Essentially a Mystery-Thriller involving a Jack The Ripper clone killer, JACK has some fun twists with James Spader playing twin brothers who get thrust into tracking down the madman. See one Spader play the good, put-upon nerdy doctor and the other sport a leather jacket and earring and emote this side of Marlon Brando and James Dean.
Joining one of the Spaders on his quest to track down the crazy who's taking the 100th Anniversary of the Jack The Ripper legend a little too seriously is the perky-sensational Cynthia Gibb as a colleague and crush who soon pair up to do their best Hardy Boy meets Nancy Drew. The two make an unlikely team but the idea of waspy-ish actors at the heart of a movie putting a blood soaked puzzle together brings a wide smile to my face. Two of my favorite stars from 1986 films (Spader as Stef from PRETTY IN PINK and Gibb as Cece in MODERN GIRLS) are tracking down Jack The Ripper!!!
JACK opened to absolutely no fan-fare (and not to mention any real promotion) in May of 1988, and was essentially dumped by fledgling distributor Palissades Entertainment Group. Luckily Paramount Home Video was distributor of the very few Palissades titles and JACK'S BACK found a life on VHS.
By 1988, the Horror Film Genre was tapering off a bit and quite a few were combining with other genres (Horror-Comedy being the most popular) and thereby becoming something else. JACK plays it refreshingly straight. The movie may technically be more Thriller than genuine Terror Picture, but it still manages to deliver the goods in the scare department. I find myself entrenched into it's mystery and the surprises along the way with each viewing.
And the idea of having 2 Spaders for the price of 1?!... Could one be super nice and the other possibly a misunderstood slime ball? Is that the story of Spader's career or what? Genius.