscular direction (Ripper was his third project for the studio after the equally intriguing Taste the Blood of Dracula and Countess Dracula), and some opulent sets at Pinewood Studios. It's unfortunate that few viewers on either side of the Atlantic got to see the film, which flitted through theaters in a truncated edit on a double bill with Hammer's Twins of Evil.

Synapse's Blu-ray/DVD combo presentation compares favorably to its home video presentations of the equally obscure Twins and Vampire Circus, offering not only an uncut edition of the film but also a wealth of new and archival extras. The Devil's Bloody Plaything is a lengthy making-of featurette from Ballyhoo Motion Pictures that covers a wide range of subjects within the orbit of Ripper, from the state of Hammer at the dawn of the 1970s to the work of producer Aida Young and Sasdy's corner-cutting measures for providing maximum screen value (using M's office from the James Bond franchise and still photos from St. Peter's Cathedral as rear-projection backdrop for the finale) through interviews with the director himself and costar Jane Merrow (The Lion in Winter), as well as filmmaker Joe Dante and author Kim Newman. Slaughter of Innocence is a slide show of production photos focusing on the grisliest moments from Hammer horror. Said gore set pieces forced Universal to substantially trim Ripper for broadcast on American television during the mid-1970s; the new scenes, featuring actor Severn Darden as a psychologist spouting vast amounts of expositional psycho-babble, are presented in audio-only format (the video master was apparently lost in the 2008 fire at Universal). An appropriately overwrought theatrical trailer and TV spots round out this terrific set. --Paul Gaita

Product Description

An infant girl watches in horror as her father, the infamous Jack the Ripper , brutally murders her mother. Years later, young Anna (Angharad Rees) is now under the care of a fake psychic and has been forced into prostitution. At the end of a séance one evening, a woman is mysteriously killed. Dr. John Pritchard (Eric Porter) suspects Anna is the murderer but cannot understand how she could do this unspeakable act. Using new Freudian psychoanalysis techniques, Pritchard experiments on Anna and discovers a shocking secret. The spirit of the Ripper is alive and well, and may be possessing his own daughter! Can this evil be stopped before it's too late?
Completely restored in high-definition and released uncut for the first time on Blu-ray in the U.S., HANDS OF THE RIPPER is a film widely recognized as one of the most gruesome Hammer horror films ever made.
Bonus Features
  • THE DEVIL'S BLOODY PLAYTHING: POSSESSED BY HANDS OF THE RIPPER Featurette
  • SLAUGHTER OF INNOCENCE: THE EVOLUTION OF HAMMER GORE Motion Still Gallery
  • U.S. Television Introduction
  • Original Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots
  • HANDS OF THE RIPPER - Motion Still Gallery
  • Isolated Music & Effects Audio Track

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
No, it's a literate masterpiece, and based on a serious novel.
George Slivinsky
The entire cast is wonderful, particularly Eric Porter and Angharad Rees, the latter being a delightful young actress I had never encountered before.
Daniel Jolley
Welcome to Hammer's outstanding "Hands of the Ripper", one of the studio's last movies and one of their best.
A. Griffiths

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A. Griffiths on June 7, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
Welcome to Hammer's outstanding "Hands of the Ripper", one of the studio's last movies and one of their best. The story tells of Anna, a young girl who is actually Jack the Ripper's daughter, and who was traumatised as a toddler by witnessing a vicious killing (seen in the prologue). Now an adult, she is prone to murderous seizures which provide the many grisly highlights of the film. It sounds rather lurid, but the film takes the subject seriously, and as a whole, the plot is tremendously engaging. Anna's rages are only triggered by a specific set of circumstances, and the script creates a surprising and clever staging for each one, following on every time with a suitably gory slaughter. The film features great performances from its prestigious cast, particularly Angharad Rees who is luminously beautiful as Anna, and Eric Porter as the doctor who realises her identity but is compelled to try and cure her rather than turn her in (as well as falling for her charms, as she has no recollection of what she does when she goes into a trance). Of course, in the movies such a situation can only end in tragedy, and the climax of the story is elegantly downbeat and very effective. The period London setting, the photography and the directing all fall perfectly into place, and "Hands of the Ripper" can be judged as one of Hammer's greatest acheivements. It's crying out for a DVD release, so hopefully someone will take the initiative very soon. There is a UK region 2 release, but it's only available as a box set with two far inferior British 70's horror movies "The Monster" and "The Uncanny". I was lucky and got one from a split set, but it's a real shame that most people will miss out on enjoying this movie by it not getting the circulation it deserves.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By William Amazzini on July 16, 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Back in 2010, a number of film websites announced that Synapse Films acquired the negatives of the elusive three Hammer Film titles which were much sought after by collectors. 'HANDS OF THE RIPPER', 'TWINS OF EVIL' and 'VAMPIRE CIRCUS' all released in 1970 were the only titles not available on Digital transfers . Available in the 90's on imported Laser Discs or VHS copies, these were the severely edited versions released to US theaters and were not seen since their original theatrical runs in Europe. Well, Synapse kept to their word and released one film each summer restoring the films to their most complete running times culminating in this last title Director Peter Sasdy's 'HANDS OF THE RIPPER', a different type of Ripper film and which emerges as Hammer's most tragic and poignant film in its repertoire. Heavily hyped as one of the company's most gruesome titles, it shows how Hammer was particularly scrutinized by the critics for its use of gory set pieces yet US grind house and Drive-in theaters were flooded with European Giallo and exploitation films showing far worse than Hammer ever conjured. It is wonderful that Synapse has allowed audiences that have never experienced the film before to see it for what it truly is, an exercise in psychological terror utilizing a Pygmalion motif and serial killer theme predating the Slasher film cycle by almost a decade. It does boast an excellent cast headed by Eric Porter playing the medical doctor, Jane Merrow as a handicapped heroine and in an outstanding performance, Angharad Rees as Anna, the daughter of Jack The Ripper. The film is one of Hammer's best and show the direction the studio could have taken if not for the fan hunger for another Dracula/Frankenstein release and more gore along with it.Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 1, 2007
Format: VHS Tape
Hands of the Ripper is a shockingly neglected and obscure little atmospheric masterpiece from Hammer Studios. It's a veritable showcase of classic horror at its best, with several somewhat bloody scenes thrown in for good measure. Beautifully shot and scored, the film simply oozes the aura of Victorian London, and the cinematography of the final shot is, ahem, to die for. The entire cast is wonderful, particularly Eric Porter and Angharad Rees, the latter being a delightful young actress I had never encountered before.

I know you're probably wondering if the film is about Jack the Ripper. Well, yes and no. The story is ostensibly about his daughter. You can imagine how screwed up in the head a daughter of Saucy Jack might be; now imagine that this little girl saw her father murder her mother right in front of her eyes. Freud would have wet himself over such a poor, young thing. Now a young lady, we find Anna working as a fraudulent medium's secret little helper. The madam isn't above selling Anna's body to certain gentlemen, either. Following a "séance" attended by the good Dr. Pritchard (Eric Porter) and others, no less than a man of Parliament (Derek Godfrey) stays behind to indulge in some special favors. A scream later, Pritchard has run back into the house (encountering the fleeing Parliamentarian at the door) to find Anna in a somewhat catatonic state and the medium quite dead. You would think Pritchard would accuse the man he saw fleeing the house at the time of the murder, but he has plans of his own. Having grown fascinated with the breakthrough work of Freud in Vienna, Pritchard thinks he can cure the girl (if she does turn out to be the murderer) and, at the same time, finally acquire the answers as to why people commit murder in the first place.
Read more ›
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