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Lucio Fulci
Jack Hedley, Almanta Suska, Howard Ross
Writing Credits:
Gianfranco Clerici, Vincenzo Mannino, Lucio Fulci, Dardano Sacchetti

A burned-out New York police detective teams up with a college psychoanalyst to track down a vicious serial killer randomly stalking and killing various young women around the city.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
Italian DTS-HD MA 1.0
English DTS-HD MA 1.0
French Dolby 1.0
Spanish Dolby 1.0
English for Italian Audio
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 93 min.
Price: $49.95
Release Date: 6/25/2019

• Audio Commentary with Film Historian Troy Howarth
• “The Art of Killing” Featurette
• “Three Fingers of Violence” Featurette
• “The Second Victim” Featurette
• “The Broken Bottle Murder” Featurette
• “I’m an Actress” Featurette
• “The Beauty Killer” Featurette
• “Paint Me Blood Red” Featurette
• “NYC Locations Then and Now” Featurette
• Poster & Still Gallery
• Trailer
• Bonus CD
• DVD Copy
• Booklet


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Maniac [Blu-Ray] (1982)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 30, 2019)

Another entry in the serial killer genre, 1982’s The New York Ripper comes from noted filmmaker Lucio Fulci. As implied by the title, we go to New York City, where a maniac targets attractive young woman.

Detective Fred Williams (Jack Hedley) takes charge of the investigation and soon suffers from the murderer’s taunts. Along with psychoanalyst Dr. Paul Davis (Paolo Malco), Detective Williams attempts to halt the slayings.

At its heart, Ripper offers a basic plot, one that follows the same path as umpteen other crime thrillers. However, the film fails to explore this territory in a logical manner and it becomes a meandering mess.

Essentially a plot-free mix of sex and violence, Ripper indulges in both elements to an extreme – especially the former. We get many long, indulgent sex scenes that go nowhere and add little to the narrative.

Eventually some of these seemingly superfluous moments connect to the overall tale, but they fail to do so in a particular dynamic manner. Even when they do finally link up, they feel gratuitous, as Fulci uses way more cinematic real estate than necessary to convey the plot/character points.

I get it: fans of this sort of film flock to them for the sex and violence. As such, I can’t complain too much when a movie such as Ripper offers ample indulgence in that sort of material.

Still, I’d like to see the sex and violence offer more substance and purpose than what we find here. It feels like Fulci shot those scenes and then cobbled a loose story around them, so they lack an organic need to exist much of the time.

As a detective story, Ripper flops. Williams and Davis flutter in and out of the movie without consistency, so they seem extraneous much of the time.

If Ripper compensated with a substantive view of the killer, that might not turn into a problem. However, the film piles on red herrings more than actual story beats and becomes little more than one fake-out after another.

I do like the sheer weirdness of the murderer’s decision to speak with a high-pitched duck voice, but otherwise, Ripper lacks much to make it worthwhile. This seems like a loose, rambling collection of gore and skin that lacks much other purpose.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus B

The New York Ripper appears in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. While not gorgeous, the image looked good given its age and origins.

Overall sharpness seemed positive. A smidgen of softness interfered at times – mainly in low-lit interiors – most of the image offered pretty nice clarity and delineation.

I noticed no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. With light grain throughout the film, I didn’t suspect any problematic digital noise reduction. Occasional gate hairs cropped up, but otherwise, the movie lacked source defects.

Colors felt good, as the image tended toward a lot of primary tones. These came across as fairly full and well-rendered.

Blacks came across as pretty dark and tight, while shadows were generally smooth. Some low-light shots could become too thick, but most offered appeaing clarity. A product of its time, this was a more than watchable image.

Given that Ripper exists as an Italian production, one would view its Italian soundtrack as the way to go. However, I don’t feel that way in this case. Though the film used actors of varying nationalities, it clearly asked them to speak English dialogue.

Despite that, the Italian track counts as the “original” because the movie’s initial release occurred in Italy and used that audio. The Blu-ray includes both Italian and English mixes, and normally I go with “original”, but in this case I favored the English track.

