Fear City (1984)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  18 July 1984 (France)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 1,970 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 21 critic

Strippers in Manhattan are being stalked and murdered by a psycho. A hard-nosed police detective and a conflicted ex-boxer-turned-private-eye, hired by the strip club owners, set out to find him before he strikes again.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Rossi
Al Wheeler
Nicky Parzeno
Jan Murray ...
Janet Julian ...
Silver (as Maria Conchita)
John Foster ...
Emilia Crow ...
Bibi (as Emilia Lesniak)


In New York City, a psycho killer is stalking and randomly slashing and killing strippers working in various nightclubs. Matt Rossi is a former boxer trying to escape his past whom is currently employed at a talent agency which caters exotic dancers to the mafia-controlled strip clubs all over Manhattan. Matt and his business partner, Nicky, are relentlessly dogged by Al Wheeler, a persistent police detective on the case of the murdered strippers, and hoping to find something to nail both Matt and Nicky on. Matt is trying to reconcile with his former flame, Loretta, whom also works as a dancer and has a off-again, on-again drug problem. With the police constantly hounding them, and under pressure from his mob boss and other bosses to do something, Matt must somehow face his inner demons to find the killer before he strikes again. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


New York City ... Open 24 Hours. See more »


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Release Date:

18 July 1984 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Border  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (uncut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.57 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was drastically reedited before it's release because of the MPAA's ratings board strict guidelines on graphic violence, language and nudity at that point in time. Which are noticeable due to the film's many jump cuts in handful of scenes specifically most of the attacks on the strippers by the unnamed killer for example. Ultimately it caused Twentieth Century-Fox to sell of the film to an independent distributor for a theatrical release. See more »


Al Wheeler: [as Rossi drives off] There's nothing I hate more than guineas in Cadillacs.
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Referenced in Cinéma, de notre temps: Abel Ferrara: Not Guilty (2003) See more »


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User Reviews

Wrong em' Boyo
24 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Although FEAR CITY is provocatively titillating, and sex drenched, it really never manages to seduce. However, the film does a remarkable job of capturing the essence of early 80's tawdry 42nd St. Midtown Manhattan (Pre-Disneyfication). And, the film boasts a cavalcade of 80's talent; Tom Berenger, Billy Dee Williams, Melanie Griffith, and Rae Dawn Chong. Although director Able Ferrara was throttled by too many producers, he has still managed to craft a fairly interesting picture. What makes FEAR CITY slightly unusual is the treatment of the killer. In most films of this nature, the primary aim is to identify and demonstrate the Evil Doer's, Means, Motive, and Opportunity. However, in FEAR CITY Ferrara only shows the manifestation of the killer's violence, and nearly nothing is divulged of his character or motivation. The killer is shown as a mere cipher, and such a depiction is more in keeping with the Horror Genre rather than Detective Fiction. FEAR CITY is certainly not a great film, or even one of Able Ferrar's better efforts, but it is still worthy of a look.

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