Search - Driller Killer / The Early Short Films of Abel Ferrara on DVD

Driller Killer / The Early Short Films of Abel Ferrara
Driller Killer / The Early Short Films of Abel Ferrara
Actors: Chris Amato, Gary Cohen, Janet Dailey, Baybi Day, Joyce Finney
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2004     1hr 36min

GRITTY MASTERPIECE FROM THE DIRECTOR OF BAD LIEUTENANT AND KING OF NEW YORK! Long available in incomplete or full screen editions, Abel Ferrara's 1979 cult classic THE DRILLER KILLLER here receives its definitive presenta...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Chris Amato, Gary Cohen, Janet Dailey, Baybi Day, Joyce Finney
Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Cult Epics
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/29/2004
Original Release Date: 06/15/1979
Theatrical Release Date: 06/15/1979
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 36min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 11
Edition: Limited Edition
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

"Jimmy Laine" goes insane as "Reno Miller"- THE DRILLER KILL
BD Ashley | Otago, New Zealand | 08/13/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"First off sorry about the poetry. I have a workmate who keeps saying stuff like this, so I think it's rubbing off on me. I considered banging my head against the wall in frustration, but decided against it on the chance that a strong blow to the head could cause me to become normal (ha ha).
DRILLER KILLER opens with the notice: THIS FILM SHOULD BE PLAYED LOUD. The film makes the feature directing debut of cult legend Abel Ferrara, and along with MS .45 remains in my opinion among his finest work. Ferrara is also the lead actor, under the pseudonym Jimmy Laine, Ferrara plays Reno Miller; a struggling artist, living in a cheap apartment with his roommate Carol (Carolyn Marz) and her lesbian lover Pamela (Baybi Day).
Reno is currently under a lot of pressure at work. He has been given one week to complete his next painting or he will find himself unemployed. That may sound bad enough, but to make matters worse for Reno if he doesn't pay his rent on time his landlord (Alan Winroth) will evict him. Add to this a deluge of mentally ill vagrants littering the streets outside his apartment block & a Z- grade punk rock group (The Roosters, who sound like The Jesus Lizard, only crappier) rehearsing above his apartment. Despite Reno's complaints the building superintendent won't do anything about it. The noise doesn't bother HIM! All these distractions don't exactly help fuel Reno's creativity, in fact his artwork is not progressing well at all & gets to the point where he has psychotic episodes in which his art "talks" to him.
However one night while sitting around watching TV with his roommate & her lesbian lover, an ad comes on for a $19.95 proto-pak drill.
Reno's first victim is a poor defenceless wittle bunny wabbit which he kills by bludgeoning it with a hammer.
This leads to Ferrara's notable homage to Roman Polanski's "Repulsion", which the movie is more comparable to, rather than its expected slasher or "video nasty" tag of course bestowed by paranoid nitwits who never bother to watch the movies. David Lane: Are you reading this?!
Then he gets his drill... I mean the movie's called DRILLER KILLER, so a hammer wouldn't work. How about a remake with Stallone as Reno? They could call it HAMMER SLAMMER, and Sly sells his own paintings too! Though it's a safe bet his wife pins them on the Stallone family fridge.
Actually, the murders themselves come off as more amusing as opposed to revolting (Watch the movie & you'll understand). PASSION OF THE CHRIST is ten times bloodier than this. Seriously.
A word of warning to first time viewers: It's been noted in some reviews here that others have been disappointed by the film due to its lack of gore. In fact there's only two scenes of graphic violence in the entire movie, & the first drilling, (in which a bum gets it in the forehead) doesn't happen until 40 minutes into the movie & even then, by contempory standards at least, the gore is minimal.. In retrospect its downright bloody daft how this was originally banned in the UK & NZ because a couple of stupid old biddies (namely Mary Whitehouse & Patricia Bartlett) saw a couple of movie posters, & donned their Nazi regalia spewing forth a blatantly fabricated tirade of lies and paranoia to make England & NZ boring, conservative & ignorant just like them. While I'm on the subject of censorship, I think this could have come very close to getting an R16 in NZ if it were cut (something I'm seldom in favour of). Ferrara also composed the Roosters songs under the Lane moniker.
The movie is also chock full of unintentionally hilarious dialogue aided by Ferrara's (presumably) reefer induced performance. Add to that a good lesbian shower scene thrown in for no other reason than to show some T&A.
The Australasian DVD bonuses only include trailers (but not the trailer for DRILLER KILLER), Ferrara's filmography & an intro by Xavier Mendik, Director Of The Cult Film Archive at the University College Northhampton. Sounds like my dream job! But alas, alack, he's a pretentious twonk. And the Vidiot hates pretense. The intro's only about five minutes long, but Mendik is a huge bore with his analysis of the themes of "urban decay" in the movie. I'm annoyed that the Australasian release wasn't the same as the one available here with a Director's commentary and Ferrara short films. That's my only complaint about this.
In summing up, the films detractors will be shocked to know that DRILLER KILLER is not as earlier said, a video nasty; it's not really a slasher and it doesn't actually belong in the horror category either. In actuality DRILLER KILLER is, in my opinion, one of the maverick film-makers best features along with MS .45. It mixes a gritty bargain basement look and feel with some brilliant camerawork, an effectively menacing atmosphere and a number of simple but very effective setpieces, all of which adds up to a movie that you really ought to see at least once. I'm definitely going to watch it again at some point in the future.

