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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 4,030 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... The drill keeps on drilling 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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Could have easily escaped the UK 'video nasty' list if the original pre-VRA video cover wasn't so graphic. it featured a very bloody close-up of a drill boring into a man's head with lots of blood. The video cover was featured in video catalogues and received many complaints. See more »

Goofs

In one scene, the killer is drilling into the head of a victim at a bus stop with a cordless power drill. In the next scene, he's running down the street with a cord dangling from his drill. See more »

Quotes

[Reno opens an envelope for the energy bill]
Reno Miller: Holy Christ! What is this? They send us the bill to Madison Square Garden? What are they kidding me, man? How the hell are we supposed to pay this bill? What is this? The bill for three months?
Carol: That's the bill for one month.
Reno Miller: Christ, what have we got here? A refrigerator, a couple of lights?
[opens another envelope]
Reno Miller: Let's see here, telephone. Oh no! Houston, Texas?
Pamela: My mother.
Reno Miller: Look at this, L.A. $1.50... $2.75... $7.50, man.
Carol: Yeah, they're mine.
Reno Miller: You ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Horror Business (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Invention in Bb; Arioso
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J. S. Bach)
Performed by Joe Delia (as Joseph Delia)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Decent , sleazy early 80's Art-house Slasher... Best Commentary Ever!!!
23 January 2007 | by (Detroit) – See all my reviews

I am sure you are all aware of the history surrounding Mr. Ferrara's first proper film the 'Driller Killer'. It has achieved most of it's notoriety due to it's distinction of being one of the first so-called 'Video Nasties'- films banned by the UK due to lurid content. From what I have gathered after watching the majority of these 'Video Nasties', is that this was some sort of backlash and hysteria by the moral police. If you go into this film expecting gore-filled mayhem and over-the-top violence you will likely be very disappointed...

However if you go into this film with no expectations, you will likely be amused and entertained. This film will be much more enjoyable if you are over 30 and from the glorious, sleazy NY before it was sanitized. The dirty punk rocker sleaze factor oozes nicely from this film and I found it very satisfying...

Keep in mind, this was Abel's first film and it shows. Some of the shots are rather extraneous, and certainly a few of them could of been framed better. The pacing does a lag a bit in spots, and some of the dialogue is rather inane (I actually find the inane dialogue to be charming and amusing)...

The factor that elevates this DVD to 'must-purchase' territory (I am referring to the Cult Epics version), is Abel Ferrara's amazing commentary. He is obviously on lots of strong drugs and his stream of conscious rambling really enhance the viewing experience. he is very quick to point out flaws in his film with wild abandon. It is also lovely to listen to him oogle the actresses and ramble off incoherently in stream of consciousness Frankenstein quasi-sentences...

If you are a punk rock child from the 80's you will probably appreciate this film much more than the casual viewer. I hesitate to call it a horror film. It is more of an Art-house, drugged-out, sleazy portrait of early 80's New York City set in a slasher film regarding man's frustration and gradual descent into madness. Check it out, and please re-watch with the commentary. I promise you will be amused (and amazed)...


5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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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