Someone is going around brutally murdering young female models. The only connection between the victims seems to be that they have all had pictures taken by the same photographer at the same photo studio. As the dead bodies continue to pile up the police can’t help but wonder if someone who works at the studio is responsible for the murders. Is it the guy that owns the studio, his weird business partner, the angry delivery girl who seems to hate ever y other human being on the planet, or someone entirely different who just has some sort of grudge in general against models?
Night Ripper! (notice that the filmmakers made sure to include an exclamation point at the end of it so you have to yell the title of it at the top of your lungs like I do) may not be the best movie to have come out of the 80’s, but it is a great film to watch with a group of friends while you entertain them with your Mystery Science Theater 3000-like comments. I wanted to like it, I really, really, did as I thought that it sounded like it had the potential to be quite good, but it suffers from a number of problems that nearly made it unwatchable for me.
I honestly think that if I hadn’t had a group of friends over that I wouldn’t have been able to have finished it if I had attempted to watch it by myself. It has some terrible acting, silly characters, scenes that are either way too long or just pointless in general, and several other problems. I usually hate it when the people I am watching a movie with keep making smart ass comments about the film and try to pretend that they are as witty as Joel, Mike, Servo, and Crow, but it really didn’t bother me this time around. If you are more entertained by the comments being made about a movie that you are watching than the actual movie itself then there is definitely a problem (or in this case, a lot of problems).
I think that one of the main problems I had with the movie was that it just seemed a little half-assed all around. The plot was generic and unoriginal, the writing was lazy, the acting was pretty much phoned in for the most part, and I figured out who the killer was without having to think very hard about it at all, so if you are looking for a movie with a mystery with a lot of twists and turns you may want to watch something else. I know that the filmmakers had a limited budget and other resources, but come on now! Just because you have a micro-budget it doesn’t mean that you can’t write a kick ass script that really catches the viewers’ attention and makes them overlook the fact that you didn’t have a lot of money to put into the production.
The camera shots are lazy as hell too and are basically all just point and shoot, so anyone who watches it will know right away that that it wasn’t directed by someone who was too concerned about how well the movie was going to look in the end. I don’t mind if a movie is low budget. As a matter of fact, I prefer low budget movies. When you are lazy and just don’t care about the movie and as a result don’t put any effort into it and just make it to make money (like Hollywood does on a daily basis) then I do mind. There is no excuse for being lazy when it comes to making a movie.
Another issue that I had with the movie is the fact that it is just plain boring. This movie is called Night Ripper!, and as suck I expected tons and tons of violent death scenes that featured a load of gore and gallons of blood. Do we get any of that? Nope. We get a couple of okay-looking death scenes (the first one is actually pretty damn good), but after that they are all pretty much the same, and it bored the hell out of me as a result. I mean I love a good stabbing as much as anyone else, but when you do it pretty much the same way over and over and over again each time it gets very boring very fast. Instead of the boring subplot (that pretty much goes nowhere) with the photographer and his fiancée who keeps cheating on him the filmmakers could have focused on either including more scenes with a variety of different murders or working on the mystery surrounding the identity of the killer so that the viewer wouldn’t figure it out as soon as the person shows up on camera. I am not saying that movies have to be complete and total non-stop action the entire time, but they at least need to have something slightly interesting going on to hold my attention while I am watching them, and this is something that Night Ripper! didn’t do for the most part.
I was pretty let down by Night Ripper! I was expecting it to be a fun low budget 80’s slasher flick that I would have a blast with. I thought I was in for scene after scene of people being slaughtered in a variety of cool ways while I had fun trying to figure out the killer’s identity. I was wrong on all these assumptions. Unless you are a fan of Larry Thomas (who was the Soup Nazi on Seinfield) then there really is no real reason to watch this movie. I have a hard time recommending it unless you enjoy getting together with friends to watch bad movies and make fun of them. Check it out if it sounds like your thing, but keep in mind I have a pretty high threshold for bad movies and even I suffered through this one.
Night Ripper (1986)