When a young girl is attacked and left for dead by a strange man in an orange jumpsuit wielding an electric drill, an entire town is sent into panic. The girl has survived but she has a strange, black, oil like fluid running from her eyes. Soon people all over the town are being attacked by an army of men in orange jumpsuits.
Spoilers follow ...
- Zombie Driller Killer review by NP
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You rated this film: 3
I was first alerted to this film by spotting it on the CV of musician, Wojciech Golczewski, whose incidentals had added so much to the evocative atmosphere of ‘We Are Still Here (2015)’. Here, his menacing strings accompany casually stunning jogger Johanna (Johanna Gustavsson), alerting us to the fact that, as she runs through sunny glades, she’s in imminent danger. As the film’s title suggests, it’s only brief moments before a masked man in industrial overalls holds her down and forces a drill into her head.
Despite dying, she is soon back at her father’s home. Breathing, but with no pulse, she is somnambulistic, only rousing to vomit black putridity over her father. Meanwhile, the driller killers (for there are several) claim more victims – discarding any males and concentrating on females.
This story concentrates on Johanna’s father Morten’s (Morten Rudå) attempts to look after his deteriorating daughter. Watching as he tries to persuade others that the blackened, vomiting creature will ‘soon be better’ is deeply harrowing. The bemused apathy of the police is similarly distressing.
Shot like a documentary in grainy images, the effects are probably the weakest link here. Whilst an abundance of black tar-like substances oozing from hair and bodies is pretty revolting, the execution of the illness belies this Norwegian film’s lack of budget. The tone is refreshing, however, and doesn’t always take itself too seriously, while certain moments recall the work of David Cronenberg and the rotting, limping, back-haired ghosts of ‘Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)’ and similar Asian films.
It is unconventional also that a middle aged man should emerge as the hero of the piece, his vigilante actions uncovering a dark governmental secret, and distinctively so. As a whole, though, ‘Zombie Driller Killer’ doesn’t really live up to either its title, or the promise shown in early scenes.