In New York, the painter Reno Miller (Abel Ferrara) shares a loft with his girlfriend Carol (Carolyn Marz), who left her husband Stephen, and their roommate Pamela (Baybi Day). Reno is having difficulties to pay his bills, while is obsessed painting his masterpiece, a buffalo with a hypnotic eye. When a punk band moves to his building playing day and night, Reno cannot sleep and drives insane, going to the streets with a driller, killing homeless derelicts. When the art dealer calls his painting a mockery, and Carol returns to her husband, leaving him alone, Reno goes totally mad. —IMDb
Independent New York filmmaker Abel Ferrara became best-known for his low-budget, shockingly violent films that explore the roughest parts of the Big Apple and the darkest reaches of the human soul, with films such as China Girl (1987), his unique version of Romeo and Juliet, generating a devoted following. Ferrara was born in the Bronx, but spent most of his childhood in Peekskill, NY, where he met the two young men who would eventually become his primary screenwriter (Nicholas St. John) and occasional consultant (John McIntyre). As boys, they would play around with 8 mm cameras. In the mid-‘70s, the three reunited and founded Navaron Films, where they produced an adult film. In 1979, they released their most notorious film, Driller Killer, for which Ferrara starred, edited, and wrote the songs under the pseudonym Jimmie Laine. In this movie, a young man goes berserk and begins killing vagrants with a portable power drill. Ferrara continued making low-budget shockers until the late… read more
A "video nasty", Driller KIller's one of the few misjudged horror movies of it's time, treated as a dumb, gory slasher flick - nothing more. Despite this, the film feels like an American version of Polanski's Repulsion. It's about an artist's escalation into madness, with particularly strong use of iconography and cultural outlook on New York of the time. If you're a fan of cult horror, you'll appreciate this movie.