Hands of the Ripper (1971) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hands of the Ripper (1971)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Hammer's trademark gothic style permeates this suspenseful thriller, considered one of the acclaimed British studio's superior efforts, thanks largely to the directorial skills of Peter Sasdy. This marked his last feature-length collaboration with the studio until 1980, when he returned to direct installments of the Hammer House of Horror television series. In the film's prologue, young Anna, the infant daughter of the notorious Jack the Ripper, witnesses her mother's brutal murder at her father's hands. Years later, the lovely teenage Anna (Angharad Rees) is plagued by traumatic memories of the incident and repressed impulses in which love and death are inextricably linked. These impulses finally turn homicidal when her emotions are stirred, spelling doom for anyone who arouses her. Anna's case is handled by the repressed psychoanalyst, Dr. Pritchard (Eric Porter), whose growing physical attraction to the girl could result in far worse than a mere breach of professional ethics. Sasdy weaves the psychological elements through the story with finesse, paralleling the sexual tension between the doctor and his patient with the mounting horror of the inevitable outcome. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovimore
Rating: R
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Horror
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 13, 1989

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Eric Porter
as Dr. John Pritchard
Keith Bell
as Michael Pritchard
Dora Bryan
as Mrs. Colding
Philip Ryan
as Police Officer
Lynda Barron
as Long Liz
Margaret Rawlings
as Mme. Bullard
Marjorie Rhodes
as Mrs. Bryant
Norman Bird
as Police Inspector
Barry Lowe
as Mr. Wilson
A.J. Brown
as Rev. Anderson
April Wilding
as Catherine
Anne Clune
as 1st Cell Whore
Vicki Woolf
as 2nd Cell Whore
Katya Wyeth
as 1st Pub Whore
Beulah Hughes
as 2nd Pub Whore
Ann Way
as Seamstress
Tallulah Miller
as Pub Whores
Peter Munt
as Pleasants
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Hands of the Ripper

Critic Reviews for Hands of the Ripper

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

An overrated glossy Hammer gothic horror tale.

Full Review… | June 20, 2014
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Anna's savage acts of violence are provoked by a flash of light and a kiss: Symbols of the most desirable of gifts -- enlightenment and affection -- that here become triggers for perversion.

Full Review… | October 24, 2013
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

This latter-day offering from Hammer Films ratchets up the gore, but thankfully not at the expense of an engrossing tale that embeds its psychological context in a series of effective set-pieces.

Full Review… | August 24, 2013
Creative Loafing

Audience Reviews for Hands of the Ripper

A more interesting movie than Hammer's typical output at this time this film still has plenty of gore but the use of Freud's theories to diagnose the killer and Porter's sympathetic but misguided doctor suggest that the writer was at least trying something a bit different. The ending in St Paul's is almost operatic and brings a grandiose to the proceedings that is missing from most Hammer of the 70's. There are still plenty of silly bits in there and one gratuitous nudity sequence but otherwise this isn't half bad horror.

David Sayers
David Sayers

Super Reviewer

Made during Hammer's descent into gore (but before their tits and gore last gasp days), "Hands of the Ripper" is a stylish, atmospheric and particularly well acted little horror film. Unlike, say, "To the Devil a Daughter" it actually feels like a Hammer film. Whatever its minor flaws may be are more than redeemed by the fantastic, moving climax.

Eric Porter is fucking great.

Eduardo C

Super Reviewer


Not a terrible film but also not a particularly good one. Not even Hammer Studios at their best but still not entirely disappointing. In other words, a just so-so horror film. The settings and costumes are up to the usual Hammer standard and the performances are generally quite solid but the characters are not really believably written. Eric Porter, for instance, does his usual workmanlike job in the lead but the character is simply not one I ever felt was real. The film blends Hammer's style with the increased gore required of horror films in the Seventies and an attempt at an intelligent story that fails only in its failed human motivations and some rather absurd murder weapons.

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