Horror Movie Review: The New York Ripper (1982)

Banned in many countries, released in others as an ‘adults only’ movie with heavy editing & it still remains censored to this day…The New York Ripper is a little bit controversial. Sounds like fun, eh?

Directed by the legendary Lucio Fulci, The New York Ripper opens with a man walking his dog & playing catch. One throw of the stick sees the dog returning with a decomposed hand in its mouth instead.

Turns out there is a serial killer running loose on the streets of New York & he has a problem with promiscuous women so sets about killing them as violently as possible. The only clue the police have in hunting the deranged killer down is his distinctive ‘Donald Duck’ style voice!


The New York Ripper is all about 2 things…sex & death. Both come in spades & both are designed to shock. If you’ve seen a Fulci movie before then you know what to expect in relation to nudity. Considering the serial killer of the movie takes issue with women who like to sleep around it is pretty much expected. What wasn’t expected & even took me by surprise was some of the more graphic death scenes.


Like most movies from the video nasty era (In 1984 the chief censor ordered that every print of The New York Ripper be escorted to the airport & deported) there has been a gross over-reaction over a lot of the content but it is easy to see why it upset so many people at the time. Ignore the shameless nudity…almost all the death & violence is meted out to women via men & there are quite a few misogynist comments thrown about.


I wasn’t too impressed until the ‘broken bottle to the crotch’ death, man, I did not see that coming at all. It is really graphic, lengthy & really gory. Fulci knows his gore & he lets it flow in buckets here. Women don’t just get stabbed in the chest…they get sliced open with their intestines spilled all over the place. It’s extremely graphic & very impressive…

The movie is actually a fairly smart who done it, with a number of clever plot twists & an ending that makes enough sense to leave you satisfied. Even the Donald Duck voice the killer puts on makes total sense by the end of the movie…


It’s worth watching to the end to see what happens when a face is shot off in slow motion & up-close using Lucio Fulci gore. Wow….

A surprise watch for me…a video nasty that actually lives up to that infamous title even if it’s only because of the hefty violence dished out to women. Some really gory deaths elevate it as a movie that drops of in the middle as you await the killer’s next victim. Not quite a family friendly movie…


  • Carl Fisher

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The New York Ripper
  • The Final Score - 7/10
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