In New York City a man is out walking with his dog. He tosses a stick for the dog to retrieve. The second time he throws it the dog comes back with a decomposing hand in his mouth. The hand belongs to a model. Lt. Fred Williams (Jack Hedley) is the detective assigned to the case. His investigation leads him to the victim’s landlady. The landlady overheard the victim’s last phone conversation. She says it was with someone who sounded like a duck.
Soon after, another woman is stabbed to death on the Staten Island Ferry. The coroner says the slash marks are similar to the wounds on the model. He also says the man was left handed. Things are beginning to look like there is a serial killer on the loose. For help Williams solicits the aid of a well respected psychotherapy professor, Doctor Paul Davis (Paolo Malco). While Davis analyzes the killer, Lt. Williams is getting taunted by the ripper.
Jane Lodge (Alexandra Delli Colli) attends a porn show and tape records the event. A present for her husband. She is observed by a man in the audience, Mickey Scellenda (Howard Ross). After the show the female performer goes backstage to her dressing room. She is violently killed by the ripper. Later Jane is in a dive hotel with the man from the porn show. A man missing two fingers from his right hand. He ties her up, turns up the radio and makes a phone call. Later when he is asleep a news report on the radio states that the ripper is missing two fingers. Now terrified Jane escapes her bonds and flees. She loses her way in the hotel’s hallways and runs into the ripper. The last thing she hears is the sound of a duck.
Another woman, Fay Majors (Almanta Suska), is stalked from the subway and attacked. She lives but is plagued with nightmares. All she can remember is that the man on the subway was missing two fingers on his right hand. Fay stays with her boyfriend Peter Bunch (Andrea Occhipinti) while she is convalescing. When Peter goes out on an errand Scellenda shows up looking for Fay.
“The New York Ripper” was released in 1982 and was directed by Lucio Fulci. This exploitation film is an example of the Italian slasher movie at its most intense. There were some disturbing aspects to the film. There is a lot of nudity and graphic violence, both in great detail. To the point where is boarders on torture porn. There was also some strange toe sex that I still don’t understand the point of.
The story itself is little more involved than you would expect from a slasher movie. There are some red herrings and the ending is a little strange. As far as cinema is concerned, some parts are done well and some parts are not. Some parts are easy to follow and some are not. It’s like two movies together, one directed well and one haphazard. Despite all the good parts and bad parts of the film, what most people are going to remember are the sex and the gore. Those aspects Fulci seems to be able to do proficiently, in close up and in living color.
I’m not sure if I liked the film or not. I do know that it ended up being far more intense than I expected.