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January 17th, 2017

ASSAULT! JACK THE RIPPER (1976) ** ½

A surly waitress asks a meek cook for a ride home in a rainstorm. During the downpour, they accidentally kill a crazy hitchhiker with his car. The waitress helps him dispose of the body in a nearby junkyard and when they arrive home, they have hot, passionate sex together. After a time, they realize they can no longer have sex unless they kill a woman right before, so they go out and search for more female victims.

Assault! Jack the Ripper starts off like a variation on Crash before abruptly switching gears and becoming a serial killer couple movie. Early on, we get a great WTF scene with the nutty hitchhiker in which she smears wedding cake all over her naked body and tries to attack the couple with a razor blade. This is exactly the sort of bizarre sequence that will make any jaded exploitation movie fan sit up and take notice.

Once our “hero” settles on a particular method of disposing of his victims (by stabbing women in their genitalia), the film becomes decidedly less fun. Sure, there is a wild scene that takes place in a graveyard (and includes a deadly 69), but the death scenes quickly become repetitive (which, I guess is to be expected from a serial killer, but still). At least the running time is a mercifully short seventy-one minutes. That way the film never quite wears out its welcome, although it comes perilously close to doing so in the final reel.

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