Even though the truly golden years for the Italian giallo had passed since quite a while already, the decade of the 1980's still brought forward a handful of decent & memorable efforts. Two directors in particular kept this magnificent sub genre alive, namely Dario Argento (with his "Tenebrae" and "Opera") and Lamberto Bava. His best known giallo may be "A Blade in the Dark" but this "The Midnight Ripper" is arguable his best effort, alongside "Delirium: Photos of Gioia". Whatever the film lacks in originality and plausibility, it makes up in sheer suspense and gory good killings! When the adulterous wife of a police officer is found brutally stabbed in her apartment, her husband Nikola immediately becomes the prime suspect because he's an alcoholic and doesn't have an alibi. But when more murder occur in the city, a female police psycho-analyst points out that the nature of these killings strangely resemble the style of notorious Italian serial killer. The only problem is that this killer, nicknamed the Midnight Ripper, died in an arson more than ten years ago. No, sadly the plot of this film isn't as convoluted as those of 70's gialli, but it surely holds your attention and Lamberto Bava at least attempted to add some typical red herrings. The musical score is absolutely staggering, thanks to composer Claudio Simonetti (the main man behind the successful cult band Goblin). Ah yes, and then there are the murders.... Anyone who's familiar with other Bava titles such as "Demons" or "Macabre" knows that our director isn't afraid to stuff his films with sadistic violence and graphic gore. The gruesome murders in "The Midnight Ripper" are committed by ordinary kitchenware, such as knives, an ice-pick (eat your heart out, "Basic Instinct"!) and even a blender. It's a very cool film and I'm sure that every fan of Italian horror cinema will love watching it.
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