Aliens abduct a redneck in the middle of nowhere and change him into their own messenger of death in hopes to take over the world. Sent back to Earth, sporting a gigantic drill as his weapon of choice, the alien henchman drills and kills through a variety of victims, including a rock band and a group of college students. A throwback to the 80s slasher film ensues.
From the outside, DRILLER looks like another super low budget Sci-Fi splatter flick that seem to be cranked out left and right these days. Starring a cast of good looking nobodies hoping to make it big, a reasonably high body count to keep the smallest attention span entertained, and even a gratuitous naked shower scene for good measure, DRILLER seemed run-of-the-mill at first... but then it dawned on me: DRILLER was actually a throwback to the 80s slasher movie that I know and love!
The killer reminded me of Jason Voorhees, his weapon of choice was straight out of SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, and the main cast of characters were like long lost cousins to Ash and his cronies in EVIL DEAD. Throw in some cheesy acting, a thick layer of the red sauce, the hard rock & synthesized sounds of the soundtrack, and the surprisingly disgusting alien effects, and you have yourself a horror flick straight outta 1986!
For some, this might spell the perfect movie experience: light on plot and character development, a cast of characters you don't really
care about (mainly thrown in for the rising body count), a bad guy with a silly-looking outfit running around the forest with a giant drill, and a couple of dames satisfying the eye candy requirement. It doesn't live up to the criteria of being a 'good movie', but it does fit the bill as being a 'good 80s horror movie' in that entertaining trash kind of way.
For others, DRILLER will be seen as a movie that might have been good if it had a bigger budget, a better script, more realistic make-up and gore effects, and actors who can actually act. For those folks, this flick would fall into the 'bad movie' category, but they'd be missing the point of what it is and what it was trying to be.
Also to note: the effects and alien make-up here are surprisingly well-done, considering the size of the budget this film had to work with. There were a few shots of the aliens that were just plain nasty, and I applaud the film for creating something as gross as they did.
The look was crisp and clear without looking too 'video'-like.
The sound didn't suffer from inconsistent volume issues that so many lower budget flicks suffer from- it stayed consistent throughout.
The screener I received came with promotional 'Driller' graphic novel, of which the film was based on. Consisting of the first 14 pages or so (and seen through the film's opening credit sequence), the comic's style and artwork worked well for me, and showed that the film was a fairly close adaptation of the original source material. If I happened upon it at my local comic store, I'd totally pick it up!
It wasn't a great movie, and I would be reserved to call it a good movie, but through the looking glass of the slasher flicks from the 80s (more specifically, the bad slasher flicks from the 80s), DRILLER delivered the goods on all accounts, and equaled a good time in an entertaining trash kind of way. If you can look past some of it's bigger issues, and focus on what it was, you'll enjoy the hell out of it. If you're looking for something more.... steer far, far away.