Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: The New York Ripper

I saw this classic nasty last night and I must say I was shocked. Some of the killing scenes are very gruesome, almost to the point of being unwatchable.

But then again Lucio Fulci's The New York Ripper (1982) is also a quite well-made thriller or a giallo, as they say in Italy. This one is about a serial killer who's specialized in pretty young women and who talks in a Donald Duck voice, quacking over the phone, yapping to the police. The police are as clueless as can be and get a psychiatric to help profile the killer. Some of the scenes with the cops and the psychiatric are a bit boring, feels almost like there's no real police work being done.

Fulci has a knack for diverting the viewer and also for some great-looking chasing and killing scenes, and he clearly knows what fetishes are all about: some of the scenes before the killings are actually quite erotic and even sexy. Then again, Fulci spoils everything by showing something like a woman's nipple sliced in half. (I think that's the worst scene in the film full of other scenes like it.) Is there some sort of repention going on in here? Fulci feels ashamed for wanting to show beautiful women enjoying sex, jerking off in public, giving fingers to middle-aged men, and then has them slowly and mercilessly butchered? You know, Fulci comes from a deeply Catholic country...

Whatever, this is an interesting and intriguing film, minus the stupid psychoanalytic babble solution in the end. In Finland this was banned from the start, but the print of the film has remained in the archives of the Finnish Film Archive - it was in a beautiful shape.

The original uncut trailer is not safe for work and certainly not for minors:

More Overlooked Films here.


Cullen Gallagher said...

I saw The New York Ripper for the first time this summer and loved it. It was outrageous, absurd, hilarious, gruesome, and aesthetically kind of beautiful in some places. The lighting and compositions were often exquisite. Such a strange combination of feelings and thoughts when watching it -- which, for me, made it a really interesting experience. I've never seen other Fulci movies, but I'm curious to see his other stuff.

Juri said...

I haven't seen any of his zombie or other splatter films, but I gather this is a bit different from them. One of his sex comedies I saw some years back and it was pretty good. He's also done some spagetti westerns.