The Driller Killer (Ferrara, 1979)

My Abel Ferrara film festival continues. It’s become clear to me Ferrara’s both obsessed with and consumed by oppressed rage, and the driving force it has on violence and sex. The Driller Killer, an early example of this bloody Ferrara motif, tells of a struggling artist who goes insane and kills countless people with a power drill. Could the film be a comment on pretentious NYC’s artists’ uncaring attitude toward the lower class (he kills mostly homeless people at random) or just a campy shlock horror film? The Driller Killer is a bit of both, but the film definitely shows early glimpses of Ferrara’s plight with artistic impotence and the anger which stems as a result. Plus, it has an excellent final sequence that uses darkness in brilliant and horrifying ways.

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