Jack the Ripper film will be set in modern Bristol and shot at city locations

By Conor Gogarty

A horror movie about the ghost of Jack the Ripper will be filmed and set in Bristol.

Bad Blood Films hopes shooting for The Ripper's Ghost will start around March, before a release towards the end of next year.

The production company is still raising finances, but expects a budget of around £2million.

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The Bad Blood CEO Mark Kenna says the aim is to shoot wholly in and around Bristol. The film is set to include a scene at Ashton Court Estate, while the decommissioned Nightingale Hospital in Frenchay and University of the West of England's (UWE) campus could also be used.

Mark, who is from Hengrove, said: "I'm really excited to bring a decent-budget project to Bristol. We will have some some well-known talent in there."

Bristol has become a hugely popular filming location for TV series in recent years, but Mark hopes The Ripper's Ghost will spark more movies to be made in the city.

While Christopher Walken — who stars in Stephen Merchant's new Bristol-set drama The Outlaws — will not be appearing in The Ripper's Ghost, Mark is hopeful of recruiting actors "at that level" for the horror.

Mark, 48, said: "It follows a single parent, Nadine, a strong female who runs a garage. Her daughter Kitty is coming of age and very interested in Jack the Ripper, who she's studying in a project for college.

"Kitty delves deeper and doesn't realise she's been gifted this chest, which opens and unleashes the murderous spirit of Jack the Ripper.

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"The opening scene would be in Ashton Court, which could double for somewhere in London, with a kill in the time of the Ripper, and then it would jump forward 130 years to modern-day Bristol.

"We've found 70 per cent of the locations, all in and around Bristol. We want to use crew and talent from the area, which worked really well with our previous film, Sacrilege."

Sacrilege, Bad Blood's first film, which launched on streaming services last month, follows a group of young women on a fun weekend, who fall foul of a pagan ritual. About 80 per cent of those who worked on it are from Bristol or nearby.

About 50 extras covered in “stag blood” markings were involved in Sacrilege's woodland scenes in Wotton-under-Edge and the Forest of Dean. Mark is hoping to use local extras again in The Ripper's Ghost, with some of student age to be needed for college scenes.

"This being a bit of a bigger project, we're going through an agency with the main roles, but we want local people to be involved as much as possible," the producer added.

"For Sacrilege, my brother Ian came out of working in a school to be the third assistant director. He had been an examinations officer at Bridge Learning Campus [secondary school in Hartcliffe], and he ended up looking after the extras, driving actors around, helping prepare food. We like to bring non-film people into the fold."

Sacrilege premiered to an audience of more than 400 at Leicester Square in early March 2020, just before the first coronavirus lockdown hit. The pandemic made for a disrupted fortnight in cinemas.

"We were on the radio and doing promotion while the Government was telling people not to go to the cinemas. It wasn't too fruitful but we picked ourselves up and switched focus to streaming."

Bad Blood has since sold Sacrilege into 16 countries. The Wicker Man-inspired horror — shot for less than £500,000 in locations including Club Tabu in Weston-super-Mare — arrived on the UK's Sky, Amazon Prime and Apple TV platforms on September 27.

Mark hopes Sacrilege and The Ripper's Ghost will be the first of many Bristol and South West films by the production company.

You can contact the Bad Blood team, find out more about The Ripper's Ghost and invest in the project at www.badbloodfilms.com

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