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Driller Killer, The

"His problem: society. His solution: an electric drill..."

Reno is a painter; he shares an apartment in New York with two women. Reno has trouble tolerating the pressure that rests upon his shoulders. First, he doesnít have much money and, second, he is harshly constrained by an arrogant client. Furthermore, a band practices day and night in a neighbouring apartment.

One day, he is fed up of enduring the noise and asks for the landlordís assistance, who refuses handle the situation with authority. Instead of doing his job, he decides to simply offer a dead rabbit to Reno and his friends. After cutting up the animalís body, Reno stabs its head out of rage.

However, his hard routine continues. Now, he dreams of murders at night. Reno slowly loses it until he no longer controls his actions. When pushed to the limit, he grabs hold of an electric drill and heads for the savage streets, looking for victims.





The public at the end of the seventies was just starting to get acquainted with slasher movies. This sub-genre is one of the most exploited today but it is always interesting to learn more about its origins.

The Driller Killer, as its name indicates, features numerous murders by electric drill. In addition, there is no masked killer. Reno is a trouble artist slowly overwhelmed by madness. When committing his crimes, he nervously looks around him, quickly finishes up and flees. He doesnít project the image of a man sure of himself nor does he appear to be in control of the situation. Also, the murders are very crude and of troubling realism. These few details help create an interesting viewing experience.

Sadly, a repetitive cycle settles in: the band pollutes Renoís environment, Reno gets angry, Reno kills. Indeed, too much of the story is devoted to the turbulent neighbours. The Driller Killer lacks in consistency. To avoid redundancy, Abel Ferrara should have limited himself to a short film or at least invest more in character development.

The actors, while briefly detailed, lead the story well. Abel Ferrara himself incarnates the main character (under the name Jimmy Laine) and offers a plausible interpretation. A scene implicating a shower and two lesbians was planned, which is considered loyal to the horror movie "rules" by some.

This production is in some sorts a relief. It illustrates the life of a sad and stressed person whose patience has dried up. His problem is society and his solution: an electric drill!

Final Thoughts

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Memorables aspects
- Reno pierces a man through a window at a bus stop.
- Reno drills through a homeless manís forehead.

Memorables characters
- Reno (Jimmy Laine)

Released in: 1979

Movie type: Horror - Slasher - Gore - Thriller

Films in similar category:
S.I.C.K. Serial Insane Clown Killer
Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The
My Bloody Valentine
Cherry Falls

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( 2004-07-09 )  

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