London, 1888: a syphilitic nutter in a top hat is on the run from an angry mob. He ducks into a house, evidently his own, viciously murders his wife / girlfriend with a big knife and then bids a fond farewell to his two year old daughter (who has witnessed the whole thing), kissing her goodbye before putting her back in her cot and making his escape. Blimey, you think, I bet this primal scene will have a psychological impact on the toddler, I expect she’ll grow up all wrong. She does, dear reader, she does.
‘Hands of the Ripper’ is an interesting film which combines elements of the classic Hammer Gothic style with the psychological b-movies the studio used to do so well. Baby faced Angharad Rees plays the grown up wrong girl, the daughter of, yes, Jack the Ripper, who, under certain conditions (a glint of light, a drop of blood, a kiss on the cheek) flips out and starts stabbing people with whatever she has to hand. Much murder and Kensington Gore follows.
A well-made, fast moving film, it’s thoughtful and intelligent for something so savage and extravagantly bloody and is embued with a tragic fatalism. Something of an unsung minor classic, 'Hands Of The Ripper' is certainly one of the more interesting diversions on the twisting, turning journey Hammer found itself on in the early seventies as they tried desperately to stay in business, and is more than worthy of your attention.