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Fear City [DVD]

Tom Berenger , Billy Dee Williams , Abel Ferrara    DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: £12.24
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Fear City [DVD] + The Blackout [DVD] [1998] + The Addiction [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Berenger, Billy Dee Williams, Jack Scalia, Melanie Griffith, Rossano Brazzi
  • Directors: Abel Ferrara
  • Writers: Nicholas St. John
  • Producers: Bruce Cohn Curtis, Jerry Tokofsky, Stanley R. Zupnik, Tom Curtis
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German, English
  • Subtitles: German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: R (Restricted) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004U9QN
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 242,640 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Certainly not one of Abel Ferrara�s best. 26 Feb 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I remember "King of New York" as a pretty good action-packed, quality movie. Watching "Fear City" I expected to see some of his magic but I must say I was somewhat disappointed. One of the things that are wrong with this movie is it's pace. At one time it races along, the next it gets pretty boring up to the point where you couldn't care less to see the ending.
Another aspect is that the version of "Fear City" I saw was considerably cut for its release in the US.
What does make this movie interesting to watch is Ferrara's uncanny portrayal of the sleaziness of the filming location in New York.
Tom Berenger is average in the role of the tormented Matt Rossi. Applause goes to Michael V Gazzo who (most likely unintentionally) tickles your funny bone as erotic dance club owner Mikey.
Melanie Griffith's character reminded me of her role in Brian De Palma's Body Double(1984). Her display of nudity should amply satisfy the Griffith fans.
All in all "Fear City" is not too bad where it not for pacing, some unevenness of the characters and the cutting involved to prevent the movie from getting an X-rating.
For lovers of this kind of movie, check out "Maniac" (1980) and "New York Ripper"(1982), especially Ferrara's best: "Ms. 45"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars At least it's the most complete 25 Sep 2008
By Dave
At least this Euro release of the otherwise deeply flawed "Fear City" is the most complete version content and censorship wise with none of the visual/audio cuts that blight the awful UK and US releases.
If you want to complete your Ferrara collection this is the version to get
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The New York Dolls. 4 Sep 2013
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Fear City is directed by Abel Ferrara and written by Nicholas St. John. It stars Tom Berenger, Billy Dee Williams, Jack Scalia, Melanie Griffith, Rossano Brazzi, Rae Dawn Chong and Maria Conchita. Music is by Dick Halligan and cinematography by James Lemmo.

A serial killer with martial arts skills is targeting exotic dancers in the Manhattan district of New York. An angry cop and an ex-boxer with a vested interest in the girls' welfare vie for the scalp of the killer.

The visual backdrop of a neon lighted Manhattan adorned with sex and violence, a sort of urban nightmare, should have been the starting point for some Abel Ferrara class. Unfortunately what transpires is a derivative film of unimaginative dialogue, a weakly constructed plot and a sense that it's really a skin flick for young teenage boys learning about what makes them tingle.

The visual experience is rather ace, definitely, with Ferrara painting it as a neon drenched city of blood, sweat and tears, while the score thrums away like an 80s grim reaper determined to keep the story in the realm of darkly classic film noir. Hell! Even the flashback structure used for Berenger's troubled pugilist has a nice noirish kink to it, but everything else is a mess.

The narrative includes such unsubtle plot devices as bisexuality, drug abuse, guilt and even "reverse racism", but do any of these add up to anything approaching cinematic oomph? Hell no! And this is even before we get to the killer, who we see from the off but that's all we know about him. I mean he has a book called "Fear City" and he likes to do his martial arts in the nude, and he likes to cause considerable pain to his victims, but why?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see 10 Jan 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The basic story..A psycho killer who's an expert in martial arts is brutally killings the strippers of N.Y. city. The two rival mobs who control the underworld blame each other and the police have come up with nothing. Later ex boxer Matty (Tom Berenger) who now runs a stripper agency seeks the killer himself.
The film is pretty sleazy so it may put some people off but for me this is an excellent and superior film. Ferrara's direction as always is superb and he gets that gritty and seedy look of the New York underbelly that few others can. Highly stylish and atmospheric it's also very entertaining with violent deaths and other action. For a low budget film the cast is impressive with good performance and the final fight between the martial arts killer and Berenger is an absolute knock-out. There may be the odd time when it becomes a bit slower but this film contains many dazzling set pieces.
I know there are different versions of the film:the cinema release, T.V. version, those cut by the censors etc(also many scenes were shot that have never been seen as the producers took them away from Ferrara). This version may have lost some of the original audio but it's got the violence and the nunchaku scenes that were originally cut by the bbfc. I absolutely love this film but I still hope that one day a proper director's cut comes out and we can see this the way Ferrara truly wanted it to be.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Ferrara never disappoints 25 Dec 2011
Fear City [DVD]

I'm fond of everything Ferrara directed in the eighties. He has a raw sensibility that is quite idiosyncratic and you can see it in full display on Fear City.
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