A Knife for the Ladies (1974)

A Knife for the Ladies (1974) movie poster

director Larry G. Spangler
viewed: 02/11/2017

To be fair to Larry G. Spangler and A Knife for the Ladies, what I actually watched was titled Jack the Ripper Goes West, an apparently truncated version of A Knife for the Ladies. And arguably not truncated enough.

Because Jack the Ripper Goes West is a real chore of a film, even at less than an hour in length. The title is great and all, the kind of thing you’d wish was actually the concept of the film. But it’s not.

This is a Western with a sort of mystery plot with Jack Elam as the incompetent sheriff of the town of Mescal where a series of murders of women start taking place. Because Jack the Ripper, if it were him (or any other serial murderer of the day) can hide in the crowds of a big city but in a small town of a finite group of people, would doubtlessly stick out like a sore thumb.

Actually, there is red herring in the form of the barber/undertaker who seems to have a thing against “whores”, but really the best thing is the bizarre twist at the end where Ruth Roman’s hubby turns out to be a syphilis-ridden psycho in a cage while the word “Syphilis!” is shouted once or twice in shock.

A lot of tedium for very little joy.

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