Lo squartatore di New York (1982)

Directed by Lucio Fulci [Other horror films: Beatrice Cenci (1969), Una lucertola con la pelle di donna (1971), Non si sevizia un paperino (1972), Il cav. Costante Nicosia demoniaco, ovvero: Dracula in Brianza (1975), Sette note in nero (1977), Zombi 2 (1979), Paura nella città dei morti viventi (1980), Black Cat (Gatto nero) (1981), …E tu vivrai nel terrore! L’aldilà (1981), Quella villa accanto al cimitero (1981), Manhattan Baby (1982), Murderock – Uccide a passo di danza (1984), Aenigma (1987), Zombi 3 (1988), Quando Alice ruppe lo specchio (1988), Il fantasma di Sodoma (1988), La dolce casa degli orrori (1989), La casa nel tempo (1989), Un gatto nel cervello (1990), Demonia (1990), Hansel e Gretel (1990), Le porte del silenzio (1992), Voci dal profondo (1994)]

When it comes to Lucio Fulci’s work, I’ve seen a fair amount of his better-known output. The New York Ripper, or it’s funner original title, Lo squartatore di New York, is one that I just hadn’t gotten to before. Finally taking the time to watch it, I can say I had a great time with it.

It’s a sleazy, grimy movie, with a lot of sexual situations and violence. It’s not playing for laughs (unless you, like me, cracked up during the shrieks of quacking the killer let out), and it can sometimes feel a bit bleak and occasionally almost aimless. In other words, it’s gritty fun.

Not that there’s not a story, because I actually think this has a decent plot, but it’s hard to pin-point a main character (characters played by Jack Hedley and Almanta Suska fit the bill), and there are some random side-steps (such as dealing with a woman named Jane who gets into more than a few sexual situations) that just give an interesting flow to the movie.

Most of the main performances here were decent. It’s true that some, such as Almanta Suska, Howard Ross (Five Dolls for an August Moon), and Jack Hedley (Witchcraft), failed to make a big impression on me, but I did like both Paolo Malco (The House by the Cemetery and You’ll Die at Midnight) and Andrea Occhipinti (who starred in A Blade in the Dark the following year). Occhipinti doesn’t peak until later on in the movie, but Malco, whose character we never really get too much information on, is fun as a straight-laced psychologist with fun magazine habits.

Being a Lucio Fulci film, what many may find of paramount importance is the gore, and I have to say I did love the kills in this film. You had a broken bottle stab an unfortunate woman’s vagina. And that wasn’t even the most violent scene, as we also see someone’s nipple get cut in half (in a close-up), along with someone’s eye and eye-socket come in contact with a razer-blade. This movie wasn’t playing around, and I dug the gore throughout.

Among the work of Fulci I’ve seen, I do think I enjoyed this a bit more than Zombi 2, if only because I enjoy slashers on average more than zombie movies. It’s been so long since I’ve seen The Beyond and City of the Living Dead, I can’t accurately rate either one, but I can say that with as much fun as I had with The New York Ripper, I think Don’t Torture a Duckling is still better (and for those wondering where The House By the Cemetary fits in, well, it’s not among his higher-caliber works).

I’ve wanted to see The New York Ripper for a long time, and having finally done so, I found it quite a gritty and gory film. It’s not Fulci’s best, but it is a pretty solid time, and I’d definitely recommend it to horror fans of all stripes.


Author: Jiggy's Horror Corner

Fan of the horror genre, writer of mini-reviews, and lover of slashers.

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