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The Driller Killer/The Early Short Films of Abel Ferrara [2 Discs] [DVD] [1979]

Release Date:06/29/2004
The "legitimate" feature debut of notorious cinema outlaw Abel Ferrara (King of New York and Bad Lieutenant -- not to mention one of the most sought-after films of the "video nasties" hysteria in '80s U.K.), Driller Killer arrives on DVD in fine feature-packed form thanks to the efforts of Cult Epics. Presented in 1.85:1 widescreen, the image is simply as good as a low-budget film of this age can look -- in fact, the folks at Cult Epics should be commended for offering such a fine presentation of the gruesome cult hit. Colors (including the plentiful reds) are bright and vivid, blacks are solid and evidence of digital artifacting is notably absent -- leaving some minor edge enhancement the sole detracting factor in the otherwise pristine visual presentation. Audio -- presented in English Dolby Digital Stereo with optional Spanish or French subtitles -- is likewise solid in presentation, remaining largely free of distortion or hiss throughout. As pleasant of a surprise it is to see such an overall solid presentation of the main feature, it's in regards to bonus materials that this two-disc limited-edition release truly begins to shine. In addition to the feature presentation, disc one also offers a "Porto-pack" battery pack commercial (essential to the needs of any driller-wielding maniac), a theatrical trailer, and commentary by director Ferrara himself. In short, Ferrara's rambling commentary track may be one of the most deliriously enjoyable commentaries ever committed to DVD. It's certainly fun to hear the director's very vocal amusement during the more lurid scenes in addition to pointing out the many cameos by his father, and the relaxed track is more like sitting to watch the film with a slightly shady friend -- one who you may not leave alone in a room with valuables or bring home to meet the parents -- than the more technically-inclined tracks that audiences have become accustomed to. The fun continues on disc two with the inclusion of three early Ferrara films including Could This Be Love, The Hold Up, and Nicky's Film, all offering commentary that is equally entertaining if not more so than for the feature presentation. (Hearing Ferrara call a baby a "rat-bastard" for looking into the camera during a take is nearly worth the price of purchase alone.) Though the quality of the short films vary wildly (The Hold Up is taken from a VHS master and the Could This Be Love source print certainly shows its age), it's great to see these films released to DVD. A hardcore XXX trailer for Ferrara's pornographic Nine Lives of a Wet Pussy is also included, as well as liner notes by Abel Ferrara and author Brad Stevens' account of the director's early career while giving viewers a glimpse into the New York City of the '70s.
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    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (2 out of 2)

    Special Features

    • Disc 1:
    • Audio commentary by Abel Ferrara
    • French and Spanish subtitles
    • Theatrical trailer
    • Porto-pack commercial
    • Disc 2:
    • The Early Short Films of Abel Ferrara: Could This Be Love, The Hold Up, and Nicky's Film
    • Trailer: Nine Lives of a Wet Pussy


    Driller Killer
    Iconoclastic filmmaker Abel Ferrara made his directorial debut with this gory but fascinating horror tale about a troubled artist (played by Jimmy Laine, aka Abel Ferrara). Haunted by bizarre hallucinations and the fear he'll end up a wino like his father, the artist eventually snaps and begins taking out his frustrations on a growing number of homeless people, attacking them with a power drill. In time, his violent obsessions get worse and he begins attacking people closer to him, including an art dealer and a woman he's been dating. Ferarra also wrote several of the songs performed by a punk rock band in the film; he gained greater notoriety with his next film, the cult item Ms. 45. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Image coming soon
      Carolyn Marz
    • Image coming soon
      Baybi Day
    • Image coming soon
      Harry Schultz

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.