Review: Rust Belt Driller (2022)

Directed by: David R. Williams, Tilke Hill
runtime: 83 mins

The struggles of being a creative…

Not creating takes so much out of us. Sometimes the stars just aren’t aligned for our visions to come to fruition. That can lead to various forms of depression, and some visceral trips to dark places.

But creating isn’t always much better. See, it becomes quite easy to become lost when firing on all cylinders. When a creator is creating at peak performance, they can neglect everything else around them and allow their mind to be consumed by their creation for a time. Because that bug called inspiration can be so fleeting.

There’s a darkness taking hold of Renn. He hasn’t been able to paint in some time. His art dealer (who is named Abel in a not so subtle homage to DRILLER KILLER director Abel Ferrara) sets him up with a gig painting a portrait of some woman for her wedding. Renn isn’t interested, but he relents when his dealer mentions that he needs the money, whether Renn does or not.

Renn’s girlfriend, Carol, accuses him of selling out. They have an argument, but they make up. This seems to be the pattern. He also has another roommate named Pamela that he fools around with, but it appears that only he can see Pamela.

He starts seeing these late night infomercials for a big drill starring Benji and the Drill Girls, and they speak to Renn directly through the TV. It’s not long after these hallucinations that the tortured artist becomes the torturing artist.

Torturing artist? Who, me? I wouldn’t hurt a–
Okay, you got me there.”

As if things weren’t bad enough, my guy starts painting Babadooks.

“Yo, are you painting Babadooks?

At least Renn is painting again? But now the violence is out of control. Hey! Come to SPLORTCHSTOCK ’22 and see all of your favorites perform! The squelch of skin! The gurgle of blood! The pop and crunch of cartilage as it is pulverized by an oversized drill bit! It’s a squish symphony!

At times the frantic moments of drilling brutality are channeling TETSUO: THE IRON MAN. Since this film had a lot of drill film representation, I sought for some homage to SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE and came up dry, but I’m not taking it personally.

Give this flick a shot, especially if you’re a fan of DIY filmmaking. This isn’t shot-on-video, but were it made 25 years ago it would have been. It bears that same passion and vitality of shot-on-video, but treads a bit more in arthouse waters and holds up a bit better to technical scrutiny. I give it 8 out of 10 thumbs up.



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