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Driller Killer (1979).

August 14, 2007

The Scoop:
Allow me to quote Juliette Lewis in “Natural Born Killers” — “Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad!”

This film isn’t a movie so much as it is a series of vaguely connected scenes. Abel Ferrera started his pretentious arthouse filmmaking career by directing and starring in this pretentious, inept slasher wannabe and “Taxi Driver” clone. Ferrera (using the screen name Jimmy Laine) stars as Reno, an uptight Soho painter who is working on a painting of a buffalo while living next door to the world’s worst punk band. While the band plays the same damn song over and over, Reno argues with his two live-in girlfriends and slowly goes insane. Eventually (far too late into the movie), he finally snaps and starts killing random transients with an electric drill. Some of the vague, interchangable supporting characters eventually get the drill, too, but unfortunately, the band survives.

The scenes do not even hang together very well. What thin narrative thread there is branches off into too unresolved loose ends. What are we to make, for instance, of the old man in the church, the argument in the ladies’ room, the pointless band auditions? Getting to the gore a lot earlier and sustaining it throughout the movie might have helped improve the film, but probably not much.

God, what a stinker this is. But somehow totally worth it if you’re a bad movie maven.

Best Bit:
The disclaimer at the beginning, “This Film Should Be Played LOUD.”

Side Note:
This is one of the infamous “video nasties,” films barred from video release in Great Britain until 1999 because of their graphic violence. “Driller Killer” is probably the least deserving of the group, though, because its gore quotient is so low.

Companion Viewing:
“Taxi Driver” (1976).


Take a Look:
The trailer:

The critic hates the painting. Don’t you?

The oh-so-horrid, banned-in-Britain head drilling scene:

A fan video for Iron Maiden’s “Killers” using footage from the movie:

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