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The Driller Killer (1979)

 -  Horror | Thriller  -  15 June 1979 (USA)
4.9
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Ratings: 4.9/10 from 3,985 users  
Reviews: 104 user | 69 critic

An artist slowly goes insane while struggling to pay his bills, work on his paintings, and care for his two female roommates, which leads him taking to the streets of New York after dark and randomly killing derelicts with a power drill.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Reno Miller (as Jimmy Laine)
Carolyn Marz ...
Carol Slaughter
Baybi Day ...
Pamela
Harry Schultz ...
Dalton Briggs
Alan Wynroth ...
Al the Landlord
Maria Helhoski ...
James O'Hara ...
Man in Church
Richard Howorth ...
Stephen - Carol's Husband
Louis Mascolo ...
Knife Victim
Tommy Santora ...
Attacker
Rita Gooding ...
TV Spot
Chuck Saaf ...
TV Spot
Gary Cohen ...
Voice-over (voice)
Janet Dailey ...
Girl at Audition
Joyce Finney ...
Girl at Audition
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Storyline

An artist slowly loses his mind as he and his two female friends scrape to pay the bills. The punk band downstairs increasingly agitates him, his art dealer is demanding that he complete his big canvas painting as promised, and he gets into fights with his girlfriends. When the dealer laughs at his canvas he snaps, and begins taking it out on the people responsible for his pain and random transients in the manner suggested by the title. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Blood Runs In Rivers... And The Drill Keeps Tearing Through Flesh And Bone See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 June 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Driller Killer  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$20,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Banned in the UK until 1999. See more »

Goofs

While the Driller Killer prepares to drill a homeless man in the head, the homeless man continuously changes position between shots, in spite of sleeping soundly enough to not hear the Driller Killer revving his drill. See more »

Quotes

Pamela: Hey, while I was in the pizza parlor, this creepy old man came up to me and said, "sweetie, you don't have to kiss to make babies." So, I waited until it was about time to leave with the pizza, so I walked right up to him and said out loud, "I know, but you still gotta fuck!"
See more »

Crazy Credits

Movie opens with message "THIS FILM SHOULD BE PLAYED LOUD." See more »

Connections

References The Wild One (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Grand Street Stomp
Written by D.A. Metrov (as Metro), Abel Ferrara (as Laine) and John Paul McIntyre (as MacIntyre)
Performed by Tony Coca-Cola and the Roosters
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Unfairly maligned punk rock psychodrama.
27 August 2002 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

Abel Ferrara's 'The Driller Killer' is generally best know for igniting the "video nasty" debate back in the 1980s in Britain and little else. Which is a shame because it is a fascinating low budget psychodrama. The horror or slasher tag it is usually given is quite misleading and will no doubt disappoint hard core horror fans expecting quite a different kind of movie. Sure it does eventually lead to a violent climax but it is closer to being a character study of a man driven to insanity by his squalid, and increasingly anarchic urban environment. Almost like a bargain basement 'Taxi Driver' with some CBGBs era atmosphere thrown in. Along with Uli Lommel's little seen 'Blank Generation' there are very few other films that successfully document the mid 70s NYC punk scene of The Ramones, Patti Smith, Richard Hell, The Cramps et al, and 'The Driller Killer' is worth viewing for this reason alone.

Ferrara himself plays the lead character, tortured scumbag artist Reno. In his later, more sophisticated, and yes, better movies this role would no doubt have been played by someone like Keitel, Walken, Hopper or Gallo. Ferrara doesn't have the acting chops these guys have and so the movie suffers somewhat, but even so, his performance is crude but effective. Unknowns Carolyn Marz and Baybi Day as his girlfriend and his girlfriend's girlfriend respectively are both more than adequate, and The Roosters may be second rate but help lend some authentic punk rock feel to this underrated slice of urban nihilism. While by no means my favourite Abel Ferrara movie, this movie doesn't deserve to be dismissed. I like it.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
That's nearly 2 hrs of my life I want back!!! sassylee-1
Bought this for £1 dallywhitty
the worst video nasty.. comedy_dan
Does a Sountrack to this film exist? Benzo
But then its not a horror movie is it?! mysparkle
BAYBI DAY honeymoon_hatchet
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