Also known in Italian as Lo squartatore di New York. This film was brought to you by the late Italian director and veteran of horror, Lucio Fulci. Most people who are unfamiliar with his work still manage to hear about Zombi 2 (or Zombie, released in the USA, and Zombie Flesh Eaters from the UK). I'm not a huge fan of Fulci's but he never fails to deliver a gruesome tale. Fulci is proof that torturous elements in horror existed well before the days of Saw and Hostel. Given the time period, most of it was displayed realistically, too. Unfortunately, along with other Italian directors at the time, you always get the cheap-sounding audio and dubbed English. Movies of this kind are an acquired taste and aren't meant for everyone. Even if you love Slashers, an Italian directed Slasher from around that time is done much differently.
This film is about a serial killer on the loose who kills women of a certain type. The lead detective on the case is caught in a game of cat and mouse, who consults a criminal profiler to aid him in his assessment. As far as the plot is concerned, it plays out like a typical Giallo. Just when you're certain you know who the killer is, it switches hands to someone else. There are plenty of red herrings to throw you off the mark but most of it is poorly executed. Of course, the viewer is forced to sit through various contrived sexual scenes that offer no substance to the story other than to showcase a typical money- making exercise. Perhaps Fulci was touching base with the fact that many killers use sex as a means of control - or more likely, was trying to capitalize on cheap American-made tactics to appeal to movie-goers. I prefer to recognize the latter.
The ending is interesting but comes from left-field rather abruptly - no cues exist early on to surprise you during the conclusion. When discussing the ending, it's worth mentioning that the editing is sloppy. I later discovered the reason for this and I believe it was out of Fulci's hands. Certain segments during the ending were intended to be used in other parts of the film, causing things to be confusing.
Fulci loved to push the limits of what was possible and acceptable in the realm of gore and violence. His imagination knew no bounds. If you're patient enough to reach these sporadic moments, few and far between as they are, you may find yourself treated to his gruesome innovations.