Saturday, September 26, 2015

Monster of London City, Jack the Ripper German Style

Shot in Berlin, set in modern day London, 1964's "Monster of London City" (aka "Das Ungeheuer von London-City") is a stylish and graphic horror story.  The lighting will remind you of "The Third Man" and the neat musical score is right out of a 1960s Jazz club. It is a different century but Jack the Ripper (...or someone with incredible knowledge of the 19th Century fiend)  is murdering beautiful ladies of the night in fog strewn alleys of Whitechapel.  Directed by Edwin Zbonek, this horror story is also a fine mystery with no shortage of suspects which will have you changing your mind every few minutes as to who the killer is.
Prostitutes are being strangled and mutilated in London the same way Jack the Ripper disposed of them.  Coincidentally, in it's sixth month of sell-outs, the play "Jack the Ripper" is all the rage. The star, Richard Sand (Hansjorg Felmy) went to great lengths to study the Ripper's methods, including the exact way he cut up his victims.  Sand's GF Ann (Marianna Koch) is beautiful and the daughter of Sir George (Fritz Tillman).  George is the Tipper Gore of London and wants to ban the play because the sex and violence it poses unhealthy influences for his constituents.  Uh-oh!  George has a secret compartment in his study in which he changes into a black cloak every night a murder occurs.  Is he the ripper?  Or is that too easy? Ann and Richard fall deeper into love. displeasing Sir George.  Richard's best fiend, and Ann's old BF, Michael Dietmar Schonherr) is none to happy about losing Ann, and is also the police doctor/coroner.
The murders continue, each lady strangled and cut from the head all the way down to the {CENSORED}. Eek! It appears Richard has a history of drug addiction and spent some time in a sanitarium.  Furthermore, Richard begins having black-out spells instead of alibis as the murders occur.  Ann stays by Richard, though her choice may get her dissected. Scotland Yard is quickly putting clues together, and develop Richard as their #1 suspect.  In a fury of madness and murder, the last 30 minutes will send you reeling. With plenty of pretty damsels in great distress, mutilated corpses, and a plethora of suspects, "Monster of London City" is a must see.
In the same year as this film was made, Ms. Koch would also star in "A Fistful of Dollars" with Clint Eastwood. Euro-horror all the way with a touch of eroticism that probably permeated the world of the real Jack the Ripper, this film gets an A+ for atmosphere.  Hard to find but I purchased the DVD at a reasonable price through Amazon.

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