Title: The Driller Killer (1979)
Rating 2 out of 5
Tagline: “It Will Shatter You.”
My Tagline: “Not Exactly a Silent Killer.”
Favorite Quote: “I wanna see somebody’s pussy!”
Plot Synopsis: A struggling artist is in deep financial troubles as he attempts to complete his latest masterpiece living out of an apartment he shares with two strange women. (well, everyone in this movie is strange) He apparently entertains a hobby of hanging out in the bum district and watching people from rooftops as well. An extremely awful rock band moves into his apartment building and plays loud music constantly. Feeling immense pressure from his finances and emotionally unsupportive roommates he allows this music to prevent him from doing his work as a painter. Although he was clearly crazy even before the movie began we are expected to believe that the stress created by the events of the few days we bear witness to pushes him over the edge causing him to go on minor killing sprees with an electric drill. He is actually a little misunderstood because at first he is simply doing the town a favor by wiping out the bum population. Some of whom are extremely annoying. An idea not properly developed is the possibility that his obsession with, and eventual violence towards, the derelicts of society is some kind of projected hatred against his father. It is difficult to say but for whatever reason he kills bums. It is only after his masterwork is poo-pooed by his seller and one of his roommates, Carol, leaves him that he starts killing people of consequence. Namely his seller and Carol, who he apparently had some kind of relationship with even though all we ever saw of her was having lesbian petting in the shower with the other roommate. It is during his revenge against Carol that the film finishes in one of the stupidest and most unusual endings I have ever seen.
Review: This is a film that under the right conditions could be pretty enjoyable for bad movie fans. For example, if you were completely stoned out of your gourd, like the makers of this film obviously were, then it may be possible to enjoy it. If you have some extremely funny, quick-witted friends you like making fun of bad movies with it could be fun. If you are a hardcore movie buff whose favorite aspect of film is watching actors and their interpretations of roles rather than plot then you might enjoy the film a little bit. Not because the actors are good or anything but because they are so bad and their roles and actions are so unusual. And bizarre is really the hallmark of Driller Killer. In addition to looking like it was filmed at the bottom of Loch Ness so much about the movie has you asking questions like, what the hell was that all about? What were they thinking? Did they honestly believe this was somehow entertaining? Why am I watching this? The film starts out pretty dull but slowly gets funnier and more bizarre leading to some actually memorable moments that will have you laughing there in the middle. The question is whether or not it is worth sitting through the rest of the movie to view these moments and obtain the bragging rights that you have seen the film. I would say so but for most people (and I am including other bad movie fans here) probably not. Which is why I only give this film a two. It’s a tough one to watch but for truly hardcore bad movie fans this film is just odd enough to keep your attention. And I firmly believe that this is a perfect movie for someone out there. It will just resonate with them and after only the first viewing they will love it as much as I love “Night Train to Terror” or “I Know Who Killed Me.” So if anything I’ve said about it appeals to you and your gut instinct is to give this movie a try then I encourage you to. One way or another it is one of the strangest 93 minutes of cinema out there.