I did so simply because it matched the dialogue. Since the actors spoke the lines in English, this made it the logical choice, especially because speech lined up with lip movements better.

However, even in that regard, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 track faltered due to the nature of the source. As mentioned earlier, like most Italian productions, all the dialogue got looped in post-production – and looped poorly in this case, as the lines often don’t match mouth movements especially well.

The dubbed nature of the speech meant lackluster quality as well. The lines tended to be rough and reedy, without natural tones. I could understand the dialogue but it still didn’t sound good.

For the 7.1 mix, effects seemed adequate. They lacked great range and impact, but they showed reasonable reproduction for the most part.

Music worked fine, as the score seemed satisfactory. I couldn’t claim these elements displayed terrific qualities, but they became the best aspect of the mix.

As for the soundscape, it used the various channels in a manner that emphasized the forward speakers. In particular, music focused on the front, where the score offered decent stereo spread.

Effects broadened in a passable manner, though they tended toward general atmosphere. Many of these elements concentrated on the front center, so they used the side and rear speakers in a modest way. All of this added to a decent mix for its age.

This package comes with a slew of extras, and we start with an audio commentary from film historian Troy Howarth. He provides a running, screen-specific look at aspects of director Lucio Fulci’s career as well as cast and performances, sets and locations, cinematography, story/characters, music, and anecdotes related to the production.

The author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci And His Films, Howarth brings us a lively, engaging commentary. He relates a slew of good details about the film and makes this a solid view of the production.

Eight featurettes follow, and these launch with The Art of Killing, a 29-minute, 14-second chat with co-writer Dardano Sacchetti. He discusses his collaboration with Fulci as well as the story/screenplay and production elements. Sacchetti provides a lively, informative chat.

Next comes Three Fingers of Violence, a 15-minute, eight-second interview with actor Howard Ross. He covers his performance and experiences during the shoot. Ross gives us a nice collection of thoughts.

With The Second Victim, we locate a 12-minute, 14-second conversation that features actor Cinzia de Ponti. She gives her notes about Fulci and her time on the film. Though she played a limited role, de Ponti provides a good take on the topics.

Another actor shows up via The Broken Bottle Murder, a nine-minute, 24-second segment with Zora Kerova. She talks about how she came to the production and aspects of her performance. Given that Kerova’s role is to have explicit sex on stage and then die, she comes with an unusual perspective on the production, and she brings some insights.

Kerova appears circa 2009 in I’m an Actress, a nine-minute, 30-second chat. Here she relates her thoughts about the same subjects in the prior featurette. Kerova manages enough alternate notes to make this piece worth a look.

Film historian Stephen Thrower comes to the fore in The Beauty Killer, a 22-minute, 34-second piece. He looks at genre/era considerations as well as aspects of the Ripper production and its reception. Thrower offers a pretty good overview of the subject matter.

Paint Me Blood Red goes for 17 minutes, 14 seconds and features poster artist Enzo Sciotti. As expected, he discusses his career and the film’s advertising art. Sciotti offers a useful take on his domain.

Finally, we go to NYC Locations Then and Now, a four-minute, eight-second featurette. It simply shows images of the movie’s locations circa 1981 and “today” – or 2009, when the program was created. It’s a decent way to compare the changes in NYC.

In addition to the film’s trailer, we find a Poster and Still Gallery. It includes 67 images that show various ads and video packaging. It becomes a good compilation.

A second disc offers a DVD copy of Ripper. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

A third disc provides a CD soundtrack for Ripper. It lasts a full 70 minutes and adds a nice bonus for fans.

Finally, the package concludes with a booklet. It presents photos, credits and an essay from Travis Crawford. The booklet finishes the set on a positive note.

Fans of gratuitous sex and violence may enjoy The New York Ripper, but the film offers nothing else. It barely cobbles together a plot and becomes a nearly random collection of scenes in search of a narrative. The Blu-ray provides generally good picture and audio as well as a nice collection of bonus materials. Genre aficionados will appreciate this release but the movie does nothing for me.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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