New York Ripper / Lo squartatore di New York (1982)

5.0 out of 5

In 1982 two heavyweights of Italian horror and giallo went head to head. In one corner was Dario Argento with the highly stylised futuristic Tenebrae while in the other corner was Lucio Fulci with New York Ripper. These films are possibly excellent examples of the differing approach to the genre by these two iconic directors.

While time and again Argento would offer viewers of his film an escape route by placing his horror realm in the fantastic Fulci by comparison would make the fantastic something mundane and everyday by giving it an earthy realism. So if Tenebrae represented a serial killer within some almost Utopian near future then New York Ripper represented misogyny, violence and sleazy sex in a far more real now. As with the earlier battle of the zombies Fulci's grimy "realism" gave his work certain edge.

New York Ripper is a difficult film to enjoy and even more difficult to recommend but that is not to imply it is a poor movie. Indeed, the opposite is the case. New York Ripper is an incredibly powerful and effective movie but it is one that is also uncompromising yet free from the escape route of fantastic film. As with Tenebrae the censors hated this film so it too ended up on the DPP 72.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics