I’ve decided to share my love of grindhouse films by posting periodical daily grindhouse choices. To inaugurate this new feature I’ve chosen a favorite early 80’s grindhouse flick straight from the mind of the maestro himself, Lucio Fulci.
The New York Ripper is one of Fulci’s contribution to the Italian cinema genre of gialli films. Giallo (gialli – plural) films have a colorful, no pun intended, history in Italian filmmaking and it’s Golden Age last from the 70’s all through the mid-80’s when the public’s appetite for them started to wane. This Lucio Fulci entry into the giallo genre was not his first but it was one of his most infamous one’s for the fact that many people thought it’s depiction of women and their deaths on-screen was labeled as extremely misogynistic and cruel. The New York Ripper wasn’t even one of the better films in Fulci body of work, but the label of misogynism and having been banned from many countries or being shown only as a X-rated feature film brought it attention and made it a staple in the so-called “grindhouse” cinemas that were prevalent in the 70’s and 80’s.
The film liberally lifts its ideas from the famous “Jack the Ripper” true-crime investigation and transplants it, where else, but New York City. The killings were brutal to the point that I understood the outrage many had over them. What made this film a favorite of mine is not the controversy revolving over calls of misogynism or the near-pornographic scenes of violence, but the killer himself. As you shall see in the attached trailer for the film the duck voice and quacking you will hear is not a joke added into the trailer but part of the film’s titular character’s personality.
Yes, ladies and gents…Donald Duck is the New York Ripper!