Combustible Celluloid
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With: Tom Berenger, Billy Dee Williams, Jack Scalia, Melanie Griffith, Rossano Brazzi, Rae Dawn Chong, Joe Santos, Michael V. Gazzo, Jan Murray, Janet Julian, Daniel Faraldo, Maria Conchita Alonso
Written by: Nicholas St. John
Directed by: Abel Ferrara
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 96
Date: 07/18/1984

Fear City (1984)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Strip Trip

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Before he became an art-house filmmaker with Bad Lieutenant (1992), Abel Ferrara was a plain old exploitation director. Fear City (1984, Anchor Bay Entertainment, $24.98) is his ode to the strip bars of New York City. Tom Berenger plays a former boxer and current agent to the strippers and Billy Dee Williams is a cop. The two find themselves reluctantly working together to catch a killer who targets strippers. Melanie Griffith, Rae Dawn Chong, and Maria Conchita Alonso co-star as strippers. The film is a pretty standard late-night cable affair, with its straightforward, evenly-lit clubs and streets, but Ferrara lets his presence be known by lingering on the more gruesome moments, when lesser directors would shy away.

DVD Details: Anchor Bay released the U.S. DVD, and there is an imported, uncut DVD as well, but as of 2008 all versions are currently out of print.

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