Director: Abel Ferrara
Starring: Abel Ferrara, Carolyn Marz, Baybi Day, Harry Schultz, Alan Wynroth
It will shatter you!
Reno is a young painter trying to make a living for himself by doing his art while living with his girlfriend Carol and her lover Pamela in a gritty neighborhood in New York. While he is working on his new piece, a punk band moves in next door and their noise is quickly becoming a big annoyance for Reno.
That, together with the economic problems and relationship problems between him and Carol are starting to take a toll on him and he is experiencing more and more aggressiveness within himself. In the end, he snaps, and the result leaves a bunch of bodies floating in the streets of New York.
The Driller Killer… such a grizzly title, such a grotesque cover, such an infamous brutal movie that helped spark the video nasty hysteria in the UK. Behind all of that is a film about the struggles of a man who can’t cope with his own downfall wrapped up into an interesting look at the New York scene at the time.
The film stars the director himself, Abel Ferrara, in the main part as Reno. It’s quite a feature to be able to both direct and star in a film at such a young age and yet have the talent to juggle both very well. His portrayal of Reno is great and it is nice to see how Ferrara went on to have a respectable career after doing this and also his previous film, which was an adult film called 9 Lives of a Wet Pussy.
While I do appreciate the filmmaker for what he tried to do here, it will disappoint people who are out for a brutal slasher film though, cause the focus here is more on the struggles of Reno instead of the killings and horror. Yeah, the film does deserve the title Driller Killer, but all of the music scenes will put a big percent of the horror fans off the film.
It is also not made to be very entertaining, it is more artsy in a way that the filmmakers are more concerned about the story and characters instead of making it a fun watch for the viewer. In fact, the murder scenes seems like the ones that have the least effort and passion put into them. It seems like these scenes are ran through a bit, and although some are quite brutal they are not there to shock people but rather again focus on the mental state of Reno.
The music also plays a big part of the film, especially in showing the scene that these characters are living in. Hell, the film even starts with a plea to the viewer that the film should be played loud. In the end The Driller Killer is interesting to watch, but don’t expect a straight slasher film. If you can go into it not expecting that, then you might find something interesting here. It’s not a great film, but it does show talent and vision by a young filmmaker.