Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Friday, June 7, 2013


Jack's Back (1988)

This is jumping forward in the 80's a bit, but is still in the time when James Spader and Cynthia Gibb in a movie meant that you might enjoy it. Just kidding, that never happened.

There have been good, even great, movies about Jack The Ripper. This is not one of them. About the only thing it has with JTR is that some nutjob is timing murders to coincide with 'anniversaries' of the JTR murders. Duh. 

Nowadays using a scalpel to slice up a victim is as ho hum as... well, as watching some guy in a denim outfit with a cordless drill. This was a chance for James Spader to play not one, but two interesting characters. He fails fails. Cynthia Gibb, cute as a button (it is the 80's) also fails to convince she could be a doctor. Sorry sweetie, you couldn't convince me you were a candy striper.

So there's these two cutsie doctors who want to help those who can't afford health care otherwise. In other words, this is fiction and in no way applicable today. One of those doctors, John, is concerned when the JTR murders start, then becomes a suspect himself (they keep saying, I never saw evidence of it), that is, until he is killed. Thus James Spader's character #1 bites the dust. 

Now, coincidentally (and stupidly), within TWO BLOCKS of the place where he dies lives his TWIN BROTHER who he apparently has nothing to do with. THIS James Spader named Rick, (Rick... wait, who names twin brothers John and Rick?) had just woken from a nasty nightmare, having 'seen' his brother die. Oh brother. He RUNS to the scene of the crime, opens the ambulance and checks out the body - John's brother. And here is where I start to tune out 'cause c'mon, this is stupid past stupid.

Why was John murdered? He suspected a guy of committing the murders. Why? The guy's name is Jack. That's about it. No joke. Really, I WISH I was kidding. So Jack kills John but is he really trying to be JTR?

While Spader #1 was a one note doctor with flat hair, Spader #2 is a one note nothing with blow dried hair and a cute li'l scar on his face, you know, so you don't think he's #1. DUUUUUUH.

So tangle in a psychiatrist who tries to help Rick through hypnosis (Robert Picardo, woefully underused), a nosy Cynthia Gibb insisting on following him around, and a supposed twist ending and you have a decent mystery, right? Right?

Well, there are two things wrong with that hope. One, this script sucked big time. And there is debate in how the original movie actually went. The version I saw showed that under hypnosis, Rick sees his brother hung (sorry, failed to mention that 'Jack' put a rope around his neck and hauled him up) but suddenly notices that in a corner a man (one of the other doctors I guess) was smiling at the whole thing. AHA! Rick runs to take the man down... uh, how the hell did he know where to find him? Sigh.

BUT there are people who swear this is NOT how the movie went originally. Their claim is that Rick goes to  his psych who reaches for his gun (as he did in the one I saw which was not explained at all) and there is a big brawl 'cause gee whiz, it was the psych who did it.... and all the stuff after was not even in existence. That would make more sense - if I gave half a damn about this movie which I did not.

I think I'll steer away from the 80's for a bit and tackle some foreign films. Right now girls with grudges and greasy long hair hissing at people seems a lot more fun than this sludge.