A private detective travels out west to investigate the murders of several prostitutes, facing off against the reluctance of the town's grizzled sheriff, and several suspicious characters, each with something to hide.
A paranoid, leisure-suit-wearing conman/gigolo named Matt Stone seduces lonely women, bilks them of their savings via an investment scam, then kills them. When he begins seeing an ... See full summary »
A woman searches for her missing lover, a psychiatrist who has suddenly vanished for no apparent reason. She ends up at a villa populated by a group of eccentric individuals. A string of murders commence immediately.
A mutilating knife wielding killer haunts the small Southwest desert town of Mescal. Though most victims have been prostitutes, the first was Travis Mescal, the only son of the town's first family. When the Sheriff proves unable to solve the case, the town leaders invite Investigator Burns to unravel the mystery. Along the way, he confronts tension with the Sheriff, trouble with some citizens, and finally a killer whose motive we've heard before in Ripper-lore.
Mescal is a small Southwest town where not too much happens, which keeps the local Sheriff (Jack Elam) happy. All of this changes when the local prostitutes turn up dead and the locals begin to fear that Jack the Ripper (or a copycat) might be committing the crimes.
This film is out there in two versions with the uncut one being the hardest to find, although it was released to Blu-ray by Code Red. This version here clocks in at 86-minutes and is the uncut theatrical version that went under the title of A KNIFE FOR THE LADIES. The film was much more widely available via countless public domain companies under the catchy title of JACK THE RIPPER GOES WEST but that version clocks in at just 51-minutes. After watching the uncut version I must admit that I would have given anything to see it cut down.
Man, where do you start with a film like this? This movie wants to be a Western, a horror picture, a murder-mystery and I think it also tries to have some black comedy as well. It tries to be a lot of things but sadly it doesn't do anything well and it in facts does nothing but waste the talents of Elam, Ruth Roman and Jeff Cooper. All three people are wasted in their rather silly roles, which is too bad because the idea behind the film is an interesting one and it should have made for a better picture.
The film really kills itself because it just doesn't do anything right. The horror elements are rather watered down and you never once care who the killer is. It also doesn't help that as a Western it feels a lot cheaper than those old B films from the 1930s. There's no sleaze or anything else to hold your attention and in fact the only thing that does hold your attention is just waiting to see how much worse it gets.
I'm not sure what all is missing in the cut version but I'd have to say it would be better to watch since the 86-minute cut just features non-stop dialogue scenes and is a real chore to sit through.
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