Driller Killer (Blu-ray)
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- R 587
Abel Ferrara's directorial debut starring himself, credited as Jimmy Laine, alongside Carolyn Marz and Harry Schultz. Struggling New York artist Reno Miller (Laine) is very much down on his luck, with his desperate attempts to complete a painting hampered by the punk band rehearsing round the clock next door. Unable to deal with the situation, Reno goes on a murderous rampage, dispatching his victims with an electric drill.
- Movies & TV
- Region ABC
- Arrow Video
- Number of Discs
- Interactive Menus
- 95 min
- Age Restriction
- Supply Source
- Driller Killer
- Release Year
- Running Time
- 96 min
- Horror/Suspense / Artists / Cult / Cult Film / Killer / New York City / Psychodrama / Psychos / Punk Rockers / Slasher / Theatrical Release
- 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. 45).
- Filmed on location in New York City.
The film was shot over a period of two years, with the characters undergoing miraculous changes in hair lengths over the course of the film, among other interesting gaffes.
The film is something of a legend in Britain, where the lurid video box cover art was exhibit A in the BBFC's forming of the 1984 Video Recordings Act and the banning of violent gore films (termed by the British as "video nasties"). The ban on THE DRILLER KILLER was finally lifted in 1998, after a new distributor made less than a minute of cuts.
Abel Ferrara bills himself as Jimmy Laine in the cast credits.