American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
Exactly a century has passed since Jack the Ripper committed his monstrous crimes, and now a copycat killer is duplicating them - each murder 100 years to the day after the Ripper’s crimes. This sounds depressingly like the premise for an exploitation film, and the title “Jack’s Back” does nothing to encourage our hopes. But the surprising thing is that this is actually a good movie, with intriguing work by James Spader.
He plays two characters: twin brothers, one an earnest medical student, the other a rebel who has had some trouble with the law.
Without revealing any more of the film’s surprises, I can tell you that the good brother discovers one of the victims, and that the other brother eventually finds himself considered as the police department’s prime suspect for the murders.
The movie develops into a thriller in which the second twin has to run from the police, clear his name and somehow prevent the real killer from murdering the woman who has loved both twins.