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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
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 »
[as Rossi drives off]
There's nothing I hate more than guineas in Cadillacs.
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Fear and confusion fills the nights of New York City.
It wasn't bad, just disappointing. Director Abel Ferrara pumps up this seamy and hasty thriller with genuine atmosphere of blazing violence and scorching sleaze, but Nicholas St. John's story that accompanies this ambiance is skimpily unfocused by being made-up by a collection of random murders and finally, a preposterous climax. It felt more like a drearily contrived soap-opera at times, but the twist on the vicious killer (a student of martial arts and maybe a writer to boot) was a hard one to grasp. Was there any sort of motivation, and why target certain girls. This is brought up to only become secondary; therefore it never maintains much mystery when it feels like it's actually working up to something. Some amusing moments crop up, and the humour is considerably well-judged especially surrounding actor Michael V. Gazzo.
Ferrara's direction can be slick and racking, but really lacks the adrenaline boost. The sombre look and bleak setting works in passages, and the throbbing soundtrack stays abound. The cast is a dependable lot without receiving standing applause. Tom Berenger gives a hauntingly scared, but assertively low-key performance. Billy Dee Williams adds to the film's fire-belly and Jack Scalia works well along side Berenger. A young Melanie Griffith is mildly okay, emitting a sullen affection and heating it up. Also showing up is Rae Dawn Chong and Joe Santos. As for the guy who plays the killer, it remains a mystery and so does the actor. The script is filled with thick, hardboiled dialogues that grind away, but don't add anything in the way of substance.
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