As a sometimes too-devoted fan of so-bad-they’re-good cinema, sometimes a relic from yesteryear is enough to perk my interest. I’m an avid reader of the JoBlo.com “Awfully Good” columns and usually put at least half of the viewing recommendations on my NetFlix queue. Torque and The Room held the top spot until this week when I bared witness to Birdemic: Shock and Terror. I also have a soft spot for these types of films ranging from big budget (2012) to low (Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus). So imagine my delight when I saw the press release about a long forgotten adult-oriented spoof of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” come to pass. Unfortunately in the case of Driller: A Sexual Thriller, we do not have the resurrection of the second coming of Caligula.
Louise (legendary adult film star Tajia Rae) has a huge fascination for her favorite pop star Hot Star (played with sexual ambiguity by “Mr. J”). So much so that she’s completely intoxicated by his performance at a local live show boasting the films own name. After the show, her boyfriend Dan (Dick Howard) insists on Louise proving her love even if it ends up with him showing her his love right up her nose.
After Dan leaves, mentioning there’s a full moon out and making cracks about turning into a werewolf and how much she’d love it, it’s not too long before Louise falls asleep and Hot Star breaks into her bedroom and lets loose his secret sexual weapon upon the president of his fan club and kidnaps her off to his “Sluthouse” complete with his own Quasimodo and adult film star Esmerelda at his disposal. It’s not long before Louise is his final “victim” of debauchery… OK, I take that back, it’s a long time before this horror/musical/comedy finally reaches its climatic happy ending.
While as a film it doesn’t succeed as either full spoof or even adult entertainment. When trying to take it in as a whole, the proceedings just become overly dull and eventually downright boring. At a rather quaint 84 minutes, there’s too much of one thing and not enough of the other. There’s a reason adult films today are even cheesier than they used to be, they know their films are one big joke and that no one is watching it for cinematic purposes. Episodic should be the name of the game but in Driller there’s only two actual sex scenes in the first half hour and then it turns into nothing but for the remaining fifty minutes.
In the first half hour however, they do seem to get the joke as the awful dubbing makes for some hilarious jabs at how generic porn sequences tend to be with the guy being far too enthusiastic while the girl plays indifferent even so much as playing with her hair and looking off into space while Louise’s “dialogue” consists of her whining about Dan taking advantage of her. While the werewolf transformation happens in the blink of an edit, the wolf character seems more alien than true lycanthrope with an appendage that seems to have a mind of its own and looks like something Ripley would love taking to task with a flame thrower (the film ain’t called Driller for nothin’). And Louise may be the first character to utter, “What are you doing in my bed?” while having a wet dream of any kind.
One special feature is pretty entertaining consisting of a 27-minute interview with producer Timothy Green Beckley who dishes the dirt on the difference between legitimate vs. hardcore, shooting on 35mm film with a huge production cost of around $100,000 (at least for a film like this) and how even their Academy Award winning cinematographer refused to use his real name in the credits. He also discusses how they had ten prints floating around even in Boston, MA (“where they ban everything,” as Beckley states) and that the film’s advertising was banned in Canada as sex with a werewolf character was deemed as “bestiality.” There’s also a 30 second trailer along with a stills gallery which plays exactly like flipping through an edition of Hustler or Penthouse and an audio interview with adult film star Esmeralda for your liking as well.
While certainly not for everyone, Driller: A Sexual Thriller is overall just another ’80s oddity rearing its long forgotten head thanks to Devil’s Den home video. While Beckley may seem to think that now is a better time than ever to release something of this ilk, I think he’s forgotten how far along and lavish the adult film industry has become. Not to mention personal hygiene. It’s a take it or leave it affair and all in all I’d say leave it really. There are far better and more contemporary films such as Room in Rome, Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge or even the already mentioned “classic” Caligula available on NetFlix.