The New York Ripper (1982)
By guest writer Jim DiNolfo (You can see other fine examples of Jim’s commentary and reviews in our past Shlocktoberfests like: KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park, Fade to Black, Halloween, You’re Next, Bay of Blood, and Tenebre.
What’s It About: Daisy Duck, finally fed up with Donald’s sexual incompetence, gives him the fat boot and informs him that she will be shacking up with Goofy from here on out. Perhaps inevitably, Donald snaps and begins to carve up the women of New York. Just kidding, a guy with a duck voice kills a bunch of naked women.
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- Giallos almost have an uncanny ability to make themselves look like 1970’s TV dramas during their opening credits.
- When accidentally scratching someone’s car in midtown traffic, NEVER say you were thinking of Boston. Chrissakes.
- If the only insult you can think of when cussing out a woman is, “you should stay in the kitchen where you belong” – you need to get right in the DeLorean, go back to 1955, and kill yourself.
- The killer quacks like Donald, yet talks like Mickey, it’s amazing Lucio Fulci wasn’t shitting Magic Kingdom lawyers for a week.
- The Lieutenant who takes on the Ripper case looks like Anthony Bourdain fifteen years from now.
- When you are told twice within the span of mere days about a guy who sounds like a duck, and you can’t seem to remember it – maybe it’s time to hang up the skates and seek a desk job.
- It’s almost impossible to remember what 42nd street used to be like.
- Apparently one would have to bootleg the moans from a live sex show since Napster didn’t hit the streets for another twenty years.
- The female half of said live sex show returns to her dressing room to find the light bulb missing. She then cusses out the manager calling him a “prick bastard Italian.” Which was the original working title for “The Sopranos” oddly enough.
- I know that a woman being viciously murdered with a broken wine bottle right up her how-do-ya-do is an awful thing (unless you’re Fatty Arbuckle); but the quacking really takes you out of it.
- Although annoying, I think I want some of those quacks as my new ringtone.
- The open-marriaged couple of Dr. Red Herring and his wife are downright creepy.
- The “footsie” scene in the bar with the swinger wife will make you lose your lunch if not all faith in humanity. It did however almost give me my entry for the “Best Line.”
- Fulci should have just made this movie a balls-out (rimshot) porno and added the serial killing stuff as a B-plot.
- Is every woman in this movie a hooker? There weren’t this many prostitutes in the real Jack the Ripper case.
- Dr. Cooper’s hidden homosexuality is hinted at when he buys a gay porno mag. There’s a subtlety joke there somewhere.
- When this movie was being filmed, the Lyric was showing Final Exam and the Caribou Cine 42 was showing a double bill of 60 Second Assassin and Revenge of the Bushido Blade. I am so pissed off that I missed that.
- Italian horror and its goddamn eyeball trauma!
- During Kitty’s murder, I defy you not to hold on to your nipples. Even if you’re a guy. Now that I think of it, “Hold On To Your Nipples” would have been an amazing tagline for this film.
- Did the duck in the little girl’s hospital room mean anything? How about the story the nurse was reading to her about a duck? Do you know how tired I am of typing duck?
- When the detective shot Peter in the face, I was expecting to see either Nicholas Cage or John Travolta underneath.
Is It Actually Scary: For the uninitiated, absolutely. For us hardcore viewers, a mild shrug accompanied by a “not bad”.
Scariest Moment: Probably when Dr. Red Herring tries to explain he and his wife’s alternative lifestyle to the Detective.
Most Disturbing Moment: Watch the scene in the bar with the Dr.’s wife and the rejects from the Jets and Sharks again.
Dumbest Moment: Every kill scene is pretty dumb thanks to the killer’s incessant quacking.
How Much Gore: Oh, plenty. Disembowelment, stabbings, breasts sliced in half, S&M gone too far, you know – a typical Sunday afternoon in New York.
Best Line: “You really disappoint me duck.” Well, what frustrated detective wouldn’t be disappointed at this point?
Best Scene: Any one of the establishing shots of the old New York. I felt like Snake Plissken.
Worst Scene: The really sad (and I’m being serious here) end shot of the sick little girl wanting to talk to her dead serial-killing-quacking father. It made the ending of ET look like … a man without a metaphor.
Any Nudity: A whole lot.
Overall: This movie, like New York, is not for the weak. We all know that Giulianni eradicated every shred of the old days south of Radio City – and to be honest this movie isn’t so much a grim reminder as it is a snapshot of a very specific time. Sometimes even filth can have charm, and again like New York; you just have to know where to look.
Score: 8.5 serial killers talking through their cheeks (out of 10)