Driller Killer

“Darkly fascinating, as much a document of the late-’70s New York punk and pop-art scenes as it is a grindhouse plugger.” — Noel Murray, A.V. Club

One of the key reasons why the Video Nasties list exists (for both all the right and wrong reasons), independent film god Abel Ferrara’s first feature has risen to infamy based almost entirely on its title alone, but offers out-of-left-field stylish moments and Ferrara’s developing quirky sense of humor, in addition to its gritty despair. Starving, irritated artist Reno (Ferrara) lives in a squalid tenement surrounded by drunken derelicts (one of whom happens to be his father!) Plagued with nightmarish visions, Reno tenuously clings to sanity and his painting “career”, but when a punk band moves next door and starts playing around the clock, Reno snaps, darting around the nocturnal city streets and picking off bums with his electric hand drill. Striking a terrific balance between atmosphere and shock, Driller Killer is gruesomely effective on many arthouse levels — and features some of the most repulsive on-screen pizza eating ever filmed. You’re entirely welcome.
Dir. Abel Ferrara, 1979, 35mm, 96 min. (Archival 35mm print courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome/Process Blue)

Watch the trailer for “Driller Killer”!
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