5.1/10
6,034
117 user 92 critic

The Driller Killer (1979)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 15 June 1979 (USA)
An artist slowly goes insane while struggling to pay his bills, work on his paintings, and care for his two female roommates, which leads him taking to the streets of New York after dark and randomly killing derelicts with a power drill.

Director:

Abel Ferrara

Writer:

Nicholas St. John (screenplay) (as N.G. St. John)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Ms .45 (1981)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A timid and mute seamstress goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day, in which she takes to the streets of New York City after dark and randomly shoots men with a .45 caliber pistol.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Zoë Lund, Bogey, Albert Sinkys
'R Xmas (2001)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A New York drug dealer is kidnapped, and his wife must try to come up with the money and drugs to free him from his abductors before Christmas.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Drea de Matteo, Lillo Brancato, Lisa Valens
The Blackout (1997)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A debauched Hollywood movie actor tries to piece together one wild night in Miami years earlier which remains a drug-induced blur, and soon finds out that some questions about his past are best left unanswered.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Matthew Modine, Claudia Schiffer, Béatrice Dalle
The Addiction (1995)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A New York philosophy grad student turns into a vampire after getting bitten by one, and then tries to come to terms with her new lifestyle and frequent craving for human blood.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Lili Taylor, Christopher Walken, Annabella Sciorra
Fear City (1984)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Strippers in Manhattan are being stalked and maimed by a psycho-killer. A conflicted ex-boxer-turned-talent-manager and his business partner and friend, who represent some of the girls, set out to find him before he strikes again.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Tom Berenger, Billy Dee Williams, Jack Scalia
China Girl (1987)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A modern day Romeo & Juliet story is told in New York when an Italian boy and a Chinese girl become lovers, causing a tragic conflict between ethnic gangs.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: James Russo, Richard Panebianco, Sari Chang
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A New York City film director, working on his latest movie in Los Angeles, begins to reflect the actions in his movie and real-life, especially when he begins an affair with the lead actress.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Madonna, James Russo
The Funeral (1996)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After the funeral of one of their own, a criminal family decides to embark on an emotionally unnerving journey in an attempt to exact bloody revenge.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Christopher Walken, Chris Penn, Annabella Sciorra
Mary I (2005)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The Virgin Mary delivers a message to an 11-year-old girl.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Forest Whitaker, Matthew Modine
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Two businessmen are hired to steal secrets from a rival, and decide to use a beautiful, but volatile call girl to do so.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Christopher Walken, Willem Dafoe, Asia Argento
Drama | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

A look at how a painter and a successful actor spend their last day together before the world comes to an end.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh, Natasha Lyonne
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Mr. Devereaux is a powerful man. A man who handles billions of dollars every day. A man who controls the economic fate of nations. A man driven by a frenzied and unbridled sexual hunger. A ... See full summary »

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Jacqueline Bisset, Marie Mouté
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Abel Ferrara ... Reno Miller (as Jimmy Laine)
Carolyn Marz Carolyn Marz ... Carol Slaughter
Baybi Day Baybi Day ... Pamela
Harry Schultz Harry Schultz ... Dalton Briggs
Alan Wynroth Alan Wynroth ... Al the Landlord
Maria Helhoski Maria Helhoski ... The Nun
James O'Hara ... Man in Church
Richard Howorth Richard Howorth ... Stephen - Carol's Husband
Louis Mascolo Louis Mascolo ... Knife Victim
Tommy Santora Tommy Santora ... Attacker
Rita Gooding Rita Gooding ... TV Spot
Chuck Saaf Chuck Saaf ... TV Spot
Gary Cohen Gary Cohen ... Voice-over (voice)
Janet Dailey Janet Dailey ... Girl at Audition
Joyce Finney Joyce Finney ... Girl at Audition
Edit

Storyline

Reno is an artist struggling to survive in NYC. He draws inspiration from scenes of daily street life and occasional random violence. Under pressure to finish his oft-delayed grand masterpiece, his psychotic alter-ego takes over and he begins killing random vagrants to boost his creativity, not quite realizing that it is happening in reality. When an art dealer grimly rejects Reno's finished masterpiece, Reno's mental condition quickly deteriorates. Written by Elfin Slade

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It will shatter you! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 June 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Driller Killer See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Navaron Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (pre-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Abel Ferrara claims that half of this movie was shot in 1978 and the other half was shot in 1979. This explains why the actors hair styles and looks in general change quite frequently during the movie. See more »

Goofs

When the Driller Killer drills into a homeless man's head, he does not drill far enough to cause death, as evidenced by the depth of blood on the drill-bit. See more »

Quotes

Reno Miller: Oh, so it's finished? Thank you. It's finished... Since when did you become such an expert on painting? I mean, you're telling me it's finished? What do you know about painting, anyway? Really, what do you know about paint? I'll tell you what you know about paint, man: you don't know nothing about paint, man. You know what you know about? You know about how to bitch and how to eat and how to bitch and how to shit and how to bitch! But you don't know nothing about paint, so don't tell me when ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Movie opens with message "THIS FILM SHOULD BE PLAYED LOUD." See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1999 UK release is not only censored but omits most of the end credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in DVD-R Hell: Tequila and Bonetti: Teach Your Children (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Invention in Bb; Arioso
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J. S. Bach)
Performed by Joe Delia (as Joseph Delia)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Driller Killer
8 February 2005 | by ashleyallinsonSee all my reviews

Driller Killer has, without question, the best director's commentary of any DVD i have ever seen. Although Driller Killer is a far cry from his second film "Ms. 45" it is a classic. Reno can't seem to buy a thrill. Despite the fact that he lives with two bombshells he can't get his painting finished to collect for the rent. His agent's reaction to his finished painting is absolutely priceless. What's worse is that his landlord has allowed a punk band to move in upstairs, adding insult to injury. The band, Tony Coca Cola and the Roosters, play "The Grand Street Stomp" a guitar riff that has a great driving force. This film really documents the village punk circuit at the end of the 1970's. Conventions are borrowed from Polanski's "Repulsion" and Cassavetes' "Shadows". The hand-held mingling with the street people of the period shows how filthy NYC was at the time. Lots of fun. Driller Killer was meant to be listened to loud!


34 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 117 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed