365horror

New York Ripper

by on Feb.21, 2010, under Daily Review

This film is a perfectly crafted piece of American heritage and a dutiful contribution to the horror genre. It can be described as sleaze, but this would be an understatement and also, to pigeon hole what is an accurate recording of the history of New York, or more accurately, the rise and fall of 42nd street at it’s most seedy and unpleasant. It’s also probably the most beautiful shot film using New York as a fine back drop, really showing off the city at it’s best and worst, but most realistic, casually using iconic landmarks to ultimate effect with glorious cinemascope cinematography.

And then we have the violence. It’s about as vicious as you can get without stepping into the realms of outrageous. I mean to say, this is as gruesome as can be taken to fit in with a realistic plotline, being that of a serial killer with an eye (and a blade) for the girls. Flesh is sliced in every direction in brutal full screen violence; no body part is left unscathed. Some scenes are about as obscene as could be filmed, others are a thing of beauty. (i.e. the effects are as realistic as could be expected for the time and place), my favourite being a knife slice to a girls leg. Subtle but looking as perfect as a slice could be.

The killer uses a neat duck quacking voice to terrorise and tease the local police who are fed one red herring after the other, finding a trail of carved up women along the way. Legendary.

The acting is also pretty good. Some are more animated than others but over all, it’s a well balanced cast. Notably Jack Hedley as Inspector Fred Williams. Alexandra Delli Colli offers a great performance as the nymphomaniac wife and also a young Barbara Cupisti. Fulci himself has a supporting role which is fun.  Antonella Interlenghi is brilliant though, and there are some stunning cinemagraphic moments, especially a huge close up of her face which spans the full screen.

The other great film about this film is the soundtrack. It’s amazing, funky, sleazy with spats of jazz and electro, from Francesco De Masi.

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