Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jack The Ripper (Blu-ray Review) - Ascot Elite

Germany, Switzerland/1976
Directed By: Jess Franco
Written By: Jess Franco
Starring: Klaus Kinski, Lina Romay, Herbert Fux
Color/92 Minutes/Rated 18 (Germany)
Region FREE
Release Date: September 24, 2013

The Film
Klaus Kinski stars as the beloved town doctor who always puts his sick and often poor patients needs ahead of his own. The only problem with the Dr. is that by night he turns into a killer. You see, his mother was a prostitute and that did something to warp his fragile mind. He felt filthy when she touched him and he felt betrayed by her and her profession. So now, the Dr. has become the killer known as Jack The Ripper the man that stalks and slashes prostitutes across London. When the local inspectors and Scotland Yard fail to catch him one of the inspector's girlfriends goes undercover on the streets to catch him.

JACK THE RIPPER is a moody and atmospheric horror film from Jess Franco. Surprisingly and somewhat disappointingly it isn't overflowing with sleaze. I think if Franco went all out and let Kinski turn into the madman we all know he could be then JACK THE RIPPER could easily be an infamous piece of Euro-trash. Instead Franco shows some restraint, as does Kinski which works for the scenes of Kinski as the doctor but it left me wanting so much more in the way of excess. As it stands, JACK THE RIPPER is an entertaining film, that is held back by some of Franco's less favorable characteristics in his direction, such as lingering and wandering shots and poor framing, but also features some of his better sides with his restraint. 

The Audio & Video
Ascot Elite has done an awesome job on this Blu-ray. The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer has very strong detail. Just take a look at hair, building exteriors and a close-up of Kinski's leather gloves. Colors are vibrant and the overall clarity is very nice. Skin tones are very natural and black levels are deep. The audio side of things features English and German 5.1 DTS-HD options or a 2.0 French track. Various subtitle options are available. I listened to the English track and was quite pleased with the quality. There is very little background noise and the mix was nicely done.

The Extras
There's a plentiful variety of extras on the disc including but not limited to:
-Audio Commentary
-Alternate Scenes

The Bottom Line
Jess Franco takes on JACK THE RIPPER and while it is historically inaccurate look at the infamous killer, it is an entertaining movie that fans of Franco, Kinski or Euro-horror will enjoy and the Blu-ray from Ascot Elite is the only way to go!


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