24 October 2012 | gavin6942
A Cool Take on the Ripper Story
A serial killer in Los Angeles celebrates Jack the Ripper's 100th anniversary by committing similar murders.
My first thought was how strange this film was for starting when there was only one murder left. It seems like it would make more sense to start at the first murder and allow the characters to solve the mystery of the pattern. Instead, they know from the opening scene that the killer is following the pattern of Jack the Ripper. This takes out much of the mystery element...
The cast here is pretty great, with both James Spader and Robert Picardo, both (I think) before becoming bigger names. Spader always had that boy next door charm, and Picardo is interesting and plays his role as a psychiatrist well, coming off as very suspicious at all the right moments.
The New York Times said "is so dull it leaves you plenty of time to marvel at how a plot can be this rickety, how a production can look this shabby, and how the first-time writer and director Rowdy Herrington could borrow a story with so relentless a grip on our imaginations and in no time at all declaw it." This seems terribly harsh. While not the greatest movie, it is still much better than many films out there, and had a premise that was enough to carry it.
I watched this film on Netflix, and I am told this version is different from the one on VHS or that was shown in theaters. I would be curious to know the differences, as I am told they are big enough to completely change the plot of the film... I liked the version I saw, but maybe the other is even better?