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Fear City (1984)

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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 1,639 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 17 critic

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.


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Title: Fear City (1984)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Rossi
Al Wheeler
Nicky Parzeno
Jan Murray ...
Janet Julian ...
Silver (as Maria Conchita)
John Foster ...
Emilia Crow ...
Bibi (as Emilia Lesniak)


In New York City, a psycho killer is stalking and randomly slashing and killing strippers working in various nightclubs. Matt Rossi is a former boxer trying to escape his past whom is currently employed at a talent agency which caters exotic dancers to the mafia-controlled strip clubs all over Manhattan. Matt and his business partner, Nicky, are relentlessly dogged by Al Wheeler, a persistent police detective on the case of the murdered strippers, and hoping to find something to nail both Matt and Nicky on. Matt is trying to reconcile with his former flame, Loretta, whom also works as a dancer and has a off-again, on-again drug problem. With the police constantly hounding them, and under pressure from his mob boss and other bosses to do something, Matt must somehow face his inner demons to find the killer before he strikes again. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


New York City ... Open 24 Hours. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 July 1984 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Fear City  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was drastically reedited before it's release because of the MPAA's ratings board strict guidelines on graphic violence, language and nudity at that point in time. Which are noticeable due to the film's many jump cuts in handful of scenes specifically most of the attacks on the strippers by the unnamed killer for example. Ultimately it caused Twentieth Century-Fox to sell of the film to an independent distributor for a theatrical release. See more »


Al Wheeler: [as Rossi drives off] There's nothing I hate more than guineas in Cadillacs.
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Referenced in A Short Film About the Long Career of Abel Ferrara (2004) See more »


New York Doll
Written by Joe Delia & David Johansen
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User Reviews

Less than successful crime flick from Abel Ferrara
4 March 2007 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Abel Ferrara is one of the kings of gritty, urban cinema, and he's made some good stuff with flicks like Ms 45, King of New York and Bad Lieutenant; but when he gets it wrong, it's often disastrous; shown by boring films such as Cat Chaser and The Funeral, and unfortunately; Fear City is another not completely successful film from the cult director. I went into this one hoping for something like a Giallo-styled urban thriller set in New York, but it's more like a hodgepodge of cool and dodgy characters, with a bunch of murders that feel more like an afterthought than a well thought out plot line. The plot focuses on a strip club in New York. Matt Rossi, an ex-boxer who was forced to quit the ring after killing a man is working for a talent agency with links to the strip club, along with his friend Nicky. Strippers start being murdered, and cop Al Wheeler starts to exert pressure on Matt and Nicky in the hope that he'll be able to bring them down. This leads Matt to try and track down the murderer himself...

The main problem with the film is the plot. Ferrara doesn't seem to want to just focus on one thing, and the result is a film that tries to do too much and ends up being a confusing mess. Furthermore, it's often completely predictable where the film is going and it's not even all that fun getting there. The murders are the biggest disappointment as despite the fact that the director has something of a flair for violence - these ones are very tame and some of them even happen off-screen! Very disappointing. The scenes inside the central strip club are nice and sleazy and, actually, my favourite thing about the film. The characters aren't particularly interesting, nor are the performances. The only notable actors in the film are Billy Dee Williams (better known for his role in the latter two Star Wars films) and a young Melanie Griffith. The most notable part comes at the end of the film in the form of a fight between the boxer and the murderer. Overall, Fear City has a good atmosphere and looks nice; but this isn't backed up by a decent plot, so the film isn't all that good.

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who plays the killer? rj1321
not to be a pig but.... FlyingTriumph
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Abel was he ere he was able jtcbrt
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