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The Driller Killer (1979)

Unrated | | Drama, Horror, Music | 15 June 1979 (USA)
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.

Director:

Writer:

(screenplay) (as N.G. St. John)
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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 ...
The Nun
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

Reno is an artist struggling to survive in NYC. He draws inspiration from scenes of daily street life and occasional random violence. Under pressure to finish his oft-delayed grand masterpiece, his psychotic alter-ego takes over and he begins killing random vagrants to boost his creativity, not quite realizing that it is happening in reality. When an art dealer grimly rejects Reno's finished masterpiece, Reno's mental condition quickly deteriorates. Written by Elfin Slade

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It will shatter you! See more »


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) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James O'Hara's final film. 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 Miller: Look, I can't even think with these guys playing that music in the place below mine. It's like they play all day and all night. They don't quit for a minute. Hell, they don't even stop to go to the bathroom!
Landlord: It's not my problem. It's your problem.
Reno Miller: What do you mean it's my problem? You're the super around here. It's your job to keep this place quiet.
Landlord: My job? It's not my job. Besides, they don't bother me.
Reno Miller: What do you mean? Why should they bother you? Look what the hell you're doing, fixing spark...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in DVD-R Hell: Tequila and Bonetti: Teach Your Children (2015) 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

Arthouse nasty

This is probably best looked at in the context of Ferrara's other work, rather than in the context of the rest of the British video nasties list, because it is actually a surprisingly good film. Rather than a mere body count movie, Ferrara's first movie is a Repulsion-style portrait of a man's descent into psychosis; a bleak yet darkly comic urban paranoia movie with actually far less graphic bloodletting than its detractors would have us believe. Despite the obvious low budget, the acting and cinematography are all perfectly competent in evoking the claustrophobically squalid milieu which leads to the breakdown of the protagonist (played by the director himself). The film's power lies in its accumulation of individual scenes and images, though unfortunately it fails to maintain the tense atmosphere, as interest begins to wane towards the end. This is an interesting and technically accomplished film from a first-time director, introducing the same distinct visual style and themes which have dominated his later films. As a piece of late-70's low-budget independent exploitation cinema, it is head and shoulders above the rest.


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