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From Hell



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: R

The infamous Victorian murderer Jack the Ripper preys upon prostitutes in the Whitechapel district of London in 1888, while a young police inspector (Johnny Depp), guided by opium-induced visions of the murders, tracks him down. Also with Heather Graham, Ian Holm, Robbie Coltrane and Jason Flemyng. [2:17]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - A man and woman are shown having sex: the man lies on his back and we see his bare chest as the women sits on top of him thrusting (we see her bare breasts and back). Two women lie on a table in an opium den: one lies nude on her stomach and the other, also nude, lies on her back; men surround the table caressing them (we see them again in another scene). Several women are shown in alleys having sex with men; the women hike their dresses up, the men unfasten their pants and we see them engaged and moaning. A woman kisses two other women on the mouth and makes advances toward them, but both push her away. A nude man sits in a hospital cell (no private parts are evident) and we see a man's bare chest as he bathes. A group of women bathe in a trough of water in the street; we see some cleavage and they hike their skirts to wash their crotches. Two women are shown sleeping in their petticoats. A prostitute propositions a man; he rebuffs her. Prostitutes wear dresses that reveal some cleavage. A man and woman kiss passionately a couple of times, and a man and woman kiss romantically.

VIOLENCE/GORE 10 - Several brutal murders are depicted; some scenes take place as a man's opium-induced visions. A man tears open a woman's dress, slashes her throat and stabs her repeatedly. A man grabs a woman by the throat, and we see her lying in a puddle of blood while he is doing something to her (we find out later that he's removing her genitals and some internal organs). A woman walks down a dark hallway and we hear a struggle and see glints of hands and blood and hear slashing; we then see her dead body with lots of blood around the crotch area (covered by her dress) and a gaping neck wound. Another woman walking down a dark street is grabbed and pulled into a heavily shadowed doorway; we see the glint of a blade as it strikes her several times and we hear crunching noises as it enters her body. A woman goes down an alley with a man, he pulls a knife, she hits him and runs but is tackled by another man who holds her while the first man slashes her throat (we clearly see the wound gaping open and bleeding). A man strangles a woman, slashes her throat, removes her heart, holds it in his hand and throws it in a kettle over a fire (we hear a police officer refer to her as having been torn to pieces). A man murders a woman and we see blood spurting from the wounds. A woman's throat is slashed very quickly with a metallic noise and blood pours out of the wound, and we see a woman being slashed with a knife and she screams. We see a room covered with splattered blood and we see a morgue a few times with many dead bodies covered with sheets. In another scene in a morgue a man is lifting a sheet off a victim to expose her wounds as flies buzz about and a man vomits and faints from what he sees. A blood-soaked sheet covers a dead woman. There are several scenes showing autopsy photos with roughly stitched neck wounds, and there are several clinical discussions of the details of gruesome murders: there are descriptions of the removal of the victims' genitals and some internal organs by the murderer, and a description of a victim's intestines having been wrapped around her neck and shoulders. We see a bloody kidney in a box. A woman is strapped onto an operating table and wheeled into an observation room where a lobotomy is performed by striking her in the head three times with a hard tool and a hammer; we see her later with big scars on her forehead and milky eyes (a similar procedure is performed on a man). A man is kicked out of a moving carriage and his head ends up getting entangled in the wheel causing the carriage to tip over. A coffin breaks open at a funeral and we see the corpse with a bloody, stitched up neck wound. A man lies dead, presumably from an opium overdose, with his eyes open. A man hits a woman across the head with a heavy pan, and a man slams a man against a wall twice and grabs him by the throat. Two men grab a woman, one holds her while the other threatens her with a knife and cuts the buttons off her dress. A woman is slammed against a brick wall and threatened with an ice pick pointed at her eye. A man grabs a woman and she screams and flails about. A man holds a gun on a man, and a man is hit in the head with a stick knocking him out. A mob marches through a street with torches, apparently threatening merchants, tradesmen and Jews. We see some blood in a wash basin, a man eats a piece of very bloody meat and pours himself some red wine (although it looks very thick and could be something else) and drinks it, and we see bloody surgical tools and gloved hands. A group of men barge into a room where a man and woman are having sex; the men grab the woman and drag her out in the street wrapped in a sheet and then follow with a man, who's also wrapped in a sheet. A man holds a knife to a man's throat and threatens him, and a man holds a knife to a woman's clothed breast. A man kneels blindfolded while another man pokes his chest with a sword (some blood trickles). A barrel is ignited, rolled toward two men and it explodes. A man is tripped, falls to the ground, is picked up, slammed against a wall and punched in the stomach (he bleeds from the mouth). A group of women yell at each other and one throws something which breaks a window. We see a deformed man who suffers from neurofibromatosis (the "elephant man" disease) on display in front of a group of doctors and wealthy contributors. We see a portrait of a surgery with a group of men tearing at a patient's organs. A man hits a man in the face to wake him. We see a man with a large scar across his eye and down his cheek. A man urinates in an alley and we hear the trickle. A group of women are shown in a cage. A very dirty man sits on a curb and quakes. A man talks about his wife and child having died during childbirth.

PROFANITY 6 - 13 F-words, 16 mild obscenities, 7 religious exclamations, and some insults. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Serial killing, prostitution, rape, torture, snobbery, venereal disease, opium use, anti-Semitism, racism, gossip, Free Masons, death rituals, royalty, loyalty.

MESSAGE - We can't always have what we want from life. Evil exists. Victorian England was a very unpleasant place and era.

(Note: Opium dens are shown several times, with people smoking opium to the point of unconsciousness.)

Special Keywords: S7 - V10 - P6 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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