Monday, 9 July 2007

Quack! Quack! Quack?

"But you won't understand me, you'll never understand me! You're too stupid! Quack! Quack! Quack!" - The New York Ripper, 1982.

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A changing expression...

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And a freezeframe.

Something weird happens at the end of Lucio Fulci’s The New York Ripper. In a scene that seems to come out of nowhere, we see Dr. Paul Davis standing on a sidewalk smiling at something, then his expression changes to a more serious one and he walks away. Then he looks back and de image freezes mysteriously for several seconds before it fades out....

Is something implied here about Dr. Davis? What does it mean?

The funny thing is that it is actually a remainder of a previous scene, which comes after the first attack on Fay. Dr. Davis and Lt. Williams (Jack Hedley) discuss this attack and Dr. Davis claims that it is The Ripper’s first big mistake. Then Davis turns down the offer to ride with Williams, and Williams drives off.

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My guess is that, while editing, it was just used to fill some kind of gap. But why the freeze frame? To “hide” the meaninglessness? Or do you think there is some (un)intentional significance?

6 comments:

James said...

I was also wondering about this. Wether it was just Fulci making another nonsense ending or if there really is more to it.

There is alot about this on imdb's message board. Many people think that he is the killer and that is implied by the freeze frame at the end.

Anonymous said...

It's Fulci and therefore most likely just non-sensical, if it was really meant to imply that he is the true killer Fulci'd have been much more obvious about it.

Crystal Plumage said...

I was under the impression that it was actually a problem of the AB DVD (with other releasee using the same print) and that the newer releases by ie. AWE are corrected,with the scene in place.
Read this:

http://whiggles.landofwhimsy.com/writings/dvdimage-newyorkripper.html

"A further discrepancy shows up in the form of an extraneous shot of Dr. Davis that, on the French disc, is for some bizarre reason spliced into the middle of the final scene, breaking the continuity. This shot should have appeared much earlier in the film, at around the 44 minute mark, when he and Williams have left the hospital. On the Australian DVD, it is completely absent."

N. Kuiper said...

Hey James,
Thanks for pointing out the imdb message boards, that's actually a source I never check out.

Hi Anonymous,
Well that might be true, but for me that's not really all that important. A film should stand on its own, the filmmakers "explanation" or (non-)intentions should already be in the film for the viewer to discover and interpret, not be given before or after...

Hey Crystal,
Nice link, thanks. I love those DVD comparisons they do. But why do they call that "extraneous shot" a discrapancy and not the absens of it on the other DVD. If I understand correctly, no version of this film has that peticular scene at the "correct" place, so I guess it does belong at the end...

K H Brown said...

As I understand it, this is something which is in the Anchor Bay DVD but not the newer Another World one or the original version of the film.

In the latter two, the scene functions to throws suspicion on Dr Davis, that he could be the ripper, whereas in the Anchor Bay it comes across as a coda / comment on all that has preceded it.

The-Iron-Inspector said...

I would'nt read too much much into fellas! Lucio does'nt know the meaning of the word 'subtle' if he was the killer Lucio would have shoved it our faces.