Night Ripper (1986)


Produced, Written & Directed by: Jeff Hathcock


James Hansen .... David
April Anne .... Jill Reagen
Larry Thomas .... Mitch Bentley
April Audia .... Janet
Simon De Soto .... Detective
Danielle Louis .... Karen Clarke

Release Date: Direct-to-Video: 1986



A mysterious killer stalks and slays away models after they do a shoot at a studio run by Mitch Bentley (Larry Thomas) in which Detective Bernie (Simon De Soto) questions both him and his assistant David (James Hansen) wondering if they're behind the madness.


There's a beginning with a model entering her home and is spoken to Mitch Bentley by telling her that it's not safe to be walking home at night and acting creepy towards her as this was supposed to have looked spooky and mysterious but looked pretty amateurish as I had a feeling I was in for a real bad film but it does improve as the story processes.
Next up an interesting moment when someone knocks at her door and she answers with someone in wearing black gloves handing her a rose and then taking a stab at her which is impressive for a slasher flick.

A nice moment with Jill Reagan introducing herself to David and wanting to do a photo session as well as him falling for her which looked impressive and quite uplifting as well as later on him instructing her on how to pose and things like that which looked good and natural on the direction of this and their nice interactions.
Perfect situation with another model in a vehicle making out with her boyfriend and then she has to head inside to her home which leaves a feeling that the killer will do her in next as there's badly shot pics on her face being stabbed which doesn't really show the knife plunging in probably due to a lack of a budget but the results looked impressive.
Impressive situation when Janet is asked to take pictures to Jill and she is excited to do this along with her handing them at her home and coming on strong towards her as this leaves an impression that this person is a lesbian and Jill herself gets turned off by this and slams the door on her face which offered good timing.
An attention grabber during a situation when Mitch is developing pictures and his fiance Karen Clarke is calling him and we see another man in her bed as this leaves a clue that she's untrustworthy and cheating on him too. Plus other situations on her calling him and she's taking a bath which is of course impressive to have a moment like that in a horror film.
Also a good moment when someone is following him in his car and he stops this person which is a lustful looking woman and shows him pictures of his fiancee having an affair which works well into the story.
Plus a well done situation when he calls Karen up on a pay phone and tell her they're through as well as trying to convince her to stay on the phone but is short with her as this leaves a nice tension to everything.
Nice situation with David talking to Jill and getting romantic with her convincing her to go out with him as the moments were put together in a nice fashion when we see this scene unravel.
Nice situation with a sleazy businessman Jerry Thomas getting it on with a model and her telling him that he will tell his wife on what they did and him smacking her. Although the abuse didn't look convincing things really looked sticky when he gets nasty with her and being forceful towards her on what will happen to her. Plus a good moment with the killer coming in and about to kill her and her screaming. It looked a bit cheesy to watch but fun at the same time. The slashings looked well done.
Perfect slick moment when Karen is in David's suite when she tries to be charming to him and he refuses what she has to say but offers a drink of wine and a perfect moment when he goes to get a corkscrew she calls up Jill telling her a lie on him trying to strip her down as this is a perfect moment of tension by trying to break the two of them up and making him miserable. This was a great scene for the film.
Nice near chilling moment when Karen is walking to her car and drops her keys and a creepy guy picks it up for her and she slowly takes them from her as you get more of a sinking feeling that when she gets into her vehicle something is going to happen to her which in most cases in slasher films they often do.
Impressive moments when David is in a police headquarters office and Detective Bernie and his sidekick are questioning him on the murder of his ex which seemed to be necessary to put into the story and making you wonder if he's a suspect to the murders happening to these models.
Uplifting situation when Jill comes to David's suite and realises that what was told was a lie which offers a nice uplifting moment and having a good feeling as their discussions looked greatly done.
Great moment when Janet is with her lover and then is upset about her past sobbing in which this is a real attention drawer by what she was saying making the moments mysterious as well as really making you wonder if she is behind some of the cases in the film.
Things get rolling nicely when Mitch is alone in a room with Janet and there's mannequin's surrounding them as well as the confronting and aggressive situations between the two of them which looked perfectly intense and leavesa sinking feelin that something deadly is going to happen and the killer will be revealed soon enough.
More perfect situations when Jill is in the room later on and pitted against the killer weakedly speaking towards her in which you cringe greatly wondering if she will be okay or not as well as her running away and hiding behind some of the mannequin's hoping to be safe which looked creepy while this maniac tries to find her.
Bottom line is that this film you could tell was made on a home video camera but at the time expensive one's yet at the same time it was a no budgeter made for video release. However isn't a terrible story in which a film can be entertaining if it's done right. Things seem too obvious though on who th ekiller really is as there needed some improvements but it's a movie so bad it's good. Can be fun to watch if you're in the mood for it otherwise if you're looking for something better then this one isn't for you.

Some of the performance is okay and some of it isn't so let's see what is what here ..... James Hansen (David) seemed to breeze thorugh his part in a fair fashion in which he comes across perfectly as a clean cut guy next door with a positive attitude as he pulls this off convincingly. Also really knew on how to show that he is attracted to someone during a certain scene showing some nice spunk into behaving this way. Also offered a nice charm to his behavior and knew on how to act romantic. Shows off a good stern and short behavior in another scene when ending a relationship on the phone in which he made this look very believeable.
April Anne
(Jill Reagen) really shined off well with her accent as well as showing a perfect innocence to her part in which she definetely knew on how to portray a nice girl in this flick. Also had the nice attractive looks without looking too lustful. She really studied her part well and presented herself nicely. Also does a good job acting unimpressed when someone is coming on strong towards her. Also shows a nice nervousness when she is in danger quarter way through her performance.
Larry Thomas (Mitch Bentley) however was god awful in his role as he was just saying his lines and not getting into character. He was supposed to come across as someone eccentric and mysterious but fails to do so. He was terribly wooden in whatever he did scene after scene. I kinda wonder if he wasn't keen on doing his performance as he needed acting lessons big time.
April Audia
(Janet) was the best out of the cast in which she had a convincingly bubbly and outgoing attitude at first and made her performance likeable. She also showed off a forceful attitude which made her look a bit invasive as this looked pretty good by how she was behaving. However there's a moment when she is sobbing about her past but this looked very wooden and phony. It's hard to cry on cue though. Also does well with her aggressions and creepy attitude quarter way through showing perfect bang on energy.
Simon De Soto (Detective Bernie) seemed to do a fair job with discovering clues on murder cases in which he had the right rough looks for his part as well as showing off a great seriousness to what he was talking about. Showed some decent energy within whatever he did here.
Danielle Louis (Karen Clarke) does the trick as the cheating fiancee as she shows a good flirtatious type of speaking as well as coming across well by being untrusted. She also does a great job by trying to upset someone showing off a great nasty type of attitude. Plus near the end of her performance does well acting a little timing in a parking area when someone hands her keys to her after she drops them.

A woman has her blouse open when she is about to be killed and her breasts briefly exposed

Many bloody stabbings with a kitchen knife in the face, chest, slit throat and head as well as some bloodied results on this

The co,posing was done on a synthesizer as you can tell in which there was no budget to have anything fancy but Bill Parsley does the trick as much as possible to make it sound effective and it works for the most part as there's deep sounds and high wavy sounds for alot of the creepy moments in which this almost sounded like a cheaper version in what I heard in Night of the Demons. I dug it a bit. Also there's drum beats and a triangle tapping sounds for when some detectives chase after a criminal as this was done in good style. At times the music sounded a little annoying and stale especially for the closing credits which didn't fancy me at all. Otherwise everything else sounded okay.