Newest Reviews
Vast of Night, The
Furies, The
Days of the Bagnold Summer
Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, The
Apartment 1BR
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
  New York Ripper, The Women Beware
Year: 1982
Director: Lucio Fulci
Stars: Jack Hedley, Almanta Suska, Howard Ross, Andrea Occhipinti, Alexandra Delli Colli, Paolo Malco, Cinzia de Ponti, Cosimo Cinieri, Daniela Doria, Babette New, Zora Kerova, Paul E. Guskin, Antone Pagan, Josh Cruze, Marsha McBride
Genre: Horror, Thriller, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 2 votes)
Review: An elderly man is taking his dog for a walk in New York City by the harbour when he throws a stick for it to catch, which the pooch dutifully does. However, the second time the stick is thrown, it comes back not with a piece of wood but a severed human hand - something rum is afoot, and for Lieutenant Fred Williams (Jack Hedley) it's a new case, as all signs point to there being a serial killer loose in the area. Can he work out who it could be before they strike again?

The answer to that is no, because no sooner has Williams identified the problem than another young woman is murdered on the ferry, and in graphic detail for The New York Ripper was one of the most notorious Italian horror flicks ever made. The man at the helm was Lucio Fulci, coming off a series of more supernaturally flavoured shockers by returning to the giallos he had made in the seventies, except that many more viewers found this objectionable than your average mystery thriller thanks to the unmistakable misogyny that soaked every frame.

The accusation often levelled at the slasher movies of this period was that they were the product of filmmakers who hated women and were encouraging audiences who shared that same unlovely outlook. Actually, more often than not these movies would feature a female as the protagonist, and while they still played on fears that misbehaving sexually would entail a visit from some bloodthirsty madman (or madwoman) it was undoubtedly the woman who we were meant to identify with most of the time. With this tawdry little item, on the other hand, the feeling was that the filmmakers were only too keen to slice up the lady victims as some kind of vaguely defined punishment.

This naturally led to trouble with the censors across the world, with the film suffering cuts in the United States and being outright banned in Britain, with chief censor James Ferman rather absurdly having all prints escorted out of the country by the police. But while you can certainly see the point of view that The New York Ripper was offensive, it would be hard to imagine many adopting the frame of mind where they would actively endorse the violence onscreen. The fact that every victim was presented as a loose woman to some degree should have rendered this oppressively anti-female, but it was all laid on so thick that it became ridiculous, and finally wearisome.

You may find it hard to believe that a film with such lurid bloodletting could be boring, but once you'd gotten used to the idea that this was effectively a horror flick for grumpy and frustrated old men, then boredom began to set in. There were attempts to keep the killer's identity a secret for the big surprise at the finale, but Fulci included a massive giveaway to that halfway through, then tried to cover it up in a hamfisted fashion, so that when the big reveal did arrive you were more likely to think, oh, right, just as we suspected. In the meantime the most memorable aspect for many was that the murderer taunted the cops by putting on a silly voice, complete with Donald Duck impressions, leaving it hard to take them seriously, as if anyone other than Fulci and his cohorts did that in the first place. A last ditch try for sentimentality only made this more resistable, but really this was more deadening that sensationalist. Music by Francesco De Masi.

[Shameless' Blu-ray presents a handsome-looking print, although they fully admit the British censors have ordered a nineteen-second cut from one murder scene. Extras are trailers and a couple of interviews.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 3322 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film


Lucio Fulci  (1927 - 1996)

Italian director whose long career could best be described as patchy, but who was also capable of turning in striking work in the variety of genres he worked in, most notably horror. After working for several years as a screenwriter, he made his debut in 1959 with the comedy The Thieves. Various westerns, musicals and comedies followed, before Fulci courted controversy in his homeland with Beatrice Cenci, a searing attack on the Catholic church.

The 70s and early 80s were marked by slick, hard-hitting thrillers like A Lizard in a Woman's Skin, Don't Torture a Duckling and The Smuggler, while Fulci scored his biggest international success in 1979 with the gruesome Zombie Flesh Eaters. Manhattan Baby, City of the Living Dead, The Beyond and The House by the Cemetery were atmospheric, bloody slices of Gothic horror, and The New York Ripper set a new standard in misogynistic violence. Fulci's last notable film was the truly unique A Cat in the Brain in 1990, a semi-autobiographical, relentlessly gory comedy in which he also starred. Died in 1996 from a diabetic fit after several years of ill-health.

Review Comments (1)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith


Last Updated: