A struggling artist takes to the streets of New York after dark and randomly kills derelicts with a power drill.
Showing an even seedier side of ‘70s New York than TAXI DRIVER or THE WARRIORS, Abel Ferrara’s landmark debut provides a look back to when Manhattan was an unforgiving labyrinth, a city of sleaze inciting panic and inspiring an era of filmmaking that has rarely been equalled. DRILLER KILLER strikes a terrific balance between atmosphere and shock — and as a bonus, features some of the most repulsive on-screen pizza eating ever!
Starving, irritated artist Reno (played by Ferrara himself) lives in a squalid tenement and is plagued with nightmarish visions. Plus, his girlfriend is often more enthralled with her live-in lesbian lover than with his ghoulish visage. Tenuously clinging to sanity, Reno works desperately on a huge painting which he hopes will earn some money — but his concentration is shattered when a punk band moves next door and plays around the clock. Reno snaps, darting around the nocturnal city streets and picking off bums with his electric hand drill.
“…Takes up from the ‘70s grindhouse and precedes the flourishing horror-comedies of the 80s.” _- Film Threat