IMDb > Fear City (1984)
Fear City
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Fear City (1984) More at IMDbPro »


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Up 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Nicholas St. John (written by)
View company contact information for Fear City on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 July 1984 (France) See more »
New York City ... Open 24 Hours. See more »
Strippers in Manhattan are being stalked and maimed by a psycho-killer. A conflicted ex-boxer-turned-talent-manager and his business partner and friend, who represent some of the girls, set out to find him before he strikes again. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Mixed Results See more (30 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Tom Berenger ... Matt Rossi

Billy Dee Williams ... Al Wheeler

Jack Scalia ... Nicky Parzeno

Melanie Griffith ... Loretta

Rossano Brazzi ... Carmine

Rae Dawn Chong ... Leila

Joe Santos ... Frank

Michael V. Gazzo ... Mike
Jan Murray ... Goldstein
Janet Julian ... Ruby

Daniel Faraldo ... Sanchez

Maria Conchita Alonso ... Silver (as Maria Conchita)

Ola Ray ... Honey
John Foster ... Pazzo
Emilia Crow ... Bibi (as Emilia Lesniak)

Nina Jones ... Dixie

Frank Ronzio ... Harry

Juan Fernández ... Jorge
Jim Boeke ... Architect
Vinny Argiro ... Bruno
Carl Strano ... Priest
Ben Kronen ... Club Announcer

Madison Mason ... Leila's Doctor
Bill Henderson ... Nicky's Doctor

Victor Rivers ... Jimmy

Joe Palese ... Tony
Joe Shea ... Salvi
Bob Yothers ... Sergeant
John Roselius ... Rossi's Manager

Tracy Griffith ... Sandra Cook
Lori Eastside ... Goldy's Girl
Sharon Anton ... Frank's Girlfriend
Barbara Andrews ... Waitress
Jim Brewer ... Jack Donnely (as James Brewer)
Álvaro López ... Rio's Manager
Eddie Ruffalo ... Cornerman
Joy Michael ... Metropole Dancer #1
Linda Lee ... Metropole Dancer #2

Peter Mele ... Hitman #1

Robert Miano ... Hitman #2
Raphael Berko ... Hitman #3
Antony Ponzini ... Mobster #1

Frank Sivero ... Mobster #2

Brent Jennings ... Hawker #1
William Kennedy ... Hawker #2
Robert Giarratano ... Customer #1
Peter Gumeny ... Customer #2

Justin De Rosa ... Policeman #1
Adrian McKnight ... Policeman #2
John Barons ... Policeman #3
Kendall Carly Browne ... Nurse #1
Nancy Mott ... Nurse #2
Christine Greenberg ... Medical Technician
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tricia Brown ... Dancer (uncredited)
Neil Clifford ... The Karate Killer (uncredited)

John Del Rico ... Bar Patron (uncredited)
Helen Kelly ... Girl at the Club (uncredited)

Tony LaFortezza ... Bouncer (uncredited)

Annabelle Larsen ... Dancer (uncredited)

Directed by
Abel Ferrara 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Nicholas St. John  written by

Produced by
Bruce Cohn Curtis .... producer
Tom Curtis .... executive producer
Jerry Tokofsky .... co-producer
Stanley R. Zupnik .... executive producer
Original Music by
Dick Halligan 
Cinematography by
James Lemmo 
Film Editing by
Jack W. Holmes 
Anthony Redman 
Casting by
Johanna Ray 
Production Design by
Vincent M. Cresciman 
Set Decoration by
Cricket Rowland 
Costume Design by
Linda M. Bass 
Makeup Department
Richard Arrington .... assistant makeup artist
Bruce Johnson .... hair stylist: Mr Williams
Francesca Maxwell .... makeup artist
Julie Purcell .... assistant makeup artist
Michael R. Thomas .... special makeup effects: New York
Production Management
Michael Fottrell .... production manager
Mary Kane .... unit manager: New York
Charles Newirth .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Peter Manoogian .... first assistant director
Rip Murray .... trainee assistant director
Debbie Pinthus .... second assistant director
Art Department
Michael 'Mickey' Beltran .... property master
David L. Glazer .... property master
Janet Kusnick .... illustrator
Robin L. Miller .... set dresser
Scott Moore .... assistant props: New York
Arthur Riddle .... assistant art director
Robert Wesson .... art department assistant: New York
Sound Department
Terry Lynn Allen .... sound editor
George H. Anderson .... sound editor
Ken Beauchene .... boom operator
John Duffy .... sound editor
Scott Hecker .... sound editor
Don MacDougall .... re-recording mixer
John L. Mack .... re-recording mixer
Anthony Milch .... supervising sound editor
Donald Ortiz .... assistant sound editor
Art Ottinger .... adr editor
John Roesch .... foley artist
Joan Rowe .... foley artist
Edward M. Steidele .... foley editor
Mark P. Stoeckinger .... sound editor
James M. Tanenbaum .... sound mixer
Richard Tyler .... re-recording mixer
Greg Orloff .... foley recordist (uncredited)
John Osiecki .... sound mixer (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Benedict Coulter .... visual consultant
Pat Banta .... stunts
Justin De Rosa .... stunt coordinator
Arnaldo L. Díaz .... stunts
Sidney Filson .... stunts
Daryle Ann Lindley .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Holly Bower .... still photographer
John F. Cassidy .... grip: New York
Skip Cook .... key grip
M.J. Elliott .... still photographer
Bill Johnson .... camera operator: second New York
James Kincaid Johnson .... best boy electric
Jeff Levy .... electrician: New York
Don Muchow .... best boy electric: New York
Rick Owen .... electrician: New York
Joe Ritter .... additional second assistant camera
Jeff Smith .... best boy grip (as Jeffrey Smith)
Scott Spencer .... gaffer
Thomas Vanghele .... second assistant camera (as Thomas P. Vanghele)
John Verardi .... first assistant camera
Michael Wilson .... additional first assistant camera
Kory Mills .... grip (uncredited)
Randy Nolen .... Steadicam operator (uncredited)
Adam Smith .... grip (uncredited)
Casting Department
Nancy Mott .... extras casting
Joy Todd .... extras casting: New York
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Susie DeSanto .... wardrobe supervisor
Ellen Lutter .... wardrobe assistant: New York
Editorial Department
Sandra Davis .... associate editor
Jack Hooper .... negative cutter
Barbara Slifka .... post-production coordinator
Music Department
John Osiecki .... score mixer
Terry Plumeri .... orchestrator
Transportation Department
Joel Marrow .... transportation coordinator
Joseph Sullivan .... driver
Other crew
Al Cerullo .... helicopter pilot: New York
Vincent M. Cresciman .... creative consultant
Marty Cusack .... production assistant
Kathryn Doby .... choreographer
Rebecca Greeley .... production coordinator
Coni Lancaster .... production secretary
Álvaro López .... boxing coordinator
David Mirsky .... production coordinator
Harlan Cary Poe .... martial arts choreographer
Amy Rabins .... production executive
John Roselius .... boxing coordinator
Daniel Schott .... assistant to producer
Dwayne Alexander Smith .... production assistant (as Dwayne A. Smith)
Dale Tate .... title designer
Kathryn Zatarga .... script supervisor
Dale Oprandy .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
95 min | 97 min (uncut)
Aspect Ratio:
1.57 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Night City (2015)See more »
New York DollSee more »


