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THE RIPPER (1985) – Episode 212 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“You see my dear, immortality exacts a handsome price. Both for those who must claim it and those who must pave the way.” Seems like a simple equation. Join your faithful Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr  – as they check out Tom Savini as the ripper in this straight-to-video effort, The Ripper (1985).

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 212 – The Ripper (1985)

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An old antique ring turns a college professor into a homicidal maniac when he puts it on. The ring originally belonged to Jack the Ripper, and the Ripper’s spirit possesses whoever wears it.


The Ripper caught Chad’s eye as it had many times on the video rental store shelf, but this time he went for it. The verdict? He’s never seen such a long, drawn-out movie where entire scenes were of no use and were stretched out for no reason. He chose this movie for the 80s Grue Crew because of the presence of Tom Savini, who plays the title character, but he wasn’t enough to outweigh the bad.

Bill also loves Tom Savini, but not this film in which even the padding is padded and long dialogue scenes go nowhere. On the plus side, the effects work is fairly well done for lowbudget gore. Agreeing with Chad and Bill, Jeff describes the script as mundane with very bad jokes. He likes the general idea of the story but the execution needed to capitalize on that idea is missing from The Ripper.

If you’re a Savini completist or just want to see what the 80s Grue Crew is talking about, at the time of this writing, The Ripper can be streamed from Tubi and Screambox.

Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Jeff, will be The Deadly Spawn (1983), filmed in artist Tim Hildebrandt’s house and featuring the effects of John Dods!

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.