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08.17.2017
Driller Killer, The (1979)
Movie Review by The Mortician
11.02.13

Driller Killer, The (1979) Director Abel Ferrara stars in this bizarre cult classic horror movie that somehow ended up on the U.K. Video Nasties list in 1983 and was banned in England for the longest of times. Ferrara, filming grainy 16mm in his New York apartment, plays a struggling painter barely making ends meet with his girlfriend... and her girlfriend. [At the time, Ferrara was allegedly also making hardcore X-rated movies with this gal, who was also his real girlfriend. All right!] Ferrara has money problems...his paintings aren't selling well... and late bill problems. He and his slutty gal-pal can barely make ends meet. And then a punk rock band of some sort moves next door and interrupts his creative mojo, playing loud-ass crazy music at all hours of the days and night. Surrounding Ferrara in his digs is a city in chaos---the homeless, stewbums, folks ripping each other off for drugs and alcohol, kind of a DEATH WISH scenario, and one night, Ferrara sees a TV commercial for this portable, battery operated DRILL that intrigues him. As the stresses of life build upon him and his bi-sexual girlfriend falls for the charismatic lead singer of the band next door, that DRILL keeps bouncing around in Ferrara's mind, so walking past a hardware store, he decides to go ahead and buy one. After a failed attempt to have a good time in a club with his girlfriend [and that crazy band playing the same song over and over], Ferrara decides to hit the streets with his drill, sporting a black leather jacket and some groovy crimson pants. He preys upon the degenerates, and in awesome 'rampage' sequences, he drills the crap out of unsuspecting lowlifes! Classic scenes include the bum sleeping to awaken to a drill bit lobotomizing his forehead and the frenzied death dance of a long drill bit penetrating a dude through Plexiglas at a bus stop. Ferrara is at his sleazy best when going on his sprees here with his big, bad phallic drill and taking out the slime, amidst his own hazy crime. Slowly, he loses touch with paintings and his girlfriend, and when she leaves him for the 'groovy' lead singer of the band, well, naturally, he and his big drill take a trip to their apartment for a nice, bloody [yet ambiguous] ending. The gore is good, there's an extended sequence of lesbians showering, and Ferrara is a David Hess wannabe in his part, so take it all for what it is, sit back and enjoy the mayhem from a previous millennium! Ferrara includes themes of family issues (daddy problems), religious confusion, and the slow decay of the city around him, which would become themes in all of his next projects like the excellent Ms. .45. Highly recommended for the aspiring gorehound moviemaker and fans of sleaze cinema.

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