Horrorfest 2020 Presents: Jack’s Back (1988, Rowdy Herrington)


James Spader plays twins in a rather captivating and interesting performance in the 1988 film Jack’s Back, which works as both a neo noir and a slasher film. Someone is replicating Jack The Ripper in LA, an innocent man is framed and Spader must prove that it was someone else. Assisting him is Cynthia Gibb as Chris, who works at the clinic with one of the brothers, and helps him stay ahead of the cops who are certain they already have their man.

I loved the lyrical shots of LA, how intense Spader is in most of the film, and how the movie operates as a bleak nightmare for the most part. The film loves to keep the audience guessing, and has some pretty gruesome violent moments. Despite not being a great film this is a good one, and I rather enjoyed it. Definitely a nice change of pace from the typical 1980s slasher films.

Horrorfest 2019/It’s Hammer Time Presents: The Hands of the Ripper (1971, Peter Sasdy)


The Hands of the Ripper was one of the non franchise movies that Hammer Studios put out while they were still one of the top horror studios in the world. I rather like this one as it has nasty kills, good characters and a plot that works despite being kind of ridiculous. Eric Porter stars as the kind psychiatrist who takes in the young daughter of none other than the infamous Jack the Ripper! Yet, he finds out all too quickly that some behaviors cannot be cured.

Angharad Rees is great as Anna, the poor young lady who doesn’t realize that she’s a killer. Things become even more dramatic as everytime Anna falls under a spell she acts out her father’s deadly wishes. One murder is particularly brutal (and quite sharp) while another is highly unexpected. While this movie works better as a slasher movie than a melodrama, I rather enjoyed it. The Hands of the Ripper might not one of Hammer’s best, however it was a solid effort from one of my favorite horror studios.

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