The New York Ripper
The New York Ripper is one of Lucio Fulci's most controversial pictures thanks largely to its myriad of misogynistic murders. This is most definitely a film you don't show to your granny. Victims are mutliated by knives, broken bottles and razor blades in gruesome fashion and nasty places while the killer quacks like a hyperactive duck. Yes, this little yarn's villian has a penchant for Donald Duck impersonations, which is kind of handy, as you'd otherwise feel pretty guilty for laughing as nipples and eyeballs are sliced while the owner of said body parts screams over Francesco De Masi's jazzy music. Fulci tosses in a number of clues and red herrings in an attempt to build some sort of genuine (if not a little convoluted) murder mystery, and this does work to some extent, but let's face it, this is an excuse to cut up some New York whores real good. Now this isn't Fulci's best work. It lacks the dark gothic atmosphere and style that the likes of City Of The Living Dead and House By The Cemetery had in spades, and is a little too sleazy even for my liking, but it's a far cry better than the likes of the abysmal Murder Rock, and has enough twists and turns to keep you interested.
Anchor Bay have provided a very decent anamorphic transfer with this one, thanks largely to a very nice source print which is low on grain and damage. The image is quite soft, and at times seems almost out of focus, but Fulci's trademark closeups are sharp as a razor. The NTSC factor is very low with no noticeable 3:2 pulldown artifacts, probably thanks to the softness of the image.
Unfortunately, all we get is a mono soundtrack, but it sounds very clear and apart from some slightly unintelligible dubbed dialog, is perfectly adequate.
Apart from a trailer, this disc has sweet FA supplementary materials. Well, it does have a bio on Fulci, but they really don't count now, do they? The trailer is quite interesting however, as the dubbed dialog is quite different to what shows up in the film.
Overall, this much maligned film really isn't as bad as many would have you believe. It's a far cry from Fulci's best work, but is, at least for his fans, worth a look. The visual and audio presentation is above average for this type of movie, but being a bare-bones release, it doesn't give you much bang for your buck.