Hands Of The Ripper [Blu-Ray]
Director: Peter Sasdy
Cast: Eric Porter, Angharad Rees, Jane Merrow
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
The infant daughter of Jack the Ripper is witness to the brutal murder of her mother by her father. Fifteen years later she is a troubled young woman who is seemingly possessed by the spirit of her father. While in a trance she continues his murderous killing spree but has no recollection of the events afterwards. A sympathetic psychiatrist takes her in and is convinced he can cure her condition. Soon, however, he regrets his decision.
For those Hammer fans out there, I know you are already well aware of what ‘Hands of the Ripper’ is and that it was released on Blu-Ray last Tuesday. For those who are not familiar with the title, I’ll give a brief description; ‘Hands of the Ripper’ is a classic Hammer Films release from 1971 which tells the tale of Jack The Rippers daughter Anna, who watched her mother murdered by the hands of her father as a small child. Now, year’s later people are starting to die around her, and Dr. John Pritchard can’t help but think she is responsible for the murders, even with evidence to the contrary. He decides to take her into his home to study her and get to the bottom of everything, but that’s when things start to really go wrong.
I had never seen ‘Hands of the Ripper’ prior to my viewing of the Blu-Ray and I found it to be a pretty fun film. This movie is what I would imagine is a perfect example of early 70s era Hammer horror. I quite enjoyed this one and look forward to checking out more classic Hammer titles in the future. The film is directed by Peter Sasby (Countess Dracula) and stars Eric Porter (The Day of the Jackal) who gives a great performance in the role of Dr. John Pritchard and is probably the most notable cast member. Angharad Rees (Jane Eyre) portrays the role of the troubled Anna who is more lost than even Dr. Pritchard in trying to determine just what is occurring to her.
For fans of the classic film, you will certainly want to pick up the newly released Blu-Ray from Synapse films as it looks quite impressive for a film over 40 years old. There are a nice list of special features on top of a very detailed and beautiful HD transfer and lossless audio track. Fans of ‘Hands of the Ripper’ or Hammer Horror in general will certainly not want to miss out on this nice release for the classic film.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Hands of the Ripper’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.66:1 Widescreen Aspect Ratio. The HD transfer is very detailed and thorough, and aside from the grain and other important elements of the film that were fortunately left in tack (you have to appreciate those who understand and provide what people want in a proper transfer of a classic title) the high definition presentation looks comparable with many recent films being released on Blu-Ray today. Fans of this one should be very pleased by this impressive video transfer.
The Blu-Ray release features a 2 channel Mono uncompressed DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, that for a film over 40 years old sounds shockingly detailed and crisp. The voices are clear, smooth and sound near as good as any 2 channel DTS-HD soundtrack even these days, while the angry mobs in the streets and the music and sound effects in tense moments really pack a punch as well. In addition to the impressive main soundtrack, we are also treated to an additional uncompressed DTS-HD soundtrack for the isolated Music & Effects track which sounds just as well done as the main soundtrack and is certainly a nice additional bonus.
We are treated with a pretty decent amount of special features here for a film of this age, including ‘The Devil’s Bloody Plaything: Possessed by hands of the ripper Featurette’ ‘Slaughter of Innocence: The evolution of Hammer gore’ which is one of my favorites and gives a look at gore effects from the very beginning of Hammers run with classics such as ‘Dracula’ up until the time when ‘Hands of the Ripper’ was released. Also included are the US Television Introduction (which is an audio recording of the original opening/ending of the film on television when it aired in 1977 in which the film was cut for content, and the time from those cuts was made up by a new opening and ending featuring a writer speaking about his book) which is pretty interesting as well as the original theatrical trailer, tv spots and a motion still gallery from the film.
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘Hands Of The Ripper’ is now available to own on Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack From Synapse Films.