REVIEW: JACK THE ST.RIPPER (2021, The Enchanted Architect)

Jack The St. Ripper is the latest indie horror project directed by George Nevada (Scarecrowd) and is written by Domiziano Cristopharo (Red Krokodil, House of Flesh Mannequins). A dance group of male strippers are brutally murdered one by one by a masked killer wearing iconic black leather gloves synonymous of the giallo genre.

Jack The St.Ripper (or Jack The Stripper) is a brave and ambitious stab at the giallo genre and flips the blueprint on its head (for all the right reasons). Most people associate giallo films with murder mysteries where young attractive women are victims. Jack The St.Ripper focuses predominantly on men being chased and killed in brutal ways.

It is refreshing that the horror genre is maturing, dropping cliches and moving forward in a new exciting direction. Having already watched and enjoyed the excellent Torment (2017, Dir. Adam Ford) & Scott Philip Goergens groundbreaking masterpiece 29 Needles (2019). I’m fully behind the new movement which strays away from the generic and overused heterosexual horror template and we are now seeing films which really break down walls and barriers.

Jack The St.Ripper begins like a euro sleaze movie but it isn’t. Infact, it actually takes a light hearted parodical stance with its overacted performances before it plays out a very well written and unpredictable giallo plot. The key fundamentals for a successful giallo are; solid production values, suspense, bold close-ups, eye catching visuals and a memorable score. Jack The St.Ripper tries its own thing but stays true to what we want from a giallo. The film makes effective use of 80’s VHS visuals to give it a nostalgic look and feel while the camera work is elaborate and meticulous at bringing out the best of the environment lighting and facial features of the actors. Then we have an incredible and mesmerising soundtrack consisting of piano and synth which lifts the mood of the proceedings.

The film is an enjoyable and entertaining giallo which doesn’t take itself too seriously and deserves your undivided attention. The film knows what horror fans want and delivers when it needs to. The kill scenes are incredibly brutal (and beautiful) as the film showcases great practical effects at times. There are so many nice references thrown back to classic slasher films, from the first person point of view for the heavy breathing mysterious killer akin to Halloween (1978) to an amazing recreation of a iconic scene from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) but with a new spin!

The acting is done light heartedly for the most part but undoubtedly the star of the show is Chiara Pavoni (Xpiation, XXX Dark Web, III: Final Contagium) who yet again raises the bar and shines with another incredible performance. Pavoni has very much become a stamp of quality and class for independent horror films and this is no exception.

Jack The St.Ripper is an elaborate giallo film with plenty of twists and turns. It breaks away from linearity and gives the horror genre a much needed change of direction.

Score: 4/5

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