The New York Ripper (1982)

new york ripper poster 1982 movie
5.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 7/10

Gory, old NYC

So-so story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The New York Ripper

Studio:  Fulvia Film

Genre(s):  Horror/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  March 4, 1982 (Italy)/October 5, 1984 (US)

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

new york ripper murder victim

Be prepared for a lots of “violence against women”

Women are being brutally murdered in New York City.  Their bodies are discarded, and Lieutenant Fred Williams (Jack Hedley) has been tasked with bringing in the killer.  The killer has taken an interest in Williams and a game of cat-and-mouse has begun.  When a woman named Fay Majors (Almanta Suska) escapes Mickey Scellenda (Howard Ross), the manhunt for Scellenda begins…but the danger might be closer than anyone thinks!

Directed by Lucio Fulci (who also helped write the screenplay with Gianfranco Clerici, Vincenzo Mannino, and Dardano Sacchetti), The New York Ripper (Lo squartatore di New York) is a slasher horror giallo.  The film was an Italian film and made in New York.  It was subjected to heavily editing and banned in the United Kingdom until 2002.  It received mixed to negative reviews, but it (like many of Fulci’s films) has gained a cult audience.

I distinctly remember The New York Ripper at our video store growing up.  It was like other in-between movies.  It is largely a horror movies in visuals and shocks, but it is a giallo which isn’t necessarily horror…and it was lumped with other similar movies outside of the horror movies.  I was all about the monsters, and I passed on The New York Ripper, but as a Fulci fan, I finally saw it.  Due to the storyline, a ******spoiler alert****** exists for the rest of the review.

new york ripper kitty murdered razor daniela doria

My boyfriend is going to own me a really good night out if we meet up again in the afterlife

The movie doesn’t shock in its plot in its basic plot.  It is rather typical from the beginning (a man walking his dog finds a dissected body) to the end with a twist which is common for Fulci and giallo.  There is an obvious red herring plotline involving Scellenda, but the movie of course reveals that Peter has a tragic backstory involving his daughter and that it has driven him insane.  I particularly like the ending of the movie where everyone is like “well that crime is wrapped up”, but Peter’s crippled daughter is left without her father or knowing where he was (a theory is that the daughter might actually be the killer who is psychically controlling her father…which actually makes a lot of sense in a Fulci film).

Jack Hedley anchors the cast as the serious detective.  He of course gets intertwined with the crime (the idea of him being the potential killer is quickly ruled out…that is often a trend with a broken detective).  Almanta Suska is the damsel in distress who accidentally creates the tangent search for Scellenda played by Howard Ross who is actually kind of creepy.  Andrea Occhipinti is a rather generic killer, but he also plays the pretty-boy type killer that is supposed to go unnoticed.

new york ripper ending duck almanta suska andrea occhipinti

Wait ’til you hear my rendition of “Disco Duck”!

The movie is rather brutal.  Giallo films are known for being the bloodiest of the bloody movies, and like other giallos, The New York Ripper follows in the trend.  It also presents an old New York City that no longer exists…it is more dangerous and grimy.  The violence of the movie has led to multiple versions of the film, but the United States version is generally rather unedited.

The New York Ripper isn’t for everyone, and the violence against women and gore could be a lot for many to handle.  Despite this, it isn’t the most violent of these type of movies I’ve seen and like many of these movies, the villain gets taken down.  Giallos often tread the line between thriller and horror, and The New York Ripper can be watched and “enjoyed” by fans of both.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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