The New York Ripper Movie Review

The New York Ripper

A portrait of a serial killer
The New York Ripper Picture
Lieutenant Williams


Jack Hedley, Almanta Keller, Howard Ross, Paolo Malco

Andrew Painter, Alexandra Delli Colli, Cosimo Cinieri, Josh Cruze, Barbara Cupisti, Daniela Doria, Babette New, Zora Kerova, Paul E. Guskin, Antone Pagan, Josh Cruze Update Cast


Look for Lucio Fulci making a cameo appearance!

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The British Board of Film Censors found the film so shocking, that they committed the risible act of having the film escorted by the police from their offices and straight to the airport and out the country! As a result, The New York Ripper featured on the infamous 'Police 55' list of banned titles in the UK and similar lists in most European countries.

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A crazed lunatic killer is on the prowl in New York City killing beautiful women.

The Big Apple is turning crimson red with the carnage from this manic psychopath who butchers women in the most brutal fashion while quacking manically like a duck. The intensity of the madness reminds one of Andy Robinson's crazed Scorpio in Dirty Harry (1971).

The prelude to the opening credits, shows an elderly man walking his dog in some wasteland beneath a bridge. The dog is sent scurrying into the bushes for a stick, yet returns with a decomposing hand. It is at this point that the credits roll over the image of the dog with the decomposing hand in its mouth, the image remains on screen for the entire credits... this set's the scene for the rest of the film, the camera never hides no matter how harrowing the image.

The film is relentlessly nihilistic and the humour is exceedingly black and cynical. Lieutenant Williams (Hedley) is the weary, 'seen it all before' detective who is assigned the case of identifying the killer in a city of 10 million inhabitants. He contacts psychotherapy professor Doctor Davis (Malco) for help in tracing the murderer. The victims are mounting. A young cyclist has been slain on the Staten Island ferry, a sex show performer brutally murdered with a broken bottle and a hedonistic wealthy wife (Delli Colli)of an 'open' marriage is stabbed to death, after a severe S&M session.

The killer then contacts Lt. Williams and dedicates a killing to him... The following scene of the killer dissecting the victim's face, eye and breast with a razor blade is admittedly, a tour de force of extreme horror, rarely seen in these patriarchal times. In true giallo style, director Fulci manipulates things so that we continually make incorrect assumptions about the characters, the case reaches a dramatic conclusion in the final ten minutes as the killer's identity is finally revealed.

Author: Stuart FitzgeraldUpdate This Review


The film was reviled in the US as a misogynist vehicle, appealing to the lowest common denominator, of sleazy sex and horrendous violence towards women. The film was available theatrically in the US for a limited period before being moved on quickly to video.

Respected British film critic Alan Jones called The New York Ripper "The Strongest and most powerful of all Fulci's films to date(...) a psychotic, erotic masterpiece (...) Art imitates life in all its many ugly forms"

Whatever your perspective, The New York Ripper is undoubtedly one of the most savage and controversial films of the 80's.

Untamed psychological horror. Not a product of a marketing comittee!
Extreme violence and sadism.

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The Movie Data

Key Crew

Director: Lucio Fulci
Writer: Gianfranco Clerici, Lucio Fulci, Vincenzo Mannino, Dardano Sacchetti
Producers: Fabrizio De Angelis
Locations Manager: Rick Dallago

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Release Date: 27 Jul 1984
MPAA Rating: ??
Studio: Fulvia Films
Production: Fulvia Films
Genre: Horror / Occult

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The Movie Trailer
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1982 Fulvia Films
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