|Hands of the Ripper|
|Directed by||Peter Sasdy|
|Written by||L.W. Davidson|
Edward Spencer Shew
|Produced by||Aida Young|
|Edited by||Chris Barnes|
|Music by||Christopher Gunning|
|Distributed by||Rank Film Distributors (U.K.)|
Universal Pictures (U.S.)
|3 October 1971 (U.K.)|
Hands of the Ripper is a 1971 British horror film, directed by Peter Sasdy for Hammer Film Productions. It was written by L. W. Davidson from a story by Edward Spencer Shew, and produced by Aida Young. The film was released in the U.S. as a double feature with Twins of Evil.
At 2 years, the daughter of Jack the Ripper is witness to the brutal murder of her mother by her father. 15 years later, she is a troubled young girl who is seemingly possessed by the spirit of her late father. While in a psychotic trance she continues his murderous spree, but has no recollection of the events afterwards. A sympathetic psychiatrist takes her in and is convinced he can cure her condition. However, he soon regrets his decision...
The film features British actor Eric Porter as the doctor, and also stars Jane Merrow, Keith Bell and Derek Godfrey. It has an early starring role for Angharad Rees.
It was filmed at Pinewood Studios, with some location work at St. Paul's Cathedral, London.
Film critic Leonard Maltin gave the film 2 1/2 out of a possible 4 stars. In his review he stated that the film had "[a] good atmosphere and solid performances, but after a good start, dissolves into a series of bloody murders." The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films wrote that the film "expertly mixes the sophistication expected of Hammer's films with the gore its new audiences demanded." Andy Boot considers the film "flawed, and so close to the fag end of Gothic that it could almost be a parody", but that it is "nonetheless a film well worth watching". He opines that Peter Sasdy "atoned for his appalling Countess Dracula with a much pacier handling of this story." Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 86%, based on seven reviews, with a rating average of 7.1/10.