Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 22nd, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1982
Director: Lucio Fulci
Writers: Gianfranco Clerici, Lucio Fulci, Vincenzo Mannino, Dardano Sacchetti
Cast: 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 MacBride, Rita Silva, Giordano Falzoni, Lucio Fulci, Barbara Cupisti, Martin Sorrentino, Violetta Jean, Cesare Di Vito, Elisa Cervi, Chiara Ferrari
BluRay released: September 29th, 2009
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 English, Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: A sadistic killer who sounds like a duck is meticulously murdering and hacking up the women of New York City.
The New York Ripper was co-written and directed by Lucio Fulci a versatile Italian filmmaker whose notable films include Beatrice Cenci, The Beyond, Don’t Torture a Duckling, The Eroticist, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, Massacre Time, The Maniacs, My Sister in Law, Perversion Story, The Psychic and Zombi 2. The New York Ripper is many ways would mark the end of an era for Lucio Fulci as his films that followed would be hampered by lack of budget and he would part ways with several of his key collaborators, many of which he had been working with since Zombie 2. The cinematographer on The New York Ripper was Luigi Kuveiller who’s other standout films as a cinematographer include Investigation of a Citizen above Suspicion, A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein, Andy Warhol’s Dracula, The Five Days of Milan and Deep Red. The funky and at times disco inspired score for The New York Ripper was composed by Francesco De Masi (The Inglorious Bastards).
From the opening moments of The New York Ripper when a dog brings a severed hand to a man, it is quickly established that what you are about see is going to be violent and undeniably gruesome. While there may be slight lulls in between moments of bloodletting. The film never stays too far away from its bread and butter, a killer with a chip on their shoulder who is hell bent on dissecting their victims in a symbolic manner which holds the key to their Modus Operandi. On the opposite end of the spectrum is a detective who has become disinterested with his job. That is until fate intertwines his destiny with that of the killers’. There is even a scene later on in the film in which the killer specifically targets the detective by killing someone close to him. There are a few well placed red herrings along the way with the only constant like to the killers’ identity being the killers’ duck like voice. Without a doubt The New York Ripper contains some of the most visually sadistic moments to ever appear in a Lucio Fulci film. Some choice moments include a woman stabbed in her vagina (happy trail) with a broken bottle and a woman who has her breasts and eye sliced with a razor blade. This film’s strongest asset is the POV camera, especially during the kill scenes. Several familiar faces appear in the cast like Paolo Malco (The House by the Cemetery), Zora Kerova (Cannibal ferox), Cosimo Cinieri (Manhattan Baby), Alexandra Delli Colli (Zombi Holocaust), Howard Ross (Werewolf Woman), Barbara Cupisti (Stage Fright), Andrea Occhipinti (A Blade in the Dark) and director Lucio Fulci once again in a cameo role. Performance the entire cast is more than adequate in their respective roles and the English dubbing is generally very good, even if some of the lines are unintentionally funny.
The New York Ripper comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. In 2008 Blue Underground had previously released The New York Ripper on DVD and this release was a carryover of the previous DVD releases from Anchor Bay. This BluRay release comes with a brand new Hi Def transfer that was sourced from the film’s original camera negative. Colors have never looked as lucid, flesh tones look dead on, black levels are solid throughout and the area where this transfer shows the greatest improvement is the amount of detail present in every frame. Film grain looks natural and there are no problems with DNR.
This release comes with two audio options Dolby TrueHD 7.1 English and Dolby Digital Mono English. The only lossless track of the two mixes is the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 English and Blue Underground have done a good job with this remix track which sounds full, balanced and crystal clear throughout. The Dolby Digital Mono English is also in very good shape as the audio is always clear and there are no problems with distortion or background noise. Removable English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles have been included.
All three extras included with this BluRay release are in HD and they are as follows a trailer for the film (3 minutes 20 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a segment titled “NYC Locations Then and Now” (4 minutes 8 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and an interview with actress Zora Kerova titled “I’m an Actress!” (9 minutes 29 seconds – anamorphic widescreen – in Italian with English subtitles). The NYC Locations segment is an interesting look into just how much NYC has changed since The New York Ripper was filmed there. The interview with Zora Kerova is a well rounded piece on her career as she not only discusses Lucio Fulci and working on The New York Ripper, she also discuses other films she had worked on like Cannibal ferox. Overall Blue Underground gives The New York Ripper its strongest home video release to date.
Note: On the same day that Blue Underground are releasing The New York Ripper on BluRay, they are also putting out a brand new DVD edition of the film.