Friday, July 19, 2019

THE NEW YORK RIPPER (1982) Blu-ray Review

The New York Ripper (1982) d. Lucio Fulci (Italy) (93 min)

For the slasher fan sick of the heavy-breathing, hulking, mute brute and/or the wise-cracking chatterbox psycho, this skeevy little thriller from Italian gore maestro Fulci might be just what you’ve been seeking. Set in the Big Apple, women of “low moral character” are falling victim to a killer armed with razor blades, butcher knives, broken bottles, and… a Donald Duck voice. Burnt-out NYPD detective Fred Williams (Jack Hedley) wades through a cornucopia of screwball suspects from the decks of the Staten Island Ferry to the sex shows of Times Square, with each brutal murder a sadistic quack in his general direction.

Hot off the success of his “Gore-tet”: Zombie, The Beyond, The House by the Cemetery, and City of the Living Dead, Fulci delights in exploring the seamier side of NYC with shots of Times Square and strip clubs so grimy you’ll be itching in your seat after fifteen minutes. Our fowl-mouthed killer isn’t shy about spreading the red stuff around – Zora Kerova’s (Cannibal Ferox, Antropophagus) sex performer’s backstage vodka-bottle surprise is particularly nasty – and Fulci makes sure we see every stomach-wrenching drop.

There’s an abundant amount of sleazy sex and nudity on display here, though it’s far from titillating stuff. Be warned, however: The scene in which Daniela Doria’s (City of the Living Dead, House by the Cemetery) prostitute Kitty is systematically sliced and diced through her delicate areas borders on the gratuitously obscene, even for an exploitation offering.

Germano Natali and Rosario Prestopino (Deep Red, Suspiria, Demons, The Beyond) deliver excellent, lunch-buckling makeup effects, and the phone call-tracing sequence delivers both suspense and surprise. Sure, the whole affair is perhaps a little heavy on the red and the herrings, but there’s rarely a dull moment throughout, culminating in a bleaker-than-usual Fulci wrap-up.

Trivia: That’s the director himself turning in a cameo as the police chief.

More Trivia: As was the norm, all the actors’ vocal tracks (including Englishman Hedley) are re-dubbed by other performers.


Audio Commentary with author Troy Howarth (Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films)

“The Art Of Killing” with co-writer Dardano Sacchetti (29 min)

“Three Fingers Of Violence” with actor Howard Ross (15 min)

“The Second Victim” with actor Cinzia de Ponti (12 min)

“The Broken Bottle Murder” with actor Zora Kerova (9 min)

“I'm an Actress!” 2009 interview with actor Zora Kerova (10 min)

“The Beauty Killer” with author Stephen Thrower (Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci) (23 min)

“Paint Me Blood Red” with poster artist Enzo Sciotti (17 min)

“NYC Locations Then and Now” photo/video essay (4 min)

Theatrical Trailer

Poster & Still Gallery

BONUS! THE NEW YORK RIPPER Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD by Francesco De Masi (70:29)

BONUS! Collectable Booklet with new essay by Travis Crawford

The New York Ripper is available now on DVD and Blu-ray from Blue Underground and can be ordered HERE:


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