Thursday, May 03, 2007

I Want To Grow Up To Be A Ripperologist.

If I had known you could make a living as an expert on theories about Jack The Ripper I would have done so...are there many kids who don't love the story of Jack The Ripper growing up? Or am I just a real life sick puppy goth forever? I swear, I was such a shitty reader growing up that if it weren't for Jack The Ripper, comic books and science fiction...I probably never would have learned how to persevere dyslexia and read.

1) What do these three movies have in common besides the same directors? Well, pimps, prostitutes, ghettoes and urban violence. No wonder The Hughes Brothers were Ripperologists since they were kids. When they were old enough to hold a camera they made the fascinating documetary American Pimp. Johnny Depp in From Hell is my favourite Ripper movie. Not only is the movie wonderful and tragic, but the extras on the dvd make it a must own set. Just about everything you need to learn about making movies can be found on the extras, and just about everything on Ripperland too.
2) What could be more exciting than Sherlock Holmes on the trail of Jack The Ripper? Well, this movie, Murder By Decree has some amazing stars and a Freemason Conspiracy. The first time I saw this movie I was completely excited and blown away...and quite frightened...conspiracy, murder, innocent women, the royal family, adventure and Sherlock Holmes! Directed by Bob Clark R.I.P.(A Christmas Story, Black Christmas, Porky's) it was made in Canada at a time when a clever marriage between corporate investors and artists were pumping out some terrific movies and giving lots of people opportunities and jobs. (okay, there were some bad movies too...but Cronenberg made a lot of his explotation films then and the film scene was really up and coming and exciting in Canada for a couple of years) I am crazy about this movie and it features John Gielgud, Anthony Quayle, Christopher Plummer, James Mason, Susan Clark, Donald Sutherland and Genevieve Bujold. Although the movie From Hell was inspired by a graphic novel, it is much more like a remake of Murder By Decree.
3) Duke of Clarence, 1890. Cousin to a King, some claim he was The Ripper, and the reason for a cover-up.
4) Charles Warren, Head of Police in London during some of the Ripper murders. By now, the association and conspiracy theories of the Freemasons covering up the identity of the murderer are common. The root of these conspiracy theories was due to this cop being a Freemason.
5) Serial killers in the movies:
1960's-3 films
1970's-10 films
1980's-45 films
1990's-107 films

6) Study In Terror is one of the early versions of Sherlock Holmes meeting with Jack The Ripper and stars John Neville, Judi Dench and Anthony Qualye. It's good fun, plus, Frank Finlay, reprises his role as Inspector Lestrade in Murder By Decree1979 which he originally played in A Study In Terror in 1965..

7) Delightful movie imagining that Jack The Ripper snuck into H.G.Wells' time machine and went to the future and North America. Jack The Ripper says to H.G. Wells after they meet in San Francisco in 1974: "Ninety years ago I was a freak. Today I'm an amateur." The script was written by Nicholas Meyer who also wrote a novel and script called The Seven Percent Solution that has Holmes and Watson meet Freud in Vienna. Meyers has an amazing sense of characters and fun with both these revisionist histories. The movie Time After Time had Wells meet his second wife Amy Robbins in the future, a clever solution to why he was so supportive of feminism. Jack The Ripper sets the time machine to Novemember 5th. November 5th figures prominently in Back To The Future.

War and serial killers? This is a scene called "precious body fluids"... Sterling Hayden played General Jack D. Ripper in Kubrick's Dr. Stranglove.

8) Dr Thomas Neill Cream, a Montreal abortionist, perhaps the Ripper?

9) A butcher, a baker a candlestick artist? Walter Sickert an incredible painter in England became interested in The Camden Town Murder and made a few paintings based on the scene of the crime, or a coronor...the painting doesn't tell us which does it?
The Camden Town Murder, 1908, Walter Sickert.
Sickert, regarded by some as the greatest British painter between Turner and Bacon, has been linked to the murders before, but usually as an unwilling accomplice in a masonic conspiracy to cover up for the Duke of Clarence, Queen Victoria's dissolute grandson, whose passion for whoring in the East End left him with syphilis of the brain. The artist's name came into the frame when a man calling himself Joseph Sickert, and claiming the childless Sickert was his father, said the painter had confessed his part in the plot shortly before his death in 1942.(a book suggesting Lewis Caroll as the Ripper is Light Hearted Friend by Richard Wallace. A weak argument but fun read...could be a good idea for a future movie?
10) Songs about Jack The Ripper:
"Jack" - Iced Earth
"Jack the Ripper" - AFI
"Jack the Ripper" - Colin Meloy
"Jack the Ripper" - Fuzztones
"Jack the Ripper" - Gruesomes
"Jack the Ripper" - Judas Priest
"Jack the Ripper" - Link Ray
"Jack the Ripper" - Macabre
"Jack the Ripper" - Morrissey
"Jack the Ripper" - Motörhead
"Jack the Ripper" - My Chemical Romance
"Jack the Ripper" - Nick Cave
"Jack the Ripper" - One Way Streets
"Jack the Ripper" - Satelliters
"Jack the Ripper" - Screaming Lord Sutch
"Jack the Ripper" - Sons of Krypton
"Jack the Ripper" - Sun City Girls
"Jack the Ripper" - The Smiths
"Jack the Ripper" - The Horrors
"The Ripper" - Headboys
"The Ripper" - Judas Priest
11) Patricia Cornwall and Jack The Ripper
12) NEW THEORY! King of the Pimps Ripper in South Africa?
13) Scotland Yard

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!


Karen said...

