While I’ve seen some Lucio Fulci when I was younger (mainly Zombi and The Beyond), it’s only recently that I’ve delved further into his filmography. It was surprising to see that horror wasn’t the only genre he succeeded in, but it definitely was where he left his mark in the history of cinema. He knew how to produce the offbeat comedy, erotic thrillers, and gruesome variations of the undead. This is a man that isn’t afraid of exploiting taboos and making the audience shift in their seats. Blue Underground has gone ahead and released a special edition of THE NEW YORK RIPPER. Although this was already available on Blu-ray, this release gives fans plenty to explore.
This was my first time watching THE NEW YORK RIPPER so I didn’t know what I was getting into. The plot is perfectly standard slasher fare: a man is out slicing up beautiful women in the streets of New York and leaves messages using a duck-like voice on the phone (which I don’t recall if that aspect was ever explained). A detective who is actually a pretty awful excuse of a man is tracking down the clues. These murders take place anywhere from sleazy motels to live sex theaters and often lead to grisly results.
This isn’t any kind of groundbreaking cinema but it does come highly recommended for fans of sleazy slashers. THE NEW YORK RIPPER feels like one of Fulci’s most graphic materials and it’s probably due to the fact that the murders are being done by a human rather than a supernatural entity. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a nipple being cut in half, let alone in an extreme close up. Sharp objects are inserted in places you never want to see them going into, but Fulci fans probably won’t even budge as most of his material is unashamed.
Blue Underground has provided a three-disc limited edition release with a Giallo style lenticular slipcover. The score is nothing short of fabulous and it’s part of the package as one of the three discs within. The Blu-ray comes with plenty of interviews from the cast and crew along with Stephen Thrower, a popular figure in Fulci related special features and author of the essential books on Fulci’s career. His interviews are always a treat to someone like me as it gives fresh insight into the themes and reactions of that specific film, as I’m alien to much of the behind the scenes happenings. Interviews with the cast span multiple years and also comes with a commentary with another Fulci author, Troy Howarth.
While there is another Blu-ray out there for this, Blue Underground does a great job of making this set feel like a fresh release, especially by including a collectible booklet with a new essay and photos. The 4K restoration adds to the quality of the product, making this a must own release for horror and Fulci fans alike. An added plus is that this is completely uncut and uncensored which was a hard find back in the day. THE NEW YORK RIPPER is now available to own from Blue Underground.