Twists of fury: Ripper
In this feature, Vegan Voorhees examines those jaw-dropping revelations that the slasher film loves to bat our way from the blue, like a pushy parent tossing softballs at a kid who doesn’t want to learn baseball.
This week, we look at the frankly bizarre last few minutes of Ripper: Letter from Hell. If you haven’t already scratched your head over it, beware yon SPOILERS that lie in the road.
Set Up: Criminal psychology students are done in by a loon aping the crimes of Jack the Ripper. The more they investigate the deaths of their friends, the closer to final girl-cum-survivor-of-earlier-massacre Molly the murders come…
Twist: Molly is the killer. Then she’s delusional and thinks she’s in 1888. Then she’s in a psych ward.
Problems with this revelation:
There’s no specific list of faults with the ending of Ripper, only that it piles on additional revelations like a fat guy at an all you can eat breakfast buffet:
- The detective tells Molly that the Professor is the killer.
- The names of the victims contrivedly match the initials of the Ripper’s victims and spell out ‘Teacher’.
- Molly has flashbacks indicating she is the killer. And didn’t realise.
- She stabbed the killer in the hand at the beginning – the detective wears gloves. Nobody else does.
- Molly thinks she’s the reincarnation of the Jack the Ripper.
- Molly thinks it’s 1888.
- Molly wakes up screaming strapped to a hospital bed.
So, which is it? And who would go to so much trouble to group together students with initials that match Jack the Ripper’s victims? Why is requisite weirdo Aaron not included on the list? Why does he turn up at the cabin?
Likely explanation: On the DVD commentary track, John Eyres says he “didn’t get the end he wanted” due to budgetary constraints. Or the script wasn’t thought out all too clearly.
There’s a decent theory on the IMDb message boards about the Detective being the actual killer. Don’t expect the sequel to clear any of it up either, it only makes matters worse.