Image source: Internet Archive (
Download Movie [Video Format: MP4]
Movie Source: Internet Archive (

Other Versions of this Movie

The Driller Killer - 96 Minute Uncut Version


Comparison between the BBFC 18 Cut Version and The Uncut Version found here:

The Driller Killer is a 1979 horror film film directed by and starring Abel Ferrara. It was on a list of banned so-called video nasty in the United Kingdom. The film was released in 1979, it became banned in the UK in 1984 due to new censorship laws, until 1999, when a version omitting 54 secs from the head-drilling scene and 2 earlier murders was approved for an 18 certificate. The full uncut version was finally passed by the BBFC in November 2002. On 10 June 2010 it was re-released as video on demand (VOD).<></>


A young artist, Reno Miller (Abel Ferrara) and his girlfriend Carol enter a Catholic church. Reno approaches an elderly bearded man kneeling at the pulpit. Although Reno seems to recognize the man as his long-lost father, he is merely a derelict. After the man seizes Reno's hand, Reno grabs Carol and runs from the church. The derelict had a paper with Reno's name and phone number and requested a meeting with him.
Later, in the Union Square (New York City) apartment he shares with Carol and her lover Pamela, Reno receives a large phone bill and cannot pay his rent. He hates his crime-infested, derelict-filled neighborhood.
Reno visits Dalton, a gallery owner, and tells him that he is currently painting a masterpiece. Reno asks for a week’s extension and a loan of $500 to cover the rent. Dalton uses, saying that he already lent enough money to Reno. However, if he finishes a satisfactory painting in one week, Dalton will buy it for the necessary amount.
The following day, the Roosters, a No Wave band, begin practicing their music in a nearby apartment. The loud music makes Reno more unnerved and frustrated. That night, Reno, Carol, and Pamela watch a TV advertisement for a Porto-Pak, a battery pack which allows portable use of corded electrical appliances.
At 2:00 a.m., while painting, Reno becomes more agitated from the Roosters' music. After seeing his own image saturated in blood, Reno walks in the dark. He sees an elderly derelict sleeping in a garbage-strewn alley. It seems that Reno plans to accost the man, but instead, he takes him down an alley where they see gang members chasing another bum. Reno drops the bum and vows that he will not end up like him or his derelict father.
The next day, Reno complains about the Roosters to their landlord. However, the landlord uses to act because the music does not bother him. He gives Reno a skinned rabbit for dinner, but demands the rent money. Reno takes the rabbit home and repeatedly stabs it while preparing it.
Later, Reno buys the Porto-Pak. During a brief reprieve from the music, Reno hears voices calling his name and sees an image of an eyeless Carol. That night, Reno goes out with the Porto-Pak and his drill attached to it. He sees another bum sleeping inside an abandoned diner and kills him by drilling into his chest.
The following evening, Reno, Carol, and Pamela see Tony Coca-Cola and the Roosters at a nightclub. As the Roosters play, Reno becomes agitated by the loud music and crowd. He leaves as Carol and Pamela dance and make out.
Reno returns to his apartment, grabs the drill and Porto-Pak, and goes out on a drilling spree. He kills a number of bums before returning home to sleep. Later, Tony visits Reno’s apartment and asks Reno to paint him. Tony agrees to pose that instant for the $500 rent bill.
As Reno paints, Tony poses, playing his guitar and making out with Pamela. A bum in a nearby alley, upset by the noise, is attacked by Reno who drills his hands to a wall in a crucifix pose before killing him. Afterward, Reno works on his painting. After a night’s work, he wakes Pamela and Carol to tell them it is finished.
Reno and Carol show the painting to Dalton, who leaves after declaring it “unacceptable.” Carol yells at Reno for sitting with a blank expression. The next morning, Reno awakes to find Carol is leaving him for her ex-husband, Stephen.
File:Driller Killer Over-the-Shoulder Shot.png from the murderer's perspective as Reno approaches Dalton to kill him with the drill.}}}
That evening, Reno calls Dalton and invites him to see another piece. When Dalton arrives as the Roosters are practicing, Reno drills him. After visiting the Roosters, Pamela returns to find a bloody drill bit in front of the door and Dalton’s body inside. Pamela backs away screaming, but Reno grabs her.
Across town, Carol is back with Stephen. She takes a shower while Stephen prepares tea. Reno sneaks in, drills Stephen in the back, and hides his body behind the counter. Carol, done showering, walks to the bedroom where Reno hides under the bed covers. She turns out the lights, gets into bed, and tells "Stephen" to "come here..."


