Dir. Skip Kite. UK. 2011.

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This is the first full-length feature film about Peter Sutcliffe, the serial killer known as the Yorkshire Ripper who went on a five-year murder spree in and around Bradford, Yorkshire, in the late Seventies during which he murdered 13 women and attempted to murder a further seven.

He was eventually arrested in 1981 and sent to Broadmoor secure hospital in 1983 after being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and where he now remains.
Starring Sheffield-based actor Walt Kissack, the film mixes archive film footage with the story of the police manhunt, his capture and his psychological treatment at Broadmoor.

Often, the scenes of his life and his belief that voices were guiding him to carry out his murderous are surreal and mystical, yet he was an otherwise 'normal' man who lived in the gritty and rather grim loking streets of Yorkshire.

The film provides a portrait of the man but it never really goes anywhere 'explaining' why he carried out his actions and what made him any different from anyone else. I'd like to have seen different points of view about his behaviour gathered from the past and present. Overall the film provides a powerful impresion about his impact on life in Yorkshire in the late Seventies. Walt Kissack is excellent as Peter who neatly portrays the man without making him into a screaming monster or a sympathetic victim of his psychological condition.

‘Peter – A Portrait Of A Serial Killer’ has a run time of 85 minutes, a 15 UK and 15 Eire (TBC) certificate and a recommended retail price of £ 12.99. It is released on retail DVD by High Fliers on 24 October, 2011.

Nigel Watson
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