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Saturday, November 14, 2015

The New York Ripper

Italy 1982
D: Lucio Fulci

P: Fabrizio De Angelis for Fulvia Film S.R.L.//St & Sc: Lucio Fulci, Gianfranco Clerici, Dardano Sacchetti, Vincenzo Mannino// DP: Luigi Kuveiller//E: Vincenzo Tomassi//M: Francesco De Masi// Costumes: Massimo Lentini//Makeup: Franco Di Girolamo
Cast: Jack Hedley, Almanta Keller (Antonella Interlenghi), Howard Ross, Alexandra Delli Colli, Paolo Marco, Andrea Occhipinti, Andrew Painter, Cinzia De Ponti, Laurence Wells, Daniela Doria, Babette New, Zora Kerova, Paul Guskin, Anthon Kagan, Johs Cruze, Marsha MacBride, Rita Silva.

Lt. Fred Williams is assigned to a murder case involving a model who posed nude for men's magazines. When a second victim, brutally mutilated like the model, is found on the Staten Island Ferry, Williams decides to call in Dr. Davis, a psychologist for help. More bodies turn up as the killer (using a Donald Duck-like voice) calls Williams to brag about his exploits. Williams and Davis must work together (which isn't easy as they star off disliking each other) to stop the madman from slaughtering more women.

This was made at the height of the slasher film mania going on in America at the time and except for William Lustig's MANIAC, it out does them all when it comes to outrageous gore. An ugly looking film, Fulci and DP Luigi Kuveiller don't try and glamorize their version of Hell, aka New York City. By the end of the film you'll feel like you've been wallowing in the filth of 42nd Street for the previous 90 minutes. The murders are as graphic and brutal as any I've ever seen so you have to give Fulci credit, he made the ultimate slasher film. Apart from all the mayhem, there are some nice subtle touches as well. The chemistry that develops between Hedley (who is really British, but the dubbers fortunately give him a world-weary, seen it all before voice) and Paolo Marco (a veteran of Fulci films) as the gay psychiatrist who at first disgusts the cop, but eventually treats him as an equal, gives the audience a chance to catch their breath amidst all the mayhem. The film makes no apologies for what it is and you'll either love it or hate it. There's no middle ground.