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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Hands of the Ripper [Blu-ray]

 

(Peter Sasdy, 1971)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Hammer Studios

Video: Synapse Films

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:25:14.609 

Disc Size: 33,321,103,498 bytes

Feature Size: 22,895,483,904 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.85 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 9th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2025 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2025 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Isolated Music and Effects Track:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1877 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1877 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

• The Devil's Plaything: Possessed by the Hands of the Ripper (28:21)
• Slaughter of Innocence: The Evolution of Hammer Gore Motion Still Gallery (6:08)
U.S. Television Introduction (7;07)
Original Theatrical Trailer (1:57) and TV Spots (:59)
Hands of the Ripper - Motion Still Gallery (5:43)
Isolated Music & Effects Audio Track

DVD of the Feature

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: An infant girl watches in horror as her father, the infamous Jack the Ripper , brutally murders her mother. Years later, young Anna (Angharad Rees) is now under the care of a fake psychic and has been forced into prostitution. At the end of a séance one evening, a woman is mysteriously killed. Dr. John Pritchard (Eric Porter) suspects Anna is the murderer but cannot understand how she could do this unspeakable act. Using new Freudian psychoanalysis techniques, Pritchard experiments on Anna and discovers a shocking secret. The spirit of the Ripper is alive and well, and may be possessing his own daughter! Can this evil be stopped before it's too late?

 

 

The Film:

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.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Late Hammer horror with a hefty dose of cod Freud, as Jack the Ripper's daughter grows up to become a sexually disturbed homicidal maniac after seeing daddy butcher mommy. Rees is particularly effective in the role, while Sasdy keeps the tension reasonably high; nevertheless, one can't help experiencing a certain sense of déjà vu, for all the narrative ingenuity.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Hammer Films' Hands of the Ripper gets a dual-layered transfer to Blu-ray from Synapse producing a high bitrate.  It is transferred in the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio.  The image quality is consistent with other Hammer films - reasonable but not quite stellar. Colors look true and contrast supports solid detail. There is no intrusive noise and this Blu-ray seems to accurately represent a British film of this era. This Blu-ray is competently rendered in 1080P and the source was in good shape. I was please with the HD presentation.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Synapse provide an authentic DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 2025 kbps. The effects, screams, and Christopher Gunning's score build a wonderful atmosphere. It was some decent depth in the more aggressive segments and there is an equally robust, and lossless, optional isolated music and effects track for those who might wish to indulge. There are optiopnal English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'.

 

Extras :

Synapse provide some excellent supplements. The Devil's Plaything: Possessed by the Hands of the Ripper is a 23-minute long featurette which has Hammer Historian Wayne Kinsey discussing the film with emphasis on Hammer Studios. We also get a 6-minute srtills gallery entitled Slaughter of Innocence: The Evolution of Hammer Gore which has many still and poster art of Hammer Horror efforts. Included is the U.S. Television Introduction examining the cuts for US TV, the original theatrical trailer (1:57) and TV Spots (:59) plus a Hands of the Ripper - Motion Still Gallery and we get the aforementioned Isolated Music & Effects Audio Track in lossless plus a secdond disc DVD of the Feature in the package.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Not vintage pure Hammer - but as close as you can get. Hands of the Ripper has many of the horror styles that make Hammer so appealing. It's a bit more crude/exploitive with the violence but I wouldn't say it dramatically affected the nostalgia of the presentation. By today's standards it would be considered a non-event. The Synapse Blu-ray is a keeper - decent extras and I can't see Hammer devotees wanting to pass this one up. Recommended!! 

Gary Tooze

July 9th, 2013

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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