Blu-ray Review “Hands of the Ripper”

handsripperActors: Eric Porter, Angharad Rees, Jane Merrow, Keith Bell
Directors: Peter Sasdy
MPAA Rated: Not Rated
Studio: Synapse Films
DVD Release Date: July 9, 2013
Run Time: 85 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Something about Jack the Ripper has always fascinated me. I think I am not the only one either. The mystery behind this character has been reproduced in cinema for many many years and it never gets old. Hammer delivered yet another Gothic and very brutal, while still unique approach to the character in this film. This film has also been noted as being one of the most gruesome Hammer horror films ever made and that is not an exaggeration. This Blu-ray also features footage never before seen and is completely uncut. So that should make fans very happy. Synapse Films has been behind releasing these classic films on Blu-ray with fantastic transfer and a wealth of special features. Keep them coming guys! A must purchase for any fans of Hammer.

Official Premise: An infant girl watches in horror as her father, the infamous Jack the Ripper, brutally murders her mother. Years later, young Anna (Angharad Rees) is now under the care of a fake psychic and has been forced into prostitution. At the end of a séance one evening, a woman is mysteriously killed. Dr. John Pritchard (Eric Porter) suspects Anna is the murderer but cannot understand how she could do this unspeakable act. Using new Freudian psychoanalysis techniques, Pritchard experiments on Anna and discovers a shocking secret. The spirit of the Ripper is alive and well, and may be possessing his own daughter! Can this evil be stopped before it’s too late?

Synapse Films is releasing “Hands of the Ripper” as part of their Hammer Horror Collection and as a Blu-ray + DVD combo pack. The film has been completely restored in high-definition and released uncut for the first time on Blu-ray in the U.S. The 1080p transfer looks stunning with its widescreen (1.66:1) presentation. There is a fantastic DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track included as well, which complements every scream and the film’s amazing score.

The special features are not too bad and worth checking out for Hammer fans. There is a great featurette in “The Devil’s Bloody Plaything: Possessed by Hands of the Ripper”, it clocks in just short of 30 minutes and packs some interesting interviews. “Slaughter of Innocence: The Evolution of Hammer Gore” is a neat motion still gallery. There is the U.S. television introduction and original theatrical trailer and TV spots. But the real score of this release for myself is the isolated music and effects audio tracks included. I would highly recommend that for any true Hammer fan!

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