A serial killer makes New York unsafe. Brutally murders he maimed his female victims. Inspector Williams in the dark. Meanwhile, the killer continues to make victims and the police harass with nasty phone calls. When the girlfriend of Williams is likely to be the next victim of the frustrated police launch an intense manhunt … The New York Ripper (Los squartatore di New York) is one of Lucio Fulci’s most controversial films: stylish and exciting, but also extremely bloody, brutal and sadistic. A horror classic of the first water! (Thanks Google, you’ve managed a perfect translation of the Dutch overview from my DVD!)
1982 – Certificate: 16 – Italian Film
6.0 out of 10
I like to watch films; and TV too, although I virtually never do the latter. I enjoy the experience and often have a wee drink as an accompaniment. I’m not 100% sure, but I suspect there’s a correlation between how much I enjoy what I watch and what I have to drink, (or more accurately, how much alcohol I have to drink). Not being the sort of person to pass up an opportunity to carry out radial, left-field, cutting edge research when the occasion arises, I’ve decided to report this information here from now on. I know it’s not going to provide a cure for Ebola, sort out any civil wars or grant Scotland independence, but it’s still pretty exciting stuff isn’t it? There is one small problem though. I can’t actually start to do this yet, as I can’t remember what I had to drink whilst I was watching this film. I guess Einstein had days like this too.
Why do I watch films like this? A serial killer (who talks like a duck for reasons explained near the end of the movie) is on the loose in New York and a burnt out cop is after him. I’m not a fan of cop films or 70s production values. (It was made in 1982 but it looks like it was made in 1974.) I guess as an example of ‘that’ kind of film it’s actually pretty good and carries an uncomfortably authentic level of sleaziness. Most of the men in it are just dreadful. I watched the uncut version. In the UK the film was refused a certificate when first released (effectively banned) and an instruction given that all the prints of the film should be removed from the country. It’s never been released uncut in the UK. So I ended up watching a Dutch import of an Italian film set in America, in which most of the actors are speaking Italian that was later dubbed into English for its release. These days, now we’re more enlightened (i.e. when we’re happy for youngsters to play video games where they can actually rip people to pieces), most of it did feel dated and clichéd, although some of its murder scenes are still pretty unpleasant. Probably not a good first date movie.
The soundtrack is uniformly horrible. In other words, it’s an ideal fit for the movie and adds a great deal to its sleazy, dated feel. Way too much sax.
The trailer below is the ‘nice’ one. If you want to see the ‘not nice’ one, follow the link below instead. Either way, they’re a suitably faithful representation of the film. I can’t help thinking they overdid the screaming though, just a little bit.
Recommended for police offices, serial killers and psychiatrists; and sleazy guys in general.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? At the start of the film, a young woman on a bike (Rosie) manages to stupidly crash into a guy’s car and scratch it down the side. She’s uninjured and her bike undamaged, but he’s naturally a bit pissed about it. However, she just calls him an asshole and cycles off, leaving him with a lot of hassle and a big repair bill. Shortly afterwards she’s murdered by a serial killer. I know it’s wrong and everything and I’ll probably go to Hell for it, but a little bit of me was glad. Payback is a bitch… and badass.
The stunning Laura Gemser stars as Emanuelle, the fearless fashion photographer and investigative photojournalist whose thirst for adventure is matched only by her insatiable erotic hunger. But when Emanuelle uncovers shocking evidence of an international snuff film conspiracy, she is plunged into an odyssey of forbidden passion, depraved desires and unspeakable human brutality. From the lust-filled streets of New York City to the corrupt corridors of Washington D.C. and beyond, one of the most controversial sex and gore epics in exploitation history has finally come home: This is “Emanuelle in America”! Everything you’ve heard about this jaw-dropping cult classic is true: graphic sex, harrowing violence, a horse named Pedro and much, much more. Directed by the notorious Joe D’Amato (“Beyond the Darkness”), “Emanuelle in America” has been newly mastered from pristine vault materials and is now presented completely uncut for the first time ever!
