31 Days of Horror: Day 28- The Driller Killer

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Posted October 28, 2017 by Thomas James Juretus in Movies

Day 28, and we’re getting down to our final days of cinematic carnage. With that in mind, today’s entry is the 1979 low budget crazed killer flick, The Driller Killer. Reno (director Abel Ferrara, credited as Jimmy Laine) is an artist with two female roommates, and is struggling to make ends meet. He’s under pressure to complete his masterpiece, and starts to have his sanity slip. He draws his inspiration from the gritty streets of New York City, and deteriorates when his finished work is rejected. He then takes to stalking the streets, killing derelicts with a power drill.

This was one of Ferrara’s earliest movies, and while he went on to do better films like King of New York and Body Snatchers, Reno’s twisted tale in The Driller Killer does have a certain gritty style to it. The acting isn’t especially good, but Reno’s madness is conveyed well. The soundtrack is also quite good, with music by Joseph Delia and songs performed by a punk band called The Roosters. There are a couple of creepy moments and your typical slasher film jump scares. While the gore effects are effective, it’s the sound of the drill that is more unnerving. As a structured film it doesn’t work as well, since things seem to occur randomly, and outside of Reno’s madness, there’s no real reason why he kills the derelicts. Only a couple of his victims feel like there was a reason behind their demise. The ending is left wide open, with no real satisfactory closure. Still, the movie has gained a cult following over the years, and is a little different take on the slasher genre for those looking for something other than Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Friday the 13th. now showing on Amazon Prime and available on DVD. 6/10 stars


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Thomas James Juretus