The Los Angeles Ripper (2011)

In the city of dreams... a nightmare stalks.
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The Los Angeles Ripper - In the city of dreams... a nightmare stalks

The second feature length film from Craig McIntyre is endearingly known as The Los Angeles Ripper. This movie presents a noticeable progression from his previous work, A Few Screws Loose, in a number of ways. It has still obviously been produced on a micro-budget but there are noticeable improvements which have addressed a number of flaws apparent in Mr McIntyre's previous endeavour, while maintaining the aspects that worked. The story is more coherent and linear rather than seeming like an extended acid trip and although it can drag a bit in places it leaves the viewer with a more memorable story to reflect on. It doesn't leave a what-the-fuck factor overall but does prompt a few what-the-fuck's as the story goes on. The gore is still plentiful and gratuitous but has ambitions within the budget and is complemented by camerawork that adds an element of realism compared to blatant fake effects in plain view.

The quality of the actors and actresses performances is worthy of a low budget affair but fans of Troma and Italian horror films should have no problems overlooking this. It has a few familiar faces from A Few Screws Loose including the welcome sexy-cameos from Ava Rose and Nekromistress (both immediately recognisable before the camera pans above the waist) but the real star is Randy Tobin who plays the ripper himself, or as his friend BC calls him Grahm. Like any good serial killer, Grahm has the attention span of a drug addled teen and the sensibilities to match but unfortunately also likes to motivelessly destroy sexy women and then feast on their organs. Tobin's portrayal of the disordered Grahm's attention deficit is wonderful and almost comical in places with emotions being emoted over the slightest thing and then suddenly interrupted by something insignificant like the abundance of wood in the building. Saying that Grahm's intentions are motiveless may be a bit of an overstatement. There are slight undertones that he hates hookers but despite the fact that he tends to fuck his victims before their demise, the sexual nature of his murderousness is quite underplayed. This is not a bad thing as that would just be re-treading the ground that many a ripperesque movie has already walked upon.

The story is straightforward. Guy meets girl, guy wants to kill girl. The emphasis is more on the characters than any convoluted plots but is more than a montage of fucking and killing (there is more than enough fucking and killing to satisfy though). The usual foray of dysfunctional characters are present throughout and it is their interactions that keep you interested. The whole feel of the film is sleazy, reminiscent of the early Jess Franco horrors with the sleaze far extending the boundaries of the story and reaching out to touch the camera angles and music.

The movie is not without a few doses of LSD, there is quite a trippy dream sequence which adds to the empathy for Grahm's psychosis and enforces that there may be more of a driving force behind the killings above just being a bit simple. The ending takes a tangent towards August Underground rather than any twists or enlightenment but the build up towards this is something to be grateful for amidst current trend of low budget torture movies.

There are many flaws in The Los Angeles Ripper but it is a complete testament to getting off one's arse and actually making a horror movie rather than relying on a sizeable budget and having no passion or love for the genre. Craig McIntyre and the cast prove that what you need to make a film is the want to do it and that financial constraints and big business can just get in the way of putting an idea on film. I would personally love to see what this group of filmmakers could do with a decent budget combined with the determination and imagination of those involved.
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