RIPPER: LETTER FROM HELL-Canada/United Kingdom-114 Mins. 2001
Directed by John E. Eyres
Story by John Curtis and Evan Tylor
Screenplay by Pat Bermel
There are three reasons as to why I should have liked Ripper: Letter from Hell:
Obviously it has something to do with Jack the Ripper.
It stars A.J. Cook; whom I admire in her role as Jennifer “JJ” Jareau on the CBS crime drama Criminal Minds.
The plot is interesting enough to hold my attention. Cook portrays Molly Keller; the sole survivor of an attack from a vicious killer. Five years later Molly is part of a class that studies and profiles serial killers that is presided over by Marshall Kane, himself the foremost authority on the subject. Molly is once again ultimately a victim as it appears the killer has returned to finish the job that he started. To make things worse he’s killing off her classmates by inflicting the exact same wounds that the original Jack the Ripper brought upon his victims in London’s Whitechapel district in 1888.
So what went wrong?
Cook is miscast in the role of Molly Keller. As much as I admire her as an actress I just didn’t buy the ‘don’t fuck with me because I’m a tough bitch’ attitude of the character.
Where the hell did they get the editor for Ripper: Letter from Hell? It’s like they told him to edit for a slasher film and he thought they said to edit for a porno film. The kill scenes are so close and in your face that I couldn’t tell what the hell was going on. I understand he’ll be editing Michael Bay’s next movie.
A ‘Molly is angry and frustrated and running in the rain/demolishing her room set to wonky movie music’ montage? What the hell?
Jürgen Prochnow and Bruce Payne chew through every scene that they are in. I thought my TV screen was going to have bite marks on it after this movie.
The killer is cutting up his victims exactly like Jack the Ripper cut up his? What, did he Google pictures of the victims and print them out to use as a reference at the crime scenes?
What are my final thoughts?
Ripper: Letter from Hell is a complete mess of a film that does absolutely nothing to contribute to either the horror/slasher genre or to the careers of its stars. A.J. Cook, Bruce Payne and Jürgen Prochnow would do well to strike this rat turd from their resume.
The name on the sailing boat Molly is seen on at the beginning of the film is ‘Mary Kelly’ referencing back to a Ripper victim.
To avoid a restrictive NC-17 rating in the USA, the reconstruction of the death of Mary Kelly’s roommate Ada was toned down considerably. In reality, this was a particularly gruesome murder.
Kelly Brook, Derek Hamilton and Emmanuelle Vaugier all subsequently appeared in the Need For Speed series.
A.J. Cook also appears in Mother’s Day and The Virgin Suicides.
Bruce Payne also appears in Passenger 57 and Dungeons & Dragons.
Emmanuelle Vaugier also appears in Saw II and 40 Days and 40 Nights.
Jürgen Prochnow also appears in Das Boot and The English Patient.