21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Can be fittingly described as a "Classic",
This review is from: Hands of the Ripper [VHS] (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.