Lynchian is a term to describe media that has qualities seen in the works of director David Lynch. These qualities are usually ones of abstract plots, strange situations, and the media usually has a deeper meaning that must be explored to be understood. It is the deeper meaning that filmmakers often struggle with when they draw direct inspiration from Lynch, often leaving their projects feeling like a cluttered abstract mess. Rust Belt Driller feels like a Lynchian-inspired film that makes a valiant effort but falls into very amateur pitfalls and leaves it lost and confused in tone.

Every artist has their slump but for Renn Maxwell, his has gotten particularly ugly, with the constant fights and his agent on his back about getting back on the horse. While in the middle of daydream, he starts to fantasize about an advertisement for a massive drill and something inside him snaps. He starts creating art again but it is dark, sinister, and people seem to be dying around him. While this newfound inspiration seems to be opening the world back up to Renn, all he can feel is the darkness closing in on him.

It is hard to talk about Rust Belt Driller without just explaining what is going on in it, or at least trying to talk about what is going on. A mysterious woman exists in the background of many scenes and becomes more and more prevalent as Renn becomes more unhinged. Where this character seems like his muse, it becomes more clear that she is something darker. This sets up a good situation to begin our story but when the bizarre drill commercials get introduced it takes the whole new tone that the film fights with for the rest of its run time.

Renn is a man who is finding inspiration for his art through him giving into his violent desires that seem sexual at times. This is when Rust Belt Driller feels like it is going for possible slasher vibes with even the plot being very similar to Driller Killer, a film with a failing artist also killing people with a drill. These create some interesting, and at times disturbing moments, but when everything is cast in a surreal and comical light it becomes exhausting.

There is a joke in the film community that new filmmakers will often go for abstract concept films as a filler for a lack of a strong narrative or plot and while Rust Belt Driller never goes far down that road, it certainly feels like it at times. For everything that doesn’t work there is a spark of something engaging and it is these moments that carry the film from some more bizarre moments that don’t work.


5 Out of 10


Rust Belt Driller
Runtime: 1 Hr. 23 Mins.
Directed By:
Written By: Aaron Krygier







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About the Author

A huge horror fan with a fondness for 80s slashers. Can frequently be found at southern California horror screenings and events.
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