Abel Ferrara

Biography: Independent New York filmmaker Abel Ferrara became best-known for his low-budget, shockingly violent films that explore the roughest parts of the Big Apple and the darkest reaches of the human soul, with films such as China Girl (1987) -- his unique version of Romeo and Juliet -- generating a devoted following. Ferrara was born in the Bronx, but spent most of his childhood in Peekskill, NY, where he met the two young men who would eventually become his primary screenwriter (Nicholas St. John) and occasional consultant (John McIntyre). As boys, they would play around with 8 mm cameras. In the mid-'70s, the three reunited and founded Navaron Films, where they produced an adult film. In 1979, they released their most notorious film, Driller Killer, for which Ferrara starred, edited, and wrote the songs under the pseudonym Jimmie Laine. In this movie, a young man goes berserk and begins killing vagrants with a portable power drill. Ferrara continued making low-budget shockers untilIndependent New York filmmaker Abel Ferrara became best-known for his low-budget, shockingly violent films that explore the roughest parts of the Big Apple and the darkest reaches of the human soul, with films such as China Girl (1987) -- his unique version of Romeo and Juliet -- generating a devoted following. Ferrara was born in the Bronx, but spent most of his childhood in Peekskill, NY, where he met the two young men who would eventually become his primary screenwriter (Nicholas St. John) and occasional consultant (John McIntyre). As boys, they would play around with 8 mm cameras. In the mid-'70s, the three reunited and founded Navaron Films, where they produced an adult film. In 1979, they released their most notorious film, Driller Killer, for which Ferrara starred, edited, and wrote the songs under the pseudonym Jimmie Laine. In this movie, a young man goes berserk and begins killing vagrants with a portable power drill. Ferrara continued making low-budget shockers until the late '80s. In addition to such brutally violent fare, the "Me Decade" also found Ferrara also helming such television shows as Miami Vice and Crime Story. Switching to more mainstream (although hardly more subtle) films, including The King of New York (1990), Bad Lieutenant (1992), and Body Snatchers (1994) in the 1990s, the director successfully retained his stylistic edge while gaining a somewhat wider audience. Not surprisingly, this trio of films proved Ferrara's most successful run to date and the director became something of a hot property among indie stars. In 1995, his metaphorical exploration of vampirism, The Addiction, won an award at the Berlin Film Festival. Always controversial, Ferrara's 1996 crime drama The Funeral seemingly split his longtime fanbase down the middle with half heralding the film as a gritty masterpiece and others dismissing it as a pale attemot to recapture the success of King of New York. Despite a somewhat impressive cast which included Beatrice Dalle, Matthew Modine and Dennis Hopper, the director's 1996 effort The Blackout did little to win over detractors of The Funeral. In 1998 Ferrara made the unusual choice of adapting a novel by cyberpunk legend William Gibson for the screen, as New Rose Hotel, and though the results were mixed few would argue that it was any worse than previous attempts to bring his writings to the screen (see 1995's Johnny Mnemonic). When Ferrara's muddled 2001 effort 'R X Mas failed to live up to the hype as his big comeback film, audience were widely left to wonder whether courting the mainstream had forever tainted Ferrara's formerly potent vision. Expand

Abel Ferrara's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average career score: 57
Highest Metascore: 74 Daddy Longlegs
Lowest Metascore: 14 Don Peyote
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 22
  2. Negative: 3 out of 22
22 movie reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
59 Zeros and Ones Nov 19, 2021 Director / Writer tbd
59 Siberia Jun 18, 2021 Director / Director / Writer / Writer tbd
65 The Projectionist Oct 2, 2020 Director / Himself / Self tbd
66 Tommaso Jun 5, 2020 Director / Director / Writer / Writer / Written By / Written By 6.7
71 Pasolini May 10, 2019 Director / Director / Based On An Idea By / Based On An Idea By 2.5
43 Black Butterfly May 26, 2017 Pat / Pat 5.4
71 Welcome to New York Mar 27, 2015 Director / Director / Screenplay / Screenplay tbd
14 Don Peyote May 16, 2014 Taxi Cab Driver 3.0
54 4:44 Last Day on Earth Mar 23, 2012 Director / Director / Writer / Writer tbd
45 Happy Life Oct 14, 2011 Executive Producer tbd
61 Go Go Tales Jan 7, 2011 Director / Writer tbd
74 Daddy Longlegs May 14, 2010 Robber / Robber tbd
69 The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans Nov 20, 2009 Earlier Film "Bad Lieutenant" / Earlier Film "Bad Lieutenant" tbd
57 Chelsea on the Rocks Oct 2, 2009 Director / Writer / Himself tbd
tbd Mary Oct 17, 2008 Director / Writer tbd
55 'R Xmas Nov 8, 2002 Director / Writer 6.9
tbd White Boy Oct 18, 2002 Producer tbd
37 The Blackout Aug 3, 2001 Director / Writer tbd
31 New Rose Hotel Oct 8, 1999 Director / Screenplay 7.3
65 Body Snatchers Jan 14, 1994 Director 6.0
70 Bad Lieutenant Nov 20, 1992 Director / Writer 6.9
66 King of New York Sep 28, 1990 Director 7.0
62 Ms. 45 Apr 24, 1981 Director / Director / 1st Rapist / 1st Rapist tbd
66 The Driller Killer Jun 15, 1979 Director / Reno Miller tbd
tbd Alive in France TBA Director / Himself 6.8
tbd Sportin' Life TBA Director / Self tbd