I swore before pressing play on Scream Factory’s new Blu-ray release of the gritty 1988 serial killer thriller Jack’s Back, starring a cool-as-hell James Spader, that I had seen the movie before. I recalled absolutely nothing that I witnessed, so I’m going to assume that I never actually got around to seeing it, or that I did, and I was too young to register it. Either way, this was like seeing it for the first time. Some of Scream Factory’s standard Blu-ray releases like this don’t get the same level of fanfare as their excellent Collector’s Edition, and that’s a shame, because they’ve released some real gems that probably don’t have enough of a following to warrant a CE release. Jack’s Back is one such movie.
It’s really rare to get an honest-to-goodness serial killer movie these days. It’s all torture porn or slasher rehashes. I’m not going to say that Jack’s Back is as mean as something like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, but it’s in the same ballpark. This time around, there legendary tie-in of sorts, because the killer in Jack’s Back is celebrating the victims of Jack the Ripper, and murdering people in the same way, on the same day as they were killed by the original Ripper. It adds an almost supernatural element to an otherwise gritty and mean little movie. James Spader has almost never been cooler, with his suave demeanor and leather jacket, he carries this movie very well.
Scream Factory has given us an excellent Blu-ray/DVD combo release. While the movie itself still looks as if it were a low budget horror movie from the late 80s, this new transfer sourced from the original negative is an excellent representation of the film. There is a bit of softness that some of you are going to have to get over. It’s a soft film, and no amount of restoration or digital scrubbing(or lack thereof) will change that. Otherwise, it looks outstanding. The audio track is a mono 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track, and it sounds perfect, with no issues at all to report. The extras included on the disc consist of a new director’s commentary, all new interviews which are basically a retrospective documentary, and a theatrical trailer. Scream Factory tends to undersell their extras as listed on the packaging, so it doesn’t sound like a ton of stuff, but trust me, for a movie like this, this is plentiful.
Scream Factory’s release of Jack’s Back is highly recommended. You may purchase your copy here.