  • Abel Ferrara (credited as Jimmy Laine) &ndash; Reno Miller
  • Carolyn Marz &ndash; Carol
  • Baybi Day &ndash; Pamela
  • Harry Schultz II &ndash; Dalton Briggs
  • Alan Wynroth &ndash; Landlord
  • Maria Helhoski &ndash; Nun
  • James O'Hara &ndash; Man in church
  • Richard Howorth &ndash; Carol's husband
  • D.A. Metrov (credited as Rhodney Montreal) &ndash; Tony Coca-Cola
  • Louis Mascolo; Knife victim


File:The Driller Killer Pinball Scene Shot to Shot.png in the film as the protagonist Reno (on the right) Pinball while Pamela looks on.}}}
The Driller Killer is a low-budget, independent feature, with a cast of unknown actors, produced by Ferrara's own Navaron Films company 1977-78. It was filmed on 16mm film and utilised Ferrara's Union Square apartment and adjacent streets as locations.
Many cut versions of the movie still exist, which show scenes of drilling into heads and abdomens blacked-out. The uncut version of the movie cuts to a black screen during the scene in which Dalton is murdered, as well as during the end scene in which Reno hides under Carol's bed covers. Instead of a black screen, the British BBFC 18 version cuts to a red screen during these two scenes.


The Driller Killer was met with positive reviews, earning a 70% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film was released theatrically in America without controversy in 1979. In the United Kingdom, however, the reaction to the video release was very different. In 1982, the UK distributors of Driller Killer, Vipco (Video Instant Picture Company) took out full page advertisements in a number of movie magazines showing the video's violently explicit cover, depicting a man being drilled through the forehead by the Driller Killer.< name="Nick Johnstone 1999"/> The tagline for the advertising and video box was: "There are those who kill violently."< name="Video Nasties"/>
The advertising resulted in a large number of complaints to the Advertising Standards Agency, and opposition to the film from the press and elsewhere; however, it seems that very few of the complainants ever saw the film but based their opinion on the poster and title.< name="Nick Johnstone 1999"/>
The film was lumped together with other "Video nasty" released at the time and a vociferous campaign was launched by the press to ban them all. Driller Killer was added to the list of banned UK films on 4 July 1983, just a year after its release date.< name="Video Nasties"/> According to Mike Bor, the Principal Examiner at the British Board of Film Classification, "The Driller Killer was almost single-handedly responsible for the Video Recordings Act 1984" under which it and others of the "video nasties" released at the time were banned in the U.K.< name="Nick Johnstone 1999"/> According to Brad Stevens, author of a biography on Abel Ferrara, the banning of the film was "almost entirely due to the cover of the video." < name="Video Nasties"/>
The movie was not officially released uncut in the UK until 2002.

Remake plans

In 2007, it was announced that the film would be remade by British people film maker Andrew Jones.< name=Twitch1></> It was reported that this new version of the film would also feature many unusual cameos and an original musical score. The remake would have moved the setting from New York to London and starred David Hess. Andrew Jones
contacted Baybi Day to help co-produce and have a small acting role in the remake of Driller Killer. The title of the remake was designated Driller Killer Redux. The project came to a halt after a financial deal between the executive producers and the two people who held the rights to the original movie could not be reached.< name=MJSimpsoninterview></>

See also

  • List of films in the public domain
  • List of cult films
  • Grindhouse


Category:1979 horror films
Category:1979 films
Category:Films directed by Abel Ferrara
Category:Directorial debut films
Category:American horror films
Category:Films set in New York City
Category:Serial killer films
Category:Slasher films
Abel Ferrara

More Public Domain Movies