Rippers Revenge Poster

Ripper’s Revenge (2023) Review

Steve Lawson (Bram Stoker’s Van Helsing, KillerSaurus) is back, and he’s brought Jack the Ripper with him. Ripper’s Revenge is the sequel to 2021’s Ripper Untold, and yet another of his period pieces that are heavy on dialogue-filled interior scenes and low on anything that involves going outside.

Picking up a year after the events of the first film, Stubb (Chris Bell, Dragon Kingdom, The Heiress) has fallen on hard times without the Ripper to provide him with a source for stories. He’s shacked up with Iris (Rachel Warren, The Last Heist, Tribal Get Out Alive) a working girl who is not happy about his diminished income or his backing out of a promise of marriage.

And then Stubb finds a letter in his jacket pocket claiming to be from Saucy Jack himself, telling him where he can find his latest victim. Since he was the one who wrote the original letters, he’s sure it’s a prank. Much to his surprise, he does indeed find the dead woman, just as described in the letter.

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With a brief flash of breasts and a victim’s slit throat in the first act, I had some hopes that Lawson had moved away from the poor man’s Masterpiece Theater style of his other historical films. I admit it takes balls to shoot a war film like Saltwater: The Battle for Ramree Island without any battle scenes and only three Japanese soldiers, but that doesn’t make the results fun to watch.

Unfortunately, Ripper’s Revenge quickly goes back to that style with the police, in the form of Inspector Wingate (Carl Wharton, The Tombs, Wuthering Heights), suspecting Stubb of the killings. Stubb also has to contend with his inner conflict between trying to solve the crimes and exploiting them for all they’re worth. That’s further complicated by Iris’ insisting he make bank off of the killings despite the fact her job makes her a likely candidate for Jack’s attention.

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We see a black-gloved figure have a drink in a fancy house before picking up a knife, but the number of ladies of the night who find themselves dead by dawn is quite small. And those killings are rather dull affairs, the viewer gets to hear screaming and see a bit of blood splatter and maybe the corpse. That’s still an improvement over hearing that there’s been a killing, but not by much.

At about the hour mark Ripper’s Revenge makes a huge blunder by revealing the killer’s identity, not that it was hard to guess. From there on the film rapidly falls apart in a series of not so surprising twists and revelations starting with the killer’s motive and following an easy to guess course right to the end credits.

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Ripper’s Revenge claims to be a horror film, complete with poster quotes about “ghastly murders” from a website that’s down and whose social media accounts haven’t been updated in over a year. What Lawson has delivered is a talky mystery with a side order of debate about journalistic ethics and a reminder that the upper class is so much better and smarter than us mere peons.

While Ripper’s Revenge does have a bit more going for it in terms of what’s on-screen than Ripper Untold, it also lacks what made that film watchable, a solid script and dialogue. And a couple of mild gore effects can’t make up for the poor story and heavy-handed dialogue. Rather than the step up I hoped it would be, it’s actually a large step in the other direction.

Ripper’s Revenge is available on DVD and Digital Platforms from High Fliers Films. If you’re looking for something similar, but hopefully better, FilmTagger can make some suggestions.

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