Sutton Square in The New York Ripper

One of the more intriguing shots in Lucio Fulci’s The New York Ripper involves the residence of nymphomaniac Jane Lodge and her husband. A close examination of this scene reveals the distinctive features of the Queensboro Bridge before zooming in on their house. The conjunction of the Queensboro Bridge and the grandeur of their home leave little doubt that their mansion is located in the Sutton Place neighborhood.

7 Sutton Square as seen in Lucio Fulci’s The New York Ripper (1982)

Their home at the end of E 58th street, 7 Sutton Square, formerly known as 1 Riverview Terrace, has a long and fascinating history. Unlike many other cities, the New York City waterfront was traditionally not considered a desirable place to live for wealthy people. During the 20th century, however, the neighborhood known as Sutton Place increasingly became an attractive and secluded place to reside. The residences on Riverview Terrace even enjoy a private, gated, waterfront park.

If one would go out and search for the building with its distinctive white brick and lemon shutters that is seen in The New York Ripper, one would have a hard time locating it since the house was restored back to its original red brick colors. Also missing today are the two sea creatures (modeled after the gates within the Giardino di Boboli in Florence, Italy) that sat on top of the entry gates to Riverview Terrace.

7 Sutton Square in June, 2019. Photo by Niyati Shah

The choice of 7 Sutton Square as the couple’s residence in The New York Ripper is suggestive because the decayed and corroded sights of the Queensboro bridge behind it draw attention to the neglected and dangerous New York City that is so prominently featured in Fulci’s American giallo classic.

The Sutton Place neighborhood is no stranger to murder mysteries, as evidenced by the cover of Robert George Dean’s “The Sutton Place Murders”, a novel published in 1936.

Homo Lycanthropus

“For more than 100,000 years, Homo lycanthropus has lived unobtrusively among human beings. Those whose powers were uncovered were stigmatized as witches, sorcerers, werewolves, and other supernatural beings persecuted down through the ages. The beings have bred with the human race, refining their skills and increasing their numbers, until they have reached the point in evolution where their reemergence is inevitable. That time is now.”

Stefan Dziemianowicz about Jack Williamson’s novel, Darker Than You Think (1948) in Icons of Horror and the Supernatural: An Encyclopedia of Our Worst Nightmares.

“Throwbacks are born…Not often-so long as nature is left alone. It’s all a matter of probability, and you can see the odds. But every man alive is a carrier, and most throwbacks are only partial. Literally millions of variations are possible between pure Homo sapiens and pure lycanthropus… Those born with a stronger inheritance are usually better aware of their unusual gifts – and more careful to conceal them. In the Middle Ages- so long as the Inquisition kept alive the ancient arts of witch-hunting-they were usually found and burned. Nowadays they fare better. They’re able to realize their gifts, and organize, and plot to regain their lost supremacy…The throwbacks have begun to gather into secret clans. By mating among themselves, they have upset the random odds, and increased the probability of reversion…They are finding the carriers and using the modern science of selective breeding- with doubtless some improvements of their own- to filter out the dominant genes of Homo sapiens and so give birth to this powerful leader they’re waiting for- the monstrous Messiah they call the Child of Night.”

Sam Quain in Darker Than You Think (1948)

Belgian Dawn of the Dead Poster

One of the most intriguing and rare memorabilia for George Romero’s European release of Dawn of the Dead is this Belgian promotional poster. Unlike most artwork for this movie, the emphasis here is not on menacing zombies or cityscapes. The poster shows Fran and Peter on the right in some tense moments and various, smaller, shots of zombies on the left. The relatively small space allocated to the film’s protagonists and zombies allows more room for graphic design, font, and text decisions. Robert Mazrim in his book “Zombie 1979: Life at the Dawn of the Dead” characterizes the poster as follows:

“…a 1979 Belgian poster looked less like an advertisement for an apocalyptic zombie movie and more like a sale at Sears. Looking back, the imagery seems entirely appropriate.”

As was common in these days, the poster instructs the viewer to “prepare for one of the most chilling movies ever realized!!!” At the bottom in blue it further warns that Zombie is not for sensitive persons. And there is, of course, the obligatory mistake in writing Goblin as “The Goblin.”