Fear City [DVD]
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Mid-period Abel Ferrara thriller which has Tom Berenger playing a cop trying to forget his prize fighter days. When his stripper ex-girlfriend Melanie Griffiths has trouble with a killer attacking women in the club where she works, Berenger ends up getting involved.
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Top Customer Reviews
Given the subject matter and topics touched upon –bisexuality, drug abuse, sadistic mutilations, and set against a seedy background of erotic dancing, this should be a riveting view but is somehow lacklustre. The clubs are smart and clinical, the girls beautiful but bored, and the pace is often too relaxed for its own good, not helped by the laid back soundtrack hardly seeming to get into gear. The romance between Rossi and Loretta lacks any bite and Rossi’ flashbacks to his boxing career seem pointless waffle and we know the killer from the start so there’s no suspense and even the showdown between the two main gangs is unconvincing.
The single disc loads to main menu offering Play, trailer, scene selection, special features [cast & filmmaker, still] and peepshow [basically letterbox format of opening dance scenes]. A neat feature is the backing track gets louder each time it plays if you don’t select anything.
Full of promise at the start, even topless dancing by beautiful women can’t save this average movie from being a mediocre **. It’s like an episode of ‘Starsky and Hutch’ or ‘Miami Vice’, without the action or driving music. If you want action or eroticism, look elsewhere as this seems to be riding on the name of it’s director and main actors/actresses.
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"
If you want to complete your Ferrara collection this is the version to get
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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... Read morePublished on 4 Sept. 2013 by Spike Owen