**/**** Image A Sound A- Extras B-
starring Jack Hedley, Almanta Keller, Howard Ross, Paolo Malco
screenplay by Gianfranco Clerici, Vincenzo Mannino, Lucio Fulci, Dardano Sacchetti
directed by Lucio Fulci
by Bryant Frazer The box art for this Lucio Fulci sleazefest describes it as "The Most Controversial Horror Film Ever Made," which is a stretch. "Notorious" would be a better word. The New York Ripper's main claim to fame is its reputation as a sadistic, gory, and generally misogynist giallo--the Italian term referring to a combination of the crime and horror genres (basically a whodunit with slasher elements) that became popular in the 1960s and endured through the 1970s. Released in 1982 and styled after the psychologically ambitious thrillers of Hitchcock, it bears roughly the same relationship to the gialli film cycle that, say, Touch of Evil does to film noir. If the Fulci film isn't exactly as self-aware as the Welles one, it still functions as a capper, a fitting culmination of a particular form.