My Photo
Location: California, United States

Monday, October 12, 2015

Jack's Back

This week's movie rental was Jack's Back ...

a 1988 horror film directed and written by Rowdy Herrington and starring James Spader and Cynthia Gibb. In Los Angeles, a young doctor is suspected when a series of Jack the Ripper copycat killings is committed. However, when the doctor himself is murdered, his identical twin brother claims to have seen visions of the true killer.

- Spader as the doctor

- And as his twin

This is one of my favorite old movies. I guess you would call it a B movie and it's rated R for language/violence but James Spader really does a good job in his dual role. And there's a cat :) I'm not the only one who liked it - here's the Siskel & Ebert tv review of the film ...

And Roger Ebert gave it 3 out of 4 stars in his print review. Here's the beginning of it ...

Exactly a century has passed since Jack the Ripper committed his monstrous crimes, and now a copycat killer is duplicating them - each murder 100 years to the day after the Ripper’s crimes. This sounds depressingly like the premise for an exploitation film, and the title “Jack’s Back” does nothing to encourage our hopes. But the surprising thing is that this is actually a good movie, with intriguing work by James Spader.

He plays two characters: twin brothers, one an earnest medical student, the other a rebel who has had some trouble with the law.

Without revealing any more of the film’s surprises, I can tell you that the good brother discovers one of the victims, and that the other brother eventually finds himself considered as the police department’s prime suspect for the murders.

The movie develops into a thriller in which the second twin has to run from the police, clear his name and somehow prevent the real killer from murdering the woman who has loved both twins.

All of this sounds contrived. Of course it is contrived. A movie like this is nothing without contrivance, and one of its pleasures is to watch the plot gimmicks as they twist inward upon themselves, revealing one level of surprise after another. By the end of the film, we are more or less sure we understand everything that has happened, but even then there is one more surprise - and not the one you’re no doubt expecting ......


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice review -- so upbeat that it's refreshing! Thanks!


10:36 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home