Thursday, July 24, 2014

GUEST POST: "How Many Cigarettes Can You Smoke During the Course of a Movie?!” OR “Jack’s Back.”

DISCLAIMER: The Following Information Is for Entertainment Purposes Only. 100% Medically (and Factually) Inaccurate, (contrary to what the Centipede told you). I’m also gonna be throwing some spoilers at you, seeing as how this movie is almost old enough to buy/drink alcohol or at least buy it for some ornery tweens… 

Greetings, True Believers!

AH YES it’s good to be BACK! I must give much thanks to my TWIN BROTHER, the good Dr. Terror himself, for once again allowing THE GROCKLE (that’s me) to grace his awesome blog with my insane ramblings & rantings about movies… Please allow me to bleed a few words of unvaluable wisdumb into the minds of you, his followers. 

"They calls me James Spaderp-Derp
Today, we’re going to talk about the film “Jack’s Back”, a sort-of-crime-thriller-mystery-drama –horror-cigarette -commercial. I discovered this film on NetFlix (instant) and had been ‘eye-balling’ it for some time now (like 2-3 minutes) and finally decided to check it out…Straight outta the 80’s (1988 to be precise), this film centers around a series of murders in L.A. that closely mirror those of the famed “Jack the Ripper” from exactly 100 years ago back in London or in France or in someone’s underpants.

This flick stars a very young, attractive and I believe pre-Star Gated James Spader. Spader plays (soon to be) Dr. John Wesford, a young , attractive and obviously fashion-conscious doctor who seems very goodhearted and concerned about his community. He's working in a free clinic to get his internship hours in or whatever doctors do before they become real doctors. 

At first, we're meant to believe that John is the copycat killer – and it kinda makes sense because you see how sweet and genuine he is in the public eye and you just know that as soon as the lights go out he's gonna make some huge Jekyll & Hyde transformation into the killer. Yeah... not so much.

*SPOILER ALERT* (Pretty much from here on out LOL)

Not only is John NOT the copycat killer, he's not even the main character for the entirety of the movie. He manages to get himself killed by this goofy guy.

This is a coworker of John's who we (kinda) believe is the actual copycat killer. His name IS Jack. John runs into Jack after he's performed a do-it-yourself-at-home abortion on a woman who eventually turns out to be the last ripper victim. Believing Jack to be the killer, John tries to inform the police but gets taken out by Jack before he can talk to them. The police believe that John was the killer and apparently commited suicide after the last of the ripper murders. The cops didn’t know that goofy Dr Dorkenstein was the person who actually killed john.

We THEN learn that John has an identical twin brother, Richard, who's much cooler and scruffier and edgier and all this other good stuff. Richard has a nightmare about John's murder and sees it through John's eyes. So now the movie becomes Richard's journey as he tries to find John's killer and the person actually responsible for the ripper murders.

Confused yet?

I swear this movie's so confusing it's tough for me to make fun of it. Rotten Tomatoes explains it better than I can: “The "Jack" who's "back" in this contemporary chiller is none other than Jack the Ripper. The scene is Los Angeles: the time is August of 1988, exactly 100 years after the Ripper's original reign of terror in Whitechapel. When several LA prostitutes turn up murdered and disemboweled, young physician James Spader is accused of emulating Spring Heel'd Jack. Before the film is half over, Spader is killed, and so far as the police are concerned, the case is closed. But then, Spader's twin brother appears on the scene, determined to track down the genuine culprit (if it doesn't turn out to be him, that is!).”
What I will say is this: This movie should come with a Surgeon General's Warning about the hazards of smoking.

Even secondary characters like Dr. Carlos Battera, the criminal psychologist on the case, played by
Robert Picardo, smoke...

“Everybody smokes. Nobody quits. You don't smoke a cigarette I'll kill you myself.”

All things being equal, I can think of worse ways to spend 92 minutes. The video & sound quality are sort of rough, at least in the NetFlix streamability of this movie. I'm sure VHS or Beta Max could give you a little higher definition.

If you enjoy watching 80's James Spader and Robert Picardo smoke for an hour and a half, give this flick a watch. It's a pretty good movie if you don't mind being confused. I would have liked to see more gore in it. It also didn't really tie back to the original ripper murders as much as I'd hoped. Overall though, it has some good creepy atmosphere and a few plot twists that would have surprised you in 1988.


Casey Wong (I doubt that's his real name) of Robocop fame also plays the newscaster in this movie.
See if you can spot him!

Thank You for your kind attention!


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