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The Driller Killer (1979) - movie overview

The Driller Killer (1979)

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(6 votes)
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(1 review)
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Trivia (8)
Plot Description
Shooting Locations

DVD Release Date
• R1: Sep 27, 2005

Budget $45,000

Running Time
1 hour, 34 minutes

Country USA

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Genre: Drama, Horror, Psychos, Slasher, Serial Killer, Gore, Gay/Lesbian, Cult Classic

Tagline: It will shatter you!

Plot: Director Abel Ferrara's (BAD LIEUTENANT) first major feature has an infamous reputation but is actually more of an art film than a straightforward bloodletter. Tortured and penniless artist Reno (Ferrara) and his girlfriends Carol (Carolyn Marz) and Pamela (Baybi Day) hang out at their New York loft, enduring such problems as the phone bill, the rent, and a rock band that's always practicing downstairs. When it all becomes too much, Reno grabs his drill and runs through the city on all-night rampages. Eventually, Carol moves out, Reno's paintings don't sell, and things just get worse from there. Shot on gritty 16mm, THE DRILLER KILLER has a distinctly 1970s New York underground feel--a low-rent artistic quality that makes it seem like a cross between TAXI DRIVER and ANDY WARHOL'S TRASH (with drilling). Low-budget and somewhat amateurish, this film nevertheless benefits from some moody lighting and Ferrara's brave insight into the psyche. Reno's mental disintegration manages to be chillingly believable and a potent statement on the place of the artist in modern society. A surprise hit on the drive-in circuit, this was rereleased in 1981 to capitalize on the teenage slasher movie boom (and the success of Ferrara's second film, MS.

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 External Reviews
external linkThis is one of those movies you endure because though it's strange and somewhat compelling it's also off-putting and kind of annoying at the same time. Noisy, filled with odd set pieces and giving you a feeling of being unsure what the filmmakers intentions were; this is an interesting failure at least. 1.5/4

external linkDon't be fooled by the marketing behind this supposedly gory flick that still lives on today on the Internet. This movie sucks—and it isn't even gory. ... A pretentious low-budget slasher film that isn't even good for bad-movie laughs. Avoid like the plague.
-- (

 Directed by
Abel Ferrara
Bad Lieutenant, King of New York, Body Snatchers
 Written by
Nicholas St. John
King of New York, The Funeral, The Addiction
Abel Ferrara
Ms. 45, Épreuves d'artistes, Abel Ferrara: Not Guilty
 Music By
Joe Delia
Bad Lieutenant, King of New York, The Tao of Steve

 Recommended Movies
Movie Title Agree Disagree
Street Trash (1987)
Slumber Party Massacre, The (1982)
Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary (1975)
Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS (1975)
Nightmare (1981)
Alien Prey (1978)
Faceless (1988)
Exterminator, The (1980)

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