What are the differences between the R-Rated and Unrated Version?
See more »
13 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Mixed Results, 23 April 2001
Author: marquis de cinema from Boston, MA

Disappointing follow up for Abel Ferrara to the excellent Ms. 45(1981) for a few reasons. One, there is not the same emotional or intensity level of the previous film. Two, the main character compared to Thana is almost not likable. Three, at times the film is fascinating to watch while other times the film bogs down to boring.

Doesn't know whether it wants to be a slasher pic, a mafia epic or both. The inclusion of the mafia in Fear City(1984) sort of reminds me of Fritz Lang's M(1931). Like in M(1931), the mafia is interested in finding the stalker/murderer because he's hurting their business. Part of Fear City(1984) is a warmup for King of New York(1990) and The Funeral(1996).

A ridiculous aspect of the movie is the idea of the karate killer. I wondered why this film was not named The Karate Killer which is a better title than Fear City(1984). The karate stalker/murderer seems out of place in Fear City(1984) for he is someone who belongs more in a Steven Seagal film and less in an Abel Ferrara feature. Major putdown that hurts the film a lot.

Matt Rossi is a character that's hard to pin down. In some scenes he is arrogant and unlikable. In other scenes Matt Rossi is guilt ridden and vulnerable. Its this guilt ridden quality of Matt Rossi that puts him in the line of Ferrara characters such as Thana(Ms. 45), Frank(King of New York), and the Lt(Bad Lieutenant).

The filming of the sleezy locale of Fear City(1984) is one of the film's saving graces. Abel Ferrara is terrific at showing a part of New York where sleeze, sex , and death are common and life or human flesh is cheap. Done before the current Mayor of New York City cleaned that part of the city up. In the style of many similar Italian erotic thrillers.

Fear City(1984) and Lucio Fulci's The New York Ripper(1982) have a lot in common with each other. One, both films take place in the sleezy parts of Times Square during the 1980s. Two, the two films have a killer whose on an insane mission for human purity. Three, the violence and the sex in Fear City(1984) and New York Ripper(1982) are depicted in an ugly and unpleasent fashion.

Like other Ferrara features except for Bad Lieutenant(1992), Fear City was badly cut for its theatrical release in the United States. It seems that the director's films are not well liked by the MPPA. I might see the movie in a different light if I ever saw the complete uncut version of Fear City(1984). Scenes that were cut or trimmed involved heavy graphic violence.

The first flashback sequence is a fantasic blend of realism and surreal. Done with the same horror quality as the dream of Thana from Ms. 45(1981). The second flashback sequence is even better. Shows how Matt Rossi got involved with Mafia Boss, Carmine.

The fight between boxer Matt Rossi and the Karate Killer is both entertaining and silly. A strange way for Matt Rossi and the Karate Killer to confront each other. This sequence loses some steam after a few minutes bcause of the one sided match. Pales in comparison to the Halloween party massacre sequence in Ms. 45(1981).

Tom Berenger is average in the role of the tormented Matt Rossi. The best acting in Fear City(1984) belongs to Michael V Gazzo who gives some unintentional comic relief as erotic dance club owner, Mikey. The attack on the first dancer is done with the same editing technique as with the first rape on Thana in Ms. 45(1981). Melanie Griffith plays the same kind of character here that she did on Brian De Palma's Body Double(1984)[She is extremely beautiful and sensual more in Fear City than in any other of her films].

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