The Merits of Sin: Night Ripper! (1986) (USA)

If there has ever been a film more undeserving of an exclamation point in its title, I have yet to come across it. Night Ripper!, or NR! as I shall call it from this point on, is one hell of a slog. Yet, much like that boring uncle who drones on and on about his holiday in Vermont, you just can’t help but love it a little.

I didn’t even want to go to Vermont but you’re aunt insisted…

David Mackenzie is a photographer in a shitty little studio working with his creepy buddy Mitch (played by the Soup Nazi himself Larry Thomas). A series of “brutal” slayings have left a trail of dead models, all of which have posed for David and Mitch. Mitch has red herring written all over him but it’s made so damn obvious that it’s hard to believe he could actually be the killer. This leads the viewer into the downward spiral of thinking that maybe the writer knows you’re thinking he’s being far to obvious and is tricking you into a false sense of security and Mitch is actually the killer but he wants you to think there is no way they would be so blatant and maybe it’s….I’m sorry. I lost myself for a second. Watching five minutes of this film will convince you that writer/director Jeff Hathcock has no tricks up his sleeve.

I was a butcher engaged to a model but she left me…I have yet to forgive her

David falls for a customer who comes in for some glamour shots. This would have thrown a wrench in his engagement but luckily his fiancée is cheating on him so it all works out for everyone. Crappy murders continue to happen, David thrives in his new relationship, two elderly detectives investigate, Mitch creeps everyone out and mannequins figure into the finale more than I ever thought they would.

Love is a mysterious beast

NR! almost kills you with boredom. It drags your patience to the near breaking point and then hits you with some horribly composed shot or stupid dialogue.

“This isn’t love! This is two sweaty bodies fucking under a flood lamp!”

Dramatic Pause

“And I’m tired of flood lamps!”

I nearly fell asleep more than once but I didn’t and I guess that’s a good thing. Lazy synth and elevator music work to lull you into the SOV void but cheap gore and stilted acting remind you that you’re in familiar territory. I can guarantee boredom but I can also guarantee this turd has a few knockoff diamonds in it, so you may get covered in shit but at least you can convince yourself it was worth it. 4/10

If you would care to go on a scavenger hunt that may end in sadness, head on over to and grab yourself a copy

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