I read about the King of the Pimps book yesterday and it sounds quite interesting. When it's released, I'll have to get my hands on a copy. All my knowledge of Jack the Ripper comes from the movies. Any recommendations for a good book on the subject?

L.M. said...

"the Duke of Clarence, Queen Victoria's dissolute grandson, whose passion for whoring in the East End left him with syphilis of the brain."

Syphilis: such a pretty word, and so much fun to catch. T'is a pity about the insanity.

Starrlight said...

Excellent TT! Did you read Patricia Cornwell's book on Jack? She is pro Sickert as well. I like your site a lot, I'll be back!

Candy Minx said...

Karen, I don't know one particular book...I suppose the Cornwall book might suit you. cornwall didn't come up with the idea that Sickert may have been the Ripper, but she spent tons of money and time in the 90's rounding off the idea.

L.M. Yes, I ran out for a swim before I finished this post...and was adding Duke you remember the theory and treatment for AIDS that it was actually a missed diagnose of syphilis untreated and mutated? It's amazing al the famous people who had syphilis isn't it?

Starrlight, I am kind of in the Montreal abortionist camp for the Ripper...not so much Sickert although he too would make a great character ina Ripper movie.

Anonymous said...

Yes it is quite interesting! From hell is one of my favourite Depp films, so mysterious and waht a character! When I visited ny cousin in London a few years ago he was living along the Thames in a waterfront condo at Limehouse. Nearbye within a good walking distant was an old pub in Whitechurch also along the river. This riverside pub was nestled in the centre of the jack the Ripper neighbourhood. It was cool because many of the laneways and alleys remained mostly unchanged from that time, poor dim street lights and old dockside warehouses with little canals to and fro. I imagined it like the times especially at night after we visited the pub!

Janet said...

#7: LOVE the quote! And wasn't there a bathtub scene with Depp in From Hell? Hmmm....

Anonymous said...

Fascinating list, Candy Minx! And what a hoot that so many groups have done songs about Jack the Ripper. And wow, Time after Time sounds like a really good movie. I love the book The Time Machine, and H.G. Wells was such an interesting, multi-faceted fellow.

Also interesting about the statistics per decade re: serial killers in the movies. I bet the 2000's will continue the trend 'cause there've been a heckuva lot of movies about serial killers made this decade -- I wonder how much higher the number will be?

Happy TT, and thanks for visiting mine! :)

Nancy said...

Looks like I will now have to add some of these movies to Netflix. Where do you come up w. these ideas?? This was so interesting.

Candy Minx said...

Tim there are so many things to visit in London, but I would be all over the Ripperfiles! Part of the obsession for fans with the Ripper is that the times were not so different than ours today. And...WHO would do this crime?

Janet...I'll have to go look for that bathtub scene to make a confirmation...hard work but I'll do it.

Thomma Lyn, those statisitcs were noticed in the interesting movie MURDER BY NUMBERS a documentary about the audience and stories of serial killer movies. I've probably seen about 20 such movies already in this decade. TIME AFTER TIME is going to look really 70's but the characters are so much fun, the plot holds up and you have something to look forward to.

Janet, good you will really like FROM HELL and MURDER BY DECREE...and all the Sherlock movies are always fun. Where do I come up with these ideas, I dunno...the story broke about the theory of a South African Ripper...and I love Ripper stories...and I like finding connections between subjects well there ya go...and anything to avoid housework.

Christine said...

I've had a huge interest in Jack the Ripper since I was a teen. I don't know why. When I went to London a few years ago the very first thing I did was go on a nighttime Jack the Ripper walking tour. It was amazing. You TT brought the memories.

Thanks hon!

Gardenia said...

Great post. Again, Candy Minx! Have you read Patricia Cornwell's book about Jack the Ripper? Very plausible.

Amy Ruttan said...

You can actually be a Ripperologist? Huh, I didn't know that.

What do I think about Jack the Ripper, he was intelligent. The way he murdered those women were precise and the incisions were well placed and clean.

Hmmmm, makes you wonder doesn't it.

Great addition.

Wylie Kinson said...

Ripperologist? hehehehe Are you making up words again, or is that for real?
I haven't seen the Depp movie. I'll keep a look out for it. And what's with all the songs?
Another well-researched and informative post Ms Minx. Thanks!

Tink said...

You always have such interesting subjects for your TT's! I've been to the London Dungeon; they have a Jack the Ripper wing.
Thanks for visiting my TT!

Red said...

You do have the most amazing T13s! They're always so beautifully researched and reach out in so many different directions. Bravo, Candy!

Of course, here in the UK we had our own modern version of the Ripper only a few months ago, in Ipswich, when five prostitutes were killed. They were all found naked and strangled (so, not exactly Ripper's work, but still...).

We also had a similar case in Italy between 1968 and 1985, except this guy killed couples who would drive into the woods for a little intimacy. He would shoot them and them cut the vagina and/or one of the breasts. I think he killed eight couples. They arrested several guys who allegedly acted together...

Wandering Coyote said...

I also have quite the fascination with Jack the Ripper. I liked From Hell with Depp, but my fave Ripper flick - or, in this case, TV miniseries - was the one with Michael Caine as Detective Aberline, also starring Jane Seymour, and Armand Assante. I remember it well because it was on for the 100th anniversary of the murders. It was very well done, but had a pretty big hole in it. If you haven't seen it, I won't spoil it for you by saying what it was.

Gardenia said...

I forgot to ask - who do you think "did it?" Next, why do you think prostitutes are so often murder victims? Opportunity, or psychology of the murderer? Recently one serial killer said they were the easiest targets, that's why.