Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 18th, 2008
Theatrical Release Dates: Japan, July 7th, 1976
Director: Yasuharu Hasebe
Cast: Yoko Azusa, Yutaka Hayashi, Tamaki Katsura, Midori Mori, Rei Okamoto, Nahomi Oka, Luna Takamura, Yuri Yamashina, Natsuko Yashiro, Akiko Yoshii
DVD released: March 21st, 2007
Approximate running time: 72 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital mono Japanese
DVD Release: Geneon/Nikkatsu
Region Coding: Region 2 NTSC
Retail Price: 3800 yen
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.
Assault! Jack the Ripper is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original 2.35:1 scope photography. The source material used for this transfer looks pretty good for a film that is over thirty years old. Colors look nicely saturated and flesh tones look dead on. Details look sharp throughout and edge enhancement is very minor. One audio option has been included for this release a Dolby Digital mono mix in Japanese. Unfortunately there are no English subtitles. The audio sounds clean and there are no audio defects. Dialog is clear and the mix sounds evenly balanced throughout.
Extras for this release are limited to the film’s original theatrical trailer (in Japanese) and a four page booklet which is also only in Japanese. Over the last few years Geneon has released hundreds of Nikkatsu’s Pinku Eiga films on DVD. Assault! Jack the Ripper is another first rate release from Geneon that is on par quality wise with their other Pinku Eiga releases. Unfortunately until a English friendly version of Assault! Jack the Ripper comes along Geneon DVD release is the best option currently available for those who want to see this film.