Most of the time Ferrara operates on sheer instinct, in which his contradictory personal nature reveals itself in full force, which may be the reason why this film as 'explotation' does not satisfy its usual fanbase while at the same time its 'intellectual' core ends up leaving its respective audience feeling cold. His work in general tends to reach this conceptual volatility, he achieves order through entropy.
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.
A delerious, gloriously messy piece of work. The kind of film the Stones would have made had made had they been making movies instead of music in those dim basements of Nellcote, France. There's a narrative here, I suppose, but it's slipshod and incoherent. The key is just the images and the words, and the speed at which we are thrown into them. We settle down time and time again, only to be shattered apart.
It looks as if Ferrara tried to establish punk in cinema, attempted to follow the 1970's slasher films wave and wanted to show that he knew something about iconography. But in all three cases he fails: It's so bad and boring I can't even laugh about it...
Yeah, it's full of stupid and silly things but that just adds to the experience of watching a movie that's so embedded in its exploitation! Ferrara reflection of the vulnerabilities of an artist's mind is utterly hilarious and just ugly! Bravo!
The Driller Killer is the crude, shoe-stringed budgeted directorial debut by the one and only Abel Ferrara. Alternating from gory lo-fi slasher film, to 70s punk scene artifact, to, most of all, a tense character study on the pressures & neuroses of being a troubled artist; Abel Ferrera throws everything against the wall and a great deal of it sticks; even his own wacky performance as the titular driller killer.
The Driller Killer has Repulsion's slow burn of collapsing sanity and carries the sleazy, shitbox atmosphere of NYC before it was taken over by yuppies, akin to Taxi Driver. It lacks Scorsese's knack for dramatic pacing and both film's deeper and more resonant themes. Ferrara would go on to make more masterful films, starting with his next, Ms.45, but this is equally as underrated by some as it's overrated by others.