A Knife for the Ladies (1974)

Article #1608 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-9-2005
Posting Date: 1-6-2006
Directed by Larry G. Spangler
Featuring Jack Elam, Ruth Roman, Jeff Cooper

Against the wishes of the local Sheriff, a city detective is called in to a western town to investigate a series of knife murders.

I don’t know if it ever actually went under this title, but one of the alternate titles listed for this one at IMDB is JACK THE RIPPER GOES WEST, and that gives you a clue to what this movie is like. One thing IMDB fails to include is a running length for the movie, and this I would like to know, since my print runs about one hour and looks as if it were edited somewhat; I’d just like to know how much is missing. It’s an odd one, all right; it’s part horror movie (especially the ending), part western, and part detective/cop story. It seems to have a pretty low reputation based on its rating on IMDB, but though I certainly don’t consider it a great movie, I found myself enjoying it well enough. For one thing, it’s certainly unpredictable, though it does have the problem that there aren’t many suspects to choose from after a bit because they keep dying off. Besides, there’s something I’ve always found likable about Jack Elam’s ugly mug wherever it appears, and he adds a good deal of fun to the movie. In this state, it’s rushed, but doesn’t wear out its welcome.

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