Wednesday, May 30, 2007

JACK THE RIPPER GOES WEST

Okay, I have seen my share of weird before, but this may take the proverbial cake. I know what the picture to the left says, but I saw it under the nom de plume of JACK THE RIPPER GOES WEST. Seems that there's a knife wielding maniac in the town of Mescal and he's slashing up the small amount of hookers in town. He started with Travis Mescal, the son of the founding father of the town, but now just likes to slice and dice the ladies.
The townsfolk are sick of it and call in private eye Burns, played by the magnificent Jeff Cooper. He brings his high brow detective skills to town and sheriff Jack Elam, that's right I said Jack Elam, wants none of it. Of course, after the two of them have a fist fight they are the closest of friends and decide to team up to find the killer. What follows may well be the most convoluted plot in the history of film and when all is said and done there is very little, alright nothing, to do with Jack The Ripper.
What can I say? Sure, this flick is a muddled mess, but we get Jack Elam and Jeff Cooper. Jeff Cooper! Is there nothing this man can't do? From the fighter who learns the true secrets of the universe in CIRCLE OF IRON to the uber wise mystic from Mexico in KALIMAN. Now he's the detective in a western hunting down a killer in a small western town. The man is the ultimate example of cool even in this piece of dreck.
The director, one Larry G. Spangler is probably more famous for being involved with the God awful LEGEND OF NIGGER CHARLEY and it's sequel THE SOUL OF NIGGER CHARLEY with the one and only Fred Williamson. It was a time when Blaxploitation was in full bloom and the establishment knew it and made as many rip offs as they could muster in a short period of time, regardless of how bad they were.
So, in the end JACK THE RIPPER GOES WEST, while unique for trying to be a western slasher flick, fails miserably. There is minimal blood, although the slit throats look pretty good, no boobies which is an abomination when it comes to slasher flicks, but we get Jeff Cooper in all his glory. The sad part is I could not find a decent picture of Mr. Cooper anywhere on the net. Go get Circle Of Iron or Kaliman to see how cool this guy was.
I did find that it funny that the killings stop the minute Burns gets to town and the whole thing lapses into a western for a while with some subplot about the local saloon owner trying to be sheriff and then it jumps back onto the slasher aspect at the end to get it done with. Oh, and the end? You will never see this particularly twisted finale coming. Not a chance.

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