NYPD’s most jaded cop is taunted by a razor-slashing maniac who carves his way through sexually active young women whilst making a deranged Donald Duck voice imitation
“The New York Ripper” arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of ‘Shameless’ on a region free Blu-ray disc presented in 2.35:1 aspect ratio with an MPEG-4 AVC video encode 1080p presentation.
Considering the movie is 32 years old I must admit thought the video presentation was great and looked much better than I expected it to look. Definition is a little on the soft side, but the detail is there. Facial and hair detail, clothing lines and buildings look particularly impressive but because of the age of the movie it doesn’t look as sharp as what you would come to expect from today’s standards of course. Both indoor and outdoor scenes look good, with colours looking great with an even colour balance. Darker scenes also look great, with impressive black levels that retain the detail. The print itself is largely clean, but there’s enough grain, dirt marks and scratches that help keep with the films grim and murky look.
There are a range of different audio options available on the ‘Shameless’ release of “The New York Ripper”. You can choose from either English, Italian and Spanish 2.0 DTS HD Master Audio tracks, as well as an original English Dolby 2.0 track. For the purposes of this review, I have opted for the English DTS HD Master Audio 2.0 track.
The DTS HD Master Audio track is good, but at times does sound a little tinny and restricted, with not as much depth that you would expect from today’s standards. The mix is delivered to a decent standard however, with dialogue coming across naturally and never drowned out in the mix. It’s worth noting however that this is the usual mix of dubbing and native speaking characters, so don’t be too surprised if it looks a little strange on screen. The soundtrack is also delivered clearly, which really ups the ante when our quacking serial killer goes on the rampage. No LFE here because of the 2.0 mix.
Overall the DTS HD Master Audio is good and should please both old fans revisiting “The New York Ripper” for the first time on Blu-ray and to the first time viewers.
“The New York Ripper” arrives on Blu-ray in the UK with the following special features
* Interview with Antonella Fulci and Dardano Sacchetti (19 mins)
* Theatrical trailer (3 mins)
* Bonus trailers for “The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh”, “Almost Human”,”Salon Kitty”, “Strip Nude for your Killer” and “Manhattan Baby”
* 6 page booklet
The interview with Fulci and Sacchetti is the main meat to the special features here, and is quite an interesting watch. The 6 page booklet that is also included is an analysis of the movie by Stephen Thrower which looks at the controversy that the movie has with the BBFC amongst other things. It’s also worth pointing out that if you haven’t seen the film, then do not flick through the booklet as it does contain spoilers to the movie.
This was another one of those horror movies that I have always heard about, seen the VHS, DVD covers and poster art for but had never seen the movie. Having this land through my letterbox I have to admit I was itching to pop this into the Blu-ray player and see what I thought to “The New York Ripper”. Running at 90 minutes it certainly didn’t outstay its welcome, but at the same time I didn’t find it to be as ‘shocking’ as I had been lead to believe to be. I think growing up in the age I did missed out on a lot of these kind of horror releases, and having watched more of the ‘torture porn’ movies that have sprung up in recent years has desensitised me from the original shock value that “The New York Ripper” no doubt had. I can see why back when it was released the movie shocked people and was banned, kind of in similar vein to that of “The Exorcist”, but when you watch it today in my opinion it doesn’t have the same impact as it used to. However, there is no denying that this is a more hardcore slasher horror movie which you will never see get made today, and is grim and controversial to say the least. The film is brutal, hard hitting and doesn’t shy away from anything. The practical FX are great and hold up well to today’s standards also. I’ll let you make your mind up on the whole ‘duck quacking’ noises that come from our ‘Ripper’.
Whilst the movie is still cut over here in the UK (by roughly 29 seconds), ‘Shameless’ have done some great work to insert reaction shots to lessen the blow of the cuts which is all explained in the opening text of the movie. What is interesting however, is that the ‘Shameless’ release features an additional 15 second scene that does not feature on any other addition. The following exert is taken from DVD Compare –
“Most DVD editions have been confirmed to have a misplaced scene: at ~44min into the movie, when Hedley and Malco are outside the hospital talking, Hedley drives off – this should cut to a shot of Malco walking off, then turning and the frame freezing running ~0:15 (this is designed to make Malco look suspicious, like a red herring). On many DVD editions, the shot is, for whatever reason, suffled to the end of the film in between the footage of Malco, Hedley and the girl in the police car and the stuff with the kid crying in the hospital. For some unknown reason, the shot from the earlier scene crops up there, interrupting the flow of the final scenes and creating a continuity flub since he is wearing a different suit of clothes.”
For fans of “The New York Ripper”, the ‘Shameless’ release is not only a fine edition to pick up if you don’t already own the movie, but it is also a perfect companion to the US ‘Blue Underground’ release. My first viewing of “The New York Ripper” certainly won’t be the last, and this ‘Shameless’ release is easily a keeper for me and will sit proudly in my horror collection.