The New York Ripper is Fulci breaking into the New York City crime movie. Somehow, he makes it even sleazier. Many actors that enjoyed making the film would later state their dismay at the final product. They hadn’t made a bad movie, just one that was hard for the average person to watch. People don’t naturally vibe with watching people at their worst.
Fulci wanted to make an homage to Hitchcock in the worst way. What had been shocking in the 50s and 60s wouldn’t raise an eye brow in 1982. So, things had to be punched up. This meant a freakish killer with a hatred of women that brutally slaughters them. But, it’s totally different from Norman Bates.
How is it different? Well, it’s the difference between Filet Mignon and Bologna. They will both get you fed. But, one was made fast and gross. The other is meant to make others proud of you for eating it. There are people who spend their lives going broke trying to keep eating Filet Mignon. But, there are people who shut up and smile, then eat their Fried Bologna sandwich. Why? Well, because it’s good.
There is something about aggressive killers in NYC during the early 1980s. Coming off the heels of Death Wish and the vigilante movies of the 1970s, there was carry over into the Reagan years. But, now you had sexuality and hardcore drugs to spark things up. More and more people were leaving the city, as the Disneyification of Times Square was still a decade away.
The typical Fulci trappings are on full blast in The New York Ripper. Fun cameos, awful dubs and close-ups of eyes abound. But, I can see where Fulci was trying to stretch and do something new. I’m never going to fault a director for trying to work in new genres. But, there is something that the horror master can’t stop doing.
The quacking murderer feels dirty in a way you don’t see in a ton of period films. The New York Ripper doesn’t lean away from the grime, as the quacking killer is a despicable piece of garbage. Fulci has one setting that he lives in and that’s let me show you the worst of humanity.
Due to the nature of The New York Ripper, this means seeing a lot of violence towards women. As times change and things age, The New York Ripper will continue to be a harder sell to new audiences. But, such is the curse of being a long-lived film. You will always find new people to annoy.
The New York Ripper arrives on 4K with a new restoration scanned in 4K 16-bit from the original 35mm print. You will see the film as clean as it was first delivered in canisters to the dirtiest theaters on 42nd Street. This movie is why I like schlock, because it’s the perfect time capsule for moral tastes. No one is making a movie like The New York Ripper again.
But, they shouldn’t. What passed as shocking in 1982 needs to have the bar raised in 2020. What I find to be so funny is that how we went from a killer with a personality in Norman Bates to a nameless killer with a gimmick. Who will be the killers of 2020? I set everyone up for a COVID joke, but thankfully you didn’t take the bait.
Blue Underground packs the 4K/Blu-ray combo pack. You get the audio commentaries spread across both discs. Plus, every single special feature is ported over from the Blu-ray. It’s pretty impressive and I’d recommend checking out New York Ripper in 4K.
The New York Ripper 4K is now available from Blue Underground
New York Ripper 4K special features
- Audio Commentary with Troy Howarth, Author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films
- The Art Of Killing – Interview with Co-Writer Dardano Sacchetti
- Three Fingers Of Violence – Interview with Star Howard Ross
- The Second Victim – Interview with Co-Star Cinzia de Ponti
- The Broken Bottle Murder – Interview with Co-Star Zora Kerova I’m an Actress! – 2009 Interview with Co-Star Zora Kerova
- The Beauty Killer – Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci
- Paint Me Blood Red – Interview with Poster Artist Enzo Sciotti
- NYC Locations Then and Now
- Theatrical Trailer
- Poster & Still Gallery
- BONUS! Embossed Slipcover (First Pressing Only)