Monday, January 24, 2011

Driller: A Sexual Thriller (1984)

Directed by Joyce James
Starring Taija Ray, Mr. J, Esmeralda, Angelique, George Payne
Rated XXX

"You got it all over me - and I'm the president of your fan club!"

When Michael Jackson's Thriller first made it's appearance on VHS and I was hiding behind a kitchen chair watching the video through parted fingers, I would have never imagined that an adult film based upon one of the deceased King of Pop's most famous songs and Jon Landis's accompanying music video would ever be thought of, let alone actually made. This observation/wistful reminiscence of youth brought me to two conclusions: 1) I was a total wussy, and 2) there was actually a time when I didn't automatically imagine what anything I saw would be like as porn.

Well, it just so happens that indeed a porno was made around the premise of Thriller and that, in fact, I am still a total wussy. But that's a whole nother story.

Originally released in 1984, Driller (the "A Sexual Thriller" part is an add-on for the DVD release) will finally make it's reemergence from obscurity on January 25, 2011. This decision seems in part due to the kinda recent passing of MJ (who would have likely had his people file a lawsuit, had he known of its existence), and surely to take advantage of the current trend of making a porn parody for every fucking thing that has ever existed as a pop culture phenomenon.

Like most porn parodies, Driller features a hodge-podge smattering of similarities to it's inspiration so that you know what they're ripping off, but the actually re-telling seldom sticks to any particular narrative that is featured in the original Thriller video; unless I missed that whole Quasimodo dungeon sub-plot.

Driller begins just as Mr. Jackson's Thriller does - with a disclaimer. Now, instead of acting like some goody-goody Jehovah's Witness (which is what MJ was at the time of Thriller), the producers of Driller want you to know that they do believe in monsters and other shit that isn't real.

In this "re-imagining" of the classic 14 minute music video, the character of Michael Jackson is portrayed by Mr. J (playing the pop star Michael and not the boy-next-door character Michael played in the video), credited as "The Star". With his fingerless sequined glove, red painted fingernails and super effeminate characteristics, Mr. J actually seems more like a mash-up of Prince and El DeBarge (with a voice like Liza Minnelli) going trick-or-treating as MJ rather than the King of Pop himself.

Girl-next-door Taija Ray plays Louise, one of Mr. J's biggest fans. After her and her boyfriend, dweeby Dan (Dick Howard), see Mr. J in concert (where we are treated to a complete Billie Jean rip-off song called "Hot Star" - and yes, we get the whole song), Dan is all riled up for sex.

Louise wants nothing to do with that icky stuff, but after much coaxing (and an annoyingly stiff handed pussy rubbing), Dan gets his way. Louise lays there bored and uncomfortable while Dan creepily talks dirty (most lines in this movie are absurd post-production overdubs, BTW) and pumps away with a total lack of any sexual prowess whatsoever.

After Dan goes home, Louise settles in for a night of radio drama and newspaper reading. She falls asleep while listening to a spooky story about a werewolf and awakens inside of her dream to garbage bag wearing "zombies" clawing their way through Louise's cardboard walled room and "dancing".

Mr. J, or "The Star", now a zombie himself, enters through one of the most awful edits I've ever seen, and performs the hit, "Driller" (It's just a the night...), once again in its full "how-the-hell-is-this-legal?" entirety.

Mr. J then starts rubbing his body all over Louise, who's still laying in her bed squealing and shivering with fear, and transforms into a werewolf - which actually doesn't look half bad.

Mr. J then whips out his penis and begins stroking it in front of Louise. Unfortunately, I cannot show you what the werewolf Mr. J is packing, but suffice to say it's about 2 feet long, moves on it's own accord, spins around like a drill (which is actually the sound effect they use), and causes Louise to stare wide-eyed with confused awe (which is actually pretty much what everything in this movie makes her do). Personally, I'd being jumping out the window, but hey - to each their own, right?

"The Star" proceeds to ravage the frightened beauty with his humongous wolf wang, and eventually sprays his green (yes, I said green) goo all over her stomach and chest.

He then slings her over his shoulder and takes her away to his dungeon where he forces her to witness a trio of what turns out to be some pretty drawn out and unarousing (but at least amusing) sex.

First, Toxie clone Quasimodo unskillfully and what seems to be quite painfully rams his finger in young Courtney-Love-in-goth-phase looking Esmerelda's butthole (and then annoyingly shouts at her to squirt for like 5 minutes ("...oh yes...oh deep...look at that bulging ass") - which she eventually does).

Next, we have two gold-painted lesbians sitting on a round table (of which zombies are manually spinning around for added "special" effect) using light-up dildos and lackadaisically engaging in unerotic muff munching.

And finally, we get George Payne and a fellow leatherboy lifelessly double teaming a fair maiden on an artist's light table while a medieval soundtrack of monks chanting plays in the background.

After the aforementioned spectacle of yawn-inducing unsexy sex, comes one of the most hilarious and bizarre moments in this ongoing series of hilarious and bizarre moments. Louise, who is finally freaked out enough to make a break for it, takes off from the dungeon to run around a "graveyard" - lost in invisible fog and spiderwebs - waving her hands in front of her face and looking around confused. To find a safe hiding spot, she runs to a corner of the "graveyard" and squats behind the philosopher Plato's pathetically adorned gravestone, still waving her hand in front of her face and squinting through the (non-existent) foggy darkness - wracked with fright. Did I mention that there is little to no fog or spiderwebs to be seen anywhere?

While Louise remains frozen in fear in the corner, "The Star" and his posse of red brief wearing, leather-masked ballet dancers come in and grunt at her while they do their best to re-enact the famous zombie street dance scene from Thriller. For ridiculousness's sake, this includes pirouettes, sumo wrestling choreography and a zombie chick who's really good at sign language.

This whole dreaded nightmare eventually comes to its climax with an incredibly unenthusiastic zombie orgy involving a rotting and overweight newlywed-dead couple awkwardly making out, Louise being tag teamed by Payne and company, and some dude wearing a Richard Nixon mask putting his over-sized rubber nose everywhere it doesn't belong.

From mesmerizing to excruciating, Driller: A Sexual Thriller must be seen to be believed. A minor league cult classic in its own right, I highly recommend anybody who hasn't seen this to at least give it a watch; and invite your friends, cuz it's definitely a party flick.

Just to wet your whistle, take a gander at Mr. J's magical rendition of the opening number, Hot Star. And in case you were wondering, the DVD looks about a million times (give or take) better than the clip does.

Devil's Den Films, which appears to be a sub-section of Wild Eye Releasing, bring Driller: A Sexual Thriller to DVD for the first time ever, and it can be found for sale at the MVD Entertainment Group website, along with thousands more titles from such great labels as Independent Entertainment, Grimoire, SRS Cinema and Full Moon Entertainment.

- Jeremy Vaca

1 comment:

  1. I would've never guessed that a genuine DVD release (from a 35mm print of some sort) of this would ever come out. I do like it a lot, except for the actual songs.

    P.S. I'm the one that uploaded the Youtube clip, which was from an original VHS tape. The tape is very dull and dark, but those DVD stills do look miles better.


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