November 7th, 2014: Jack’s Back (1988)

Jack's Back

Cast and Crew:  Rowdy Herrington (Director, Writer); Robert Picardo, Chris Mulkey,

What It’s About: A serial killer is stalking the streets of Los Angeles…re-enacting the grizzly Jack the Ripper murders 100 years later.  Can he be stopped?

Why Watch It Today?: Jack the Ripper murdered his first victim on this date in 1888. For whatever reason, there’s no shortage of films about what would happen if Jack the Ripper (or, in this case, an imitator) were to re-appear in the modern-day (we previously featured Time After Timewhich used the magic of H.G. Wells’ personal time-travel device to facilitate this plot).  Today’s film isn’t exactly good, but is notable mainly for its main plot twist (and quite a cheat) that I can’t even really describe the plot to you without spoiling, and because it features a very young James Spader giving a very entertaining performance.  Fans of Spader and those curious to see what amounts to a very late, American stab at combining Giallo tropes with a Jack the Ripper thriller should enjoy it (and the fact that it is streaming free at PopcornFlix at least ensures you don’t have to pay anything to see it).

Other Choices:  Murder By Decree takes the Jack the Ripper case and gives us a glimpse how Sherlock Holmes would handle it.

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