The Driller Killer
Kyle 'Krazy' Halcomb | 09/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Abel Ferrera's Driller Killer is one film that I think every horror fan should have in his collection. The film is low budget, and you can obviously tell that when you start watching it, but I think this helps the film alot. With the sort of grainy picture against underground New York. Now the film is not just a slaughter fest, where the main character goes on a rampage right away for no reason. You go threw the film seeing all the little things that add up to drive Reno (main character) crazy. Then he takes out his frustations with the drill, but dont worry there is still plenty of gore. On to the DVD package. Cult Epics did an awsome job putting together The Driller Killer. It comes in a 2-disc set with 3 unreleased short films by Abel Ferrera, a trailer, a commentary by Abel Ferrera, among some other stuff. It also comes with a trailer for one of Abel Ferrera's earlier porn films that he directed. I personally think that the trailer did not need to be included, but hey I guess other people might find it amusing. The package that Cult Epics put together is limited to 10,000 copies. So if you get one on the back there will be a spot that tells you what number your copy me, it will make you feel special.

Synopsis: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.

[The Good] Ferrera does an awsome job slowly declining into his mad state of mind. The sound-track is pretty good also if your into punk rock. If your not it is still cool seeing them play. The film is not just a random killing machine film either. Its sort of a art-house/horror film.

[The Bad] The gore effects might lack a little bit, but that is not really a problem at all. I cannot really think of anything wrong or bad with this film, aside from the unwanted prono trailer (but that would be more about the packaging of the dvd). All I can say is, that this film might not be for everyone, but if your a fan of low budget, or 70's horror, then this is a film you should enjoy. Kind of weird that Im not really posting anything bad in "[The Bad] section", but thats because I love it!

Uh Oh...Spaghetti O's
Ashley Allinson | Alliance Atlantis | 03/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"driller killer has, without question, the best director's commentary of any dvd i have ever seen. although driller killer is a far cry from his second film "ms. 45" it is a classic. reno can't seem to buy a thrill. despite the fact that he lives with two bombshells he can't get his painting finished to collect for the rent. his agent's reaction to his finished painting is absolutely priceless. what's worse is that his landlord has allowed a punk band to move in upstairs, adding insult to injury. the band, tony coca cola and the roosters, play "the grand street stomp" a guitar riff that has a great driving force. this film really documents the viallge punk circuit at the end of the 1970's. conventions are borrowed from polanski's "repulsion" and cassaveetes' "shadows". the handheld mingling with the street people of the period shows how filthy NYC was at the time. Lots of fun. Driller Killer was meant to be listened to loud!"
Uh oh, spaghetti-o's
aja | toronto | 08/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"with one of the finest director's commentary's in the league, this one is not to be missed. a must for the aspiring seeing as it is truly a corner cutter. tony coca cola and the roosters playing the grand street stomp could be a high point in documenting the nyc hiv punk circuit. ferrara hit the bullseye with this beauty."