Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 19th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, July 7th, 1976
Director: Yasuharu Hasebe
Writer: Chiho Katsura
Cast: Yoko Azusa, Yutaka Hayashi, Tamaki Katsura, Midori Mori, Rei Okamoto, Nahomi Oka, Luna Takamura, Yuri Yamashina, Natsuko Yashiro, Akiko Yoshii
DVD released: October 28th, 2008
Approximate running time: 72 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Japanese
DVD Release: Mondo Macabro
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: A young man is unable to get aroused or please his woman without violently murdering women.
Director Yasuharu Hasebe started his career as an assistant director under the guidance of the legendary Seijun Suzuki. He worked his way into the director’s chair in 1966 with the film Black Tight Killers. He would direct three films in the highly influential series Stray Cat Rock (Delinquent Girl Boss, Sex Hunter and Machine Animal) and the last Female Prisoner Scorpion film (#701’s Grudge Song) for Toei. In the mid and later parts of the 1970’s Yasuharu Hasebe would go on to become one of the prominent director’s making Pinku Eiga films for Nikkatsu. Yasuharu Hasebe’s first three Pinku Eiga films Rape!, Assault! Jack the Ripper and Rape! 13th Hour where all box office hits for Nikkatsu.
Assault! Jack the Ripper is hands down director Yasuharu Hasebe most disturbing films. It is also one of the most violent Pinku Eiga’s ever made. The plot revolves around two restaurant employees who start a torrid love affair that revolves around murdering women for sexual arousal. The tone of this film is not as sexual or romantic as one would expect from a Pinku Eiga film. The film relies heavily on its brutal and bloody set pieces where woman are carved up before being finished off by a knife in their private parts. Throughout the film one can see and feel the influence that western exploitation cinema of the 1970’s especially the Giallo had on this film.
The film’s title Assault! Jack the Ripper is kind of a misnomer as the killings are mostly done as a pair and not until later in the does the male lover venture out on his own to kill. The killers’ use of a knife that is jammed into his victims’ private parts suggests the weapon has become his sexual organ. Visually this is another superb feast for the eyes from director Yasuharu Hasebe that is filled with plenty of carnage and mayhem. The score for Assault! Jack the Ripper features jazzy riff laden motifs. The depiction of violence towards women is not for the faint of heart. The violence in the film escalates as the plot progresses. The ending is an orgy of blood lust and carnage. Ultimately Assault! Jack the Ripper is a nasty delicacy that pushes the boundaries of the Pinku Eiga genre like no other film that has come before or after it.
Mondo Macabro presents Assault! Jack the Ripper in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Colors look robust and flesh tones look natural throughout. Black levels are strong and details look razor sharp. This progressive flagged transfer looks amazing throughout.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in Japanese and removable English subtitles have been included. Overall the audio is in good shape as dialog is clear and there are no audio defects.
Extras for this release include trailers for Watcher in the Attic, Naked Rashomon, the Sins of Sister Lucia, Assault! Jack the Ripper, Female Prisoner: Caged and the Mondo Macabro preview trailer which includes clips from titles they have currently released or about to release. Also included with this release are two essay’s one about Nikkatsu Studios and the other about Assault! Jack the Ripper. Both text pieces are written by Pete Tombs. Other extras include an eight and ½ minute interview with Jasper Sharp who discusses Assault! Jack the Ripper, Nikkatsu’s Roman Porno’s and director Yasuharu Hasebe. The main extra include with this release is a twenty four minute documentary titled “The Erotic Empire”. This documentary includes comments from actress Kozuko Shirakawa, Jasper Sharp author of “Behind the Pink Curtain”, director Seijin Suzuki, film critic Toshiyuki Matsushima and artist/filmmaker Romaine Slocombe. This documentary gives a well rounded overview of the Nikkatsu Roman Porno genre. This release from Mondo Macabro’s marks for the first time that Assault! Jack the Ripper has been released on DVD with English subtitles. In 2007 there was region 2 Japanese release from Geneon that was not English language friendly. Overall Mondo Macabro gives Assault! Jack the Ripper is an exceptional release that come with a first rate audio/video presentation and an abundance of extras.