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476 Ratings

Fear City

Directed by Abel Ferrara
United States, 1984
Crime, Thriller, Drama


Strippers in Manhattan are being stalked and murdered by a psycho. A hard-nosed police detective and a conflicted ex-boxer-turned-private-eye, hired by the strip club owners, set out to find him before he strikes again.

Fear City Directed by Abel Ferrara

Critics reviews

Ferrara and writer Nicholas St. John build the story around a serial killer who stalks New York streets methodically hunting down exotic dancers. As with the director’s earlier Ms. 45, however, the film mixes gauzy aesthetics with moments of direct filmmaking to produce something unclassifiable… Fear City is not one of the director’s best films, but it nonetheless shows how thoughtful his work can be at the margins of its own titillation.
June 27, 2016
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Fear City, a neo-noir without a mystery, an exploitation film with an anti-violent stance, a skin flick that stabs the male gaze in the eye, is a compromised film… Unlike Ferrara’s best work, the recognizable textures are flat. The diverging ideas don’t come together; the deeper layers of meaning are displaced. Ferrara seems lost in the filthy, labyrinthine backroads of New York.
June 25, 2016
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In both films, hallucination is rendered by very conventional means: slow-motion sound and visuals for the boxing-match death in Fear City; fragmentation, distorted image, and sonic echo for the brother’s murder in The Gladiator. . . . What marks the minor status of Fear City and The Gladiator in Ferrara’s output is less their simplistic structure than the purely functional role of these mental images.
December 20, 2006

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