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Killer who talks like a duck wanders around New York City killing women by various means including slicing an eyeball with a razorblade. Detective Jack Headly is hot on his trail. Written by
You can say NEW YORK RIPPER is bad, boring, stupid, crap, worthless, mean spirited, vile, etc. Whatever you can say about NEW YORK RIPPER though, you can't say it's not sleazy. It's over-the-top sleazy and misogynistic. It never shies away from it. Personally speaking, it's sleaze par excellence. The misogynistic aspect bothers me but then 90% of horror films out there are misogynistic, so it's not like I'm not used to it. As for the sleaze aspect, well, if you don't like sleaze, don't watch it. If you're fascinated by sleaze, like me, then this is like the CITIZEN KANE of sleaze. What makes this so different than the majority of truly worthless sleaze out there is that Fulci is honest about the sleaze. Compare this to let's say the recent MURDER SET PIECES, which is very sleazy but almost totally worthless. It's so self-conscious about the fact that it's horrific and sleazy, it just doesn't work. It's not real sleaze. NEW YORK RIPPER is real 42nd Ave sleaze.
What makes NEW YORK RIPPER unique among the plethora of sleazy films made then and today is the way it's filmed. In scope, garish colors, grimy settings, very gloomy and harsh. I love the scenes shot in the subway or around other parts of a depressed NY city. The acting is not really good but the level of acting is what you expect from these kind of films. It's remarkably violent towards women. Truly appalling. But then after the stunningly blunt ending, everything is suddenly redeemed. Though most of the violence is directed towards women, the sleaze centers around women and men, including a couple having live sex in front of an audience, horny thugs, a nymphomaniac housewife who tries to sleep around with any guy, including the thugs and a hunky psycho who is thought to be the killer, and there's a gay character who's the most likable character in the whole film.
I can't say that I like this Fulci flick. NEW YORK RIPPER is not something someone likes per se. It's just too harsh to attach any affection to it. But I'm fascinated about it and that's why I give it an 8. There are very few films that can claim to be something that will never be topped and because of our PC times and depending of what's in store in the near future, it's almost guaranteed that NEW YORK RIPPER will never be topped as far as the sleaze factor is concern.
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