Sunday, October 25, 2009

Film Review: THE NEW YORK RIPPER (1982, Lucio Fulci)

Stars: 5 of 5.
Running Time: 93 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Jack Hedley (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY), Almanta Suska (THE GRAVY TRAIN, HUNTERS OF THE GOLDEN COBRA), Howard Ross (WARRIORS OF THE YEAR 2072, THE BATTLE OF RIVER NERETVA), Andrea Occhipinti (BOLERO, THE SEA INSIDE). Produced by Fabrizio de Angelis (director of THUNDER 2 & 3, producer of 1990: BRONX WARRIORS, THE NEW BARBARIANS, ZOMBI 2, and THE BEYOND).
Tag-line: "New York City: It's a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to die there!"
Best one-liner: "Fred, have you flipped out, or are you trying to give me an ulcer? A smart-ass coroner comes out with a little verbal diarrhea, and you immediately go around declaring there's a maniac loose in the city!" –"Yeah, so what do you want me to say? A boy scout's been widdling on girls with his knife?"

Okay, Lucio, just saw the flick and I must say I have a couple notes. No, I loved it! No, I didn't think it was too sleazy!

#1. Well, maybe it was a LITTLE too sleazy. The the lip-curling trench coat woman masturbating to a sex show is one thing;

light bondage set to jazzy, sax-heavy disco is another; a crack pipe in the shape of a dick is another thing entirely;

and the five-minute gratuitous 'toe-in-the-vag' sequence is perhaps a BIT much.

Are you serious? Five minutes?

But you know what, Lucio, if I were you, I wouldn't tone it down for the world!

#2. "It's about that maniac who's been slicing up young women, isn't it?" "How did you guess that?" "I eat oodles of carrots."

#3. I like the way New Yorkers end conversations with "Ciao!" It's picking up on little details like this that really capture a city.

#4. "QUAAACK! QUA-QUA-QUAAACK!" You can read about this beforehand. You can KNOW that the killer talks and quacks like a Donald Duck combined with a really sad sack Mickey Mouse. He's even got the skeezy "Disco Duck" laugh, too. You can know ALL of this in advance, yet NOTHING can prepare you for the quacking. NOTHING.

Here is an audio only clip of the killer making a taunting phone call to the police station. Prepare yourself.

#5. "You disappoint me, duck!" Yeah. That, too.

#6. I love that it takes until the ripper kills the head cop's PROSTITUTE for him to be like "Now it's FOR REAL."

#7. The reveal of the killer, the motive, and the denouement. It's all done with such senseless, ludicrous enthusiasm that it simultaneously celebrates the classic Italian disinterest in standards AND makes Dario Argento look like Eugene O'Neill. Bravo!

#8. I really like that you end it on a freeze frame, then have a few seconds more of cityscape footage, and then end it on another freeze frame. Kinda like a one-two punch of freeze framery, and a perfect finish to a movie experience that feels similar to someone trying to stab you with a razor, finger your butthole, and whisper creepy nothings in your ear at the same time. I guess we're on the same page, Lucio, but could you please stop licking my ear?

-Sean Gill

2009 Halloween Countdown

31. PROM NIGHT (1980, Paul Lynch)
30. PHENOMENA (1985, Dario Argento)
29. HOUSE OF WAX (1953, André de Toth)
28. SILENT RAGE (1982, Michael Miller)
27. BASKET CASE (1982, Frank Henenlotter)
26. THE DEADLY SPAWN (1983, Douglas McKeown)
25. PELTS (2006, Dario Argento)
24. ANGEL HEART (1987, Alan Parker)
23. KILLER WORKOUT (1986, David A. Prior)
22. FREDDY'S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE (1991, Rachel Talalay)
21. THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (1971, Robert Fuest)
20. FRANKENHOOKER (1990, Frank Henenlotter)
19. HELLRAISER (1987, Clive Barker)
18. GEEK MAGGOT BINGO (1983, Nick Zedd)
17. ALLIGATOR (1980, Lewis Teague)
16. LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN (1971, Lucio Fulci)
15. THE CARD PLAYER (2004, Dario Argento)
14. SPASMO (1974, Umberto Lenzi)
13. C.H.U.D. (1984, Douglas Cheek)
12. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART III (1982, Steve Miner)
11. SWAMP THING (1982, Wes Craven)
10. DIARY OF THE DEAD (2008, George A. Romero)
9. THE LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM (1988, Ken Russell)
8. PIECES (1982, Juan Piquer Simón)
7. THE NEW YORK RIPPER (1982, Lucio Fulci)

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