Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Don't Kill It (2017)
DIRECTOR: Mike Mendez
Michael Aaron Milligan
Jasi Cotton Lanier
Jebediah Woodley is a demon hunter. He is currently on the hunt for a demon which has been unleashed on a small town in Mississippi. This demon is able to move from human to human and possess them. The demon when taking possession of a body is enraged and has the urge to kill anyone around it, the person who manages to kill the possessed body is themselves taken over by the demon, and it can continue its killing spree. Jebediah and a female FBI agent now must try and stop the demon before the entire town is wiped off the map.
I'll be the first to admit, I almost didn't watch Don't Kill It. The reason I didn't want to watch it was due to the fact that Dolph Lundgren was the main star of it. I was a child born in the late eighties. I missed the entire craze of those macho action movie stars. I think the one that I connected to most was Arnold Schwarzenegger because I have seen him in movies like Kindergarten Cop, Twins, and T2. I wasn't very big on all of those straight to video action stars which I always lumped Dolph Lundgren straight in with that crowd.
I think what finally sold me into finally biting the bullet and watching the film was the fact that I saw the movie had 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. I'm not one to trust a lot of movie critics, but when I saw that perfect fresh rating, my mind changed on the film. I then heard the guys over at Shockwaves podcast talking about how much fun that they had with the film, and I was sold. I got myself a copy and sat down to watch the movie. After watching it, I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this incredibly gory display of carnage.
Don't Kill It opens with a man hunting a deer. His dog wanders off and finds an old trinket in the middle of the woods. The dog suddenly attacks, and the owner has to put his dog out of its misery. For the next six minutes, we have a man going from home to home killing his family and neighbours. This is not a film that shies away from the gore and bloodshed. We see men, women, and children gunned down and dispatched with all kinds of kitchen items. It's utter insanity, and you'll know exactly what you're in for with Don't Kill It.
The movie is filled with set-pieces and moments like that opening scene, and that's where this movie really thrives and wins for me. This is pure batshit insanity. This is director Mike Mendez being given three and a half million dollars and making a balls to the wall, gory comedy horror. I think some people will find this overkill, but when the movie is not dishing out the gore and carnage, this is where the movie suffers for me. When this movie isn't showing us the demon going on a killing spree, it's where Don't Kill It loses steam.
There are moments in the movie where Dolph Lundgren has to stop the craziness to give us a lot of exposition about his past and about the demon. All these scenes are where the movie sort of slows the pace and momentum. It's not enough to ruin the experience of Don't Kill It, and I totally get that it needs to be done in order for us to get any sort of story and plot. But these moments are where I felt like the film loses a point only because I was dying to see what the demon would do to the next person it manages to inhabit.
Another element of the movie that didn't always work for me was the cheesiness of the demon itself. While we never actually get to see this demon, every time a person is possessed by it, we have that well-used look of the completely black eyes and the demon just constantly wailing and screaming. I'd say roaring, but this soundbite is more on the comedic side of things than anything else. I'm quite sure Mike Mendez and crew were going for exactly that, but a lot of these scenes feel that extra bit silly and play exactly that way.
On a gore and bloodshed level, this is off the charts. This is all practical effects work from what I understand, and while some of the gore looks clearly fake at times, I was loving every single second of it. Victims are maimed, stabbed, shot and eviscerated. We have a scene in a town meeting hall that may be the closest we've come to the Kingsman church scene. This is just fast-paced killing sprees every ten minutes, and it's a glorious sight to behold. If you want a film that only delivers violence, this is it.
Lastly, we come to the performances. I've never been a fan of Dolph Lundgren. The only movies I could probably tell you that he's been in besides this film is one of the Rocky films and The Expendables. In Don't Kill It, he is at a career best for me. He plays a grizzled demon hunter to perfection. He looks like he has a lot of fun in this role and it shows. I wouldn't be opposed to a sequel. Kristina Klebe who I've seen in the dark horror drama Dementia and Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween is on the good girl side this time, and she is a worthy partner to Dolph's Jebadiah Woodley. Both actors have a lot of chemistry.
DEATH TOLL: 53 (Estimated)
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A man is attacked by a dog.
- A dog is shot in the head.
- A demon is shot.
- Someone is hit in the face with a machete.
- An old woman is hit by a mail van.
- A group of people are mowed down by a mail van.
- Someone is repeatedly stabbed in the heart.
- People are blown up by a grenade.
- Someone has their throat sliced.
- An FBI agent is hit in the back with a tomahawk.
- An FBI agent is hit in the head with a tomahawk.
- People poison themselves.
- Multiple people are shot in the head.
- Someone is stabbed in the chin with a kitchen knife.
- Women, teenagers, and children are shot in the chest.
- A woman's face is shoved into boiling hot water.
- A woman is repeatedly hit in the chest with a meat cleaver.
- A man is slashed down his chest.
- Someone's head is blown to pieces with a shotgun.
- Someone has their head caved in with a rifle handle.
- Someone has their face impaled on deer antlers.
- People's limbs are sliced off with a chainsaw and machete.
- Someone's head explodes from the hit of an ax.
- People are hit in the back and chest with an ax.
- Picking a bullet out of a wound.
Going into Don't Kill It, I was a little weary. After watching the movie, though, I have to say that this is a movie that all horror fans should watch. Don't be stupid like I was and turned off that the main star is Dolph Lundgren because you're in for one hell of a ride. This is ultra-violent, at times insane and pretty damn funny. The acting is also pretty good. Where the movie suffers is that when it's not dishing out the gore, it is a little slow and the movie is smothered with a lot of cheese. Still, I recommend that you watch Don't Kill It.