Director: Skip Kite
Starring: Walt Kissack, Gary Sharkey, Ada, Lewis. UK. 1h 24m
Peter Sutcliffe has had a terrible reputation for a long time, and despite his feelings of remorse in this latter years public opinion hasn’t changed much. This drama is supposed to take you into the mind of one of the UK’s most notorious serial killers, using real archive footage it pieces together the biggest manhunt as well as dramatising Peters inner thoughts while he attempts to reflect internally.
To sum it up in one line, it’s accurate in terms of the timeline and events but it’s boring as fuck. A majority of the film sees the main star Walt Kissack badly disguised as Sutcliff wandering around his cell, moaning about everything and reflecting on his life. For a while I was in fear that someone was trying to suggest that maybe the Yorkshire Ripper wasn’t such a bad guy, Maybe it was his childhood or up bringing that drove him to this> but while interviews with serial killers can be interesting especially for an enthusiast like myself, it’s hard to find some fictional assumption about the killer all that thrilling.
Atmospherically it has something quaint about it, showing snippets about Peters urges while sucking down a pint and eyeing up women, but a majority of this is shot in his cell, repenting in tones of grey and brown, crucifixes and crosses litter most of the movie in fact a lot of the film is done in art-house sets, each sentimental and not really illustrating the horrific events in their true colours. A little bit more could be done on the costume, and maybe Walt wasn’t the best choice in actor with so very little under his belt.
It was just so frustrating because the movie doesn’t go anywhere, it doesn’t end up saying much and it’s purely about him without giving a huge amount of thought to the victims and their family, so dull and pointless. If you are craving something slightly connected to the Ripper but with more oooomph then check out the Red Riding Trilogy it’s outstanding.