1976 – Certificate: Not Rated – Italian Film
5.0 out of 10
Last weekend provided Cactus World with its warmest day of the year so far. Apparently it got to nearly 70F in some parts. The roads will be melting again at this rate… Anyway, I was so excited by this sudden burst of warmth that I decided to wash nearly every bit of clothing that I normally wear, so even if my washing machine’s dryer failed to work (as is often the case) I’d still be able to dry things by draping them attractively all around my lounge. I never did get to find out about the dryer, as the washing machine decided that this time it wasn’t going to bother spinning anything instead. I was left with a big pile of soaking wet clothing that even now, some 70 hours later, has only just dried out. I had to go to an external meeting for work on Monday morning in wet clothes. What fun! I spent all of Sunday converting my lounge into a DIY sauna, as my dripping clothing and heating combined to produce a pretty decent impersonation of a rain forest. It hardly ever gets that hot here, even in the summer; Cactus World isn’t well-known for its extremes of temperature. The only signs of happiness came from the pot plants, who all thought their Christmases and birthdays had come at once. This film was probably viewed as ‘hot’ in the 70s, but now it just comes across as a bit creepy, old and at times unintentionally funny.
Emanuelle, the “fearless fashion photographer and investigative photojournalist” (I’d like to have seen her fit that on her passport) investigates the seedy world of decadent politicians and snuff movies. Potentially an interesting and exciting plot for a horror-thriller, instead she seems to spend most of her time in various states of undress, or watching others in a similar position. I’ve heard of people enjoying their jobs, but even on a good day I don’t enjoy mine quite that much; (which I sure comes as a great relief to all my colleagues). The admittedly attractive Laura Gemser isn’t very convincing as a private investigator, although what she lacks in ability she makes up for with good fortune. An example? Undercover as some rich asshole’s plaything, she randomly wonders about his estate for a few minutes, where she finds a load of guns hidden in a crate under some sacks in a stable. Yes, that’s bound to happen isn’t it? Not that they play any other part in the movie after that of course. Still, all journalists do these days is hack people’s mobile phones, whereas Laura most definitely had to do it the hard way. She’s either very brave or very stupid. Sadly, after all her clever undercover work, the newspaper she works for refuses to publish her story and she throws a bit of a wobbly at the editor. So, instead of going to the police with all her evidence, she goes off on holiday with her boyfriend to some tropical island, which then inexplicably turns into a movie set. (No, I didn’t fully understand that either). The End. I did initially get a bit excited at the beginning of the film, when what looked a lot like the view of a star field from a starship travelling at warp, popped up on the screen; but then it turned out it was just the StudioCanal logo. After that things went a bit downhill. To be fair, it still has a few scenes that are likely to ‘surprise’ some people and the snuff film effects are pretty horrific too; but it’s style and presentation now seem so overwhelmingly old fashioned that watching it was more akin to finding a long lost item of clothing, which, despite it’s now utterly unfashionable appearance, is still sort of comforting to wear. A reminder of simpler times perhaps? Did anyone really take this stuff seriously? I’m so glad I was too young in 1976 to notice things like this. Thank God punk came along.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to find a real trailer anywhere. So instead here’s an entirely uneventful clip of Emanuelle in a gondola in Venice, Italy. The film is called “Emanuelle in America” after all.
The music. Yes, the music. It’s a horrible cross between porn-funk, crappy early 70’s soft rock and easy listening. It’s awful, but at the same time works really well in setting up the whole feel of the film. Yep, it really is that bad.
Recommended for investigative journalists, corrupt politicians, swingers and guys with blonde moustaches and silly medallions, who wear white shirts with huge collars.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? A guy with a gun suddenly pops up in the back of Laura Gemser’s car as she’s driving along. Refusing money or the car, he says all he wants is to strangle and murder her. Personally, that would probably freak me out and make me late for something, but not so the beautiful Laura. Keeping totally cool and using her unique abilities, (which if I’m honest I’m unlikely to be able to reproduce if I should ever find myself in a similar situation), she ‘talks’ her way out of it. I have to admit, that’s badass. She’s a very cool babe.