The Driller Killer
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Time Out saysReno, a painter, is driven to distraction by financial troubles, the punk band rehearsing next door, and the city squalor he sees all around him. Picking up a power tool, he vents his fury on the homeless, bit by bit. Ferrara's first film coincided with John Sayles' Return of the Secaucus Seven at the onset of the American indie scene - though, like nearly all Ferrara's work, this feels more at home on the exploitation fringe than the art-house circuit. (There's even a gratuitous lesbian shower scene.) Notorious in Britain as one of the much-cited, little-seen 'video nasties' that ushered in the censorious Video Recordings Act of 1984, this reappeared in 1999 in a version six minutes longer than previously (though still shorn of its goriest moments), basking in the retrospective glow of such hard-won auteurist credibility as Ferrara has mustered. The very first image sees Laine (aka Ferrara) approaching an altar, for all the world like Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant. We even get glimpses of Ferrara's own paintings on the walls. Take out the killings, and you're left with an anguished (even somewhat boring) stab at urban ennui, heavily influenced by Repulsion and Taxi Driver.