Knowing of my interest in this subject, a relative gave me a copy of Jesus “Jess” Franco’s 1976 movie Jack the Ripper for Christmas and I watched it this afternoon. I think this film may have been discussed on the old boards but, since I hadn’t seen it at the time, I didn’t read the posts. Not only had I not seen the film, I’d never heard of Franco although, from the additional material on the DVD, it appears that he is a well-known cult film maker who has produced dozens of movies. He might best be described as Spain’s answer to Russ Meyer. The plot, or rather lack of it, bears no relationship to the facts at all, but I suspect that historical accuracy was not uppermost in Franco’s mind. The ending can only be called abrupt.
The performances of the two leads (Klaus Kinski and Josephine Chaplin) could most charitably be described as wooden, although I enjoyed nearly all the performances of the very accomplished supporting cast. (All of Kinski’s scenes were apparently shot in eight days and, frankly, I’m surprised it took as long as that.) Using the old streets of Zurich as a substitute for Whitechapel in 1888 worked remarkably well, however no one could possibly believe that the Schanzengraben Canal was the Thames. Despite the movie's many weaknesses, some of the scenes are quite atmospheric.
I watched the film in the dubbed English version, and that probably didn’t improve it. Were I to watch it again, I think I’d select the original German with English subtitles. I’m hoping Stan or Eduardo or other movie buffs will have some opinions on this that I missed in the earlier discussion.
Last edited by The Grave Maurice : 01-02-2009 at 01:29 AM.
Location: McWopetaz Metroplex, Illinois U. S. of A.
In regard to your Russ Meyer reference, I don't remember a lot of bouncing monster mammaries in the film.
It's certainly not the worst Ripper movie and no way near the best. The film is entertaining is about the most I can say about the production. It's a movie that's also more graphic than most of the JtR releases. OK for some late night escapism if you're not too worried about accuracy.
This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.