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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Night Ripper aka "The Monster of Florence" aka "Il mostro di Firenze" [Blu-ray]


(Cesare Ferrario, 1986)





Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: G.M.P.

Video: Media Target Distribution / Film Art spine #6



Region: 'B'-locked (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:40:40.868 / alt - 1:34:30.247

Disc Size: 45,408,438,166 bytes

Feature Size: 27,694,940,160 bytes  / alt - 16,403,417,088 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.30 Mbps / alt - 19.98 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Yellow DVD-sized Blu-ray case

Release date: June 5th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio German 828 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 828 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core:
1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 925 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 925 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 /
48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)



English, German, none



Trailer (2:00)
German Trailer Das Auge Des Bosen (3:34)
German Trailer La Coda dello Scorpione (2:27)
German Trailer La Strano Vizio della Signora Wardh (3:05)
German Trailer Amore e Morte Nel Giardino Degli Dei (2:29)






Description: One of the more difficult docudramas to come out of Italy in recent years, this is a fictionalized account of the murders that occurred in Florence once a year between 1970 and 1985. The difficulty lies in the fact that the movie was made without the criminal ever being caught. And so the director and writer do not have any idea who he is and have to postulate a young killer whose problems started in early childhood because of a traumatic sexual encounter he witnessed. This serial killer only murders lovers. Another difficulty lies in the fact that the victims' families understandably do not want their slain sons and daughters represented as gory corpses, or in the process of dying. Director Cesare Ferrario has therefore had to tone down his film, and trace the story by focusing mainly on the first and last murders. A fictional reporter named Andreas Ackermann (Leonard Mann) is followed as he tracks down leads in the developing story. The monster in fact turned out to be more than one man. In March, 1998, a 70-year-old ex-postal worker named Mario Vanni was sentenced to life imprisonment for five of the total of 8 double murders committed by the "monster of Florence." At the same time, 58-year-old Giancarlo Lotti was given 30 years for participating in the last four double murders. A third man was acquitted and a fourth convicted but then later released for lack of sufficient evidence. The last man, Pietro Pacciani, died in 1998 at the age of 73. All four men were friends.



The Film:

The Monster of Florence (Italian: Il Mostro di Firenze) is the name commonly used by the media in Italy for a series of eight double murder cases that took place between 1968 and 1985 in the province of Florence, Italy. Prosecution offices carried on several investigations into the cases for many years. The courts reached the conclusion that the murders were not committed by a single person but by a group of at least four perpetrators, who became later known as "the picknick comarades", and were definitively convicted. The 1968 murder was found to be a case unrelated to the others, albeit that the gun, that probably originally belonged to small local criminality, might be the same involved in the actual Monster cases. The victims were young couples parked in lovers' lane or camping in the surroundings of Florence in dark areas and on New moon periods, the murderers always used multiple weapons (both a cal .22 gun and a knife), they excised sexual parts of the bodies of female victims, and the intent to obtain such fetishes appeared to be the motive of the crimes.

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Night Ripper also known as "The Monster of Florence" is on Blu-ray from Germany offering both the 100-minute version and the 'alt'-Italian presentation that is about 6-minute shorter - not seamlessly-branched, but in 1080P and has the same audio and subtitle options. The longer version has the superior transfer with a much higher bitrate and it looks to be from the same source just not as tight or grain-consistent in HD. The image quality is quite strong - decent contrast, colors may lean a shade blue-green but the visuals are sharp and the grain fine. There are a few light scratches - one vertical one that stays for a while but they are transparent enough not to deter the viewing. The film has some very dark sequences - I noticed no noise - and a black and white scene near the conclusion that seem faithful to the theatrical. This Blu-ray has a better image than I was expecting and it gave me a pleasing presentation.




Film Art - 100-minute - Blu-ray - TOP

Film Art - Alt-Italian - Blu-ray BOTTOM






















Audio :

Audio comes in DTS-HD Master (16-bit) mono tracks in both original Italian and a German DUB. It sounds authentically flat - reasonably clean with some intense screams carrying some potent unnerving depth. The score is by Paolo Rustichelli - son of composer Carlo Rustichelli (The Long Hair of Death, The Whip and the Body, Seduced and Abandoned, Divorce - Italian Style, 1974's Ten Little Indians) and it moves the film along although not as disorienting as a typical Giallo score. There are optional English or German subtitles, for both versions, and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.



Extras :

Aside from the, hour 34-minute, alt-Italian version - there are some Giallo trailers, mostly in German - in varying quality.



Night Ripper is creepy! It will remind many of Fincher's Zodiac (or Tom Hanson's 1970 The Zodiac Killer) with some 'Son of Sam' thrown in as the murders have many similarities (couples slain in cars and/or in the act of intimacy.)  It's on our Giallo listing HERE and does share a few of the genre's tell-tales but it's on the outer edge. Regardless, it's a gripping film and the docu-drama narrative adds to the vérité horrors.
The Blu-ray is the only way to presently see this in 1080P - and it's a decent presentation with optional English subtitles - and the ability to see the shorter Italian version. I would think that if you appreciate Giallo, or simply the historical significance - you will probably also enjoy Night Ripper

Gary Tooze

November 4th, 2017




About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Gary W. Tooze





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