Welcome witches and warlocks,
Today I will be reviewing the action/horror film DON’T KILL IT by director Mike Mendez. To best describe the story, I will turn to the IMDB plot summary:
“An ancient demon that passes from person to person terrorizes a small Mississippi town.”
Listen, I am not going to claim that this is a complex or nuanced story as anyone who watches this feature will call me out immediately. I will note that there are a few moments during this whirlwind film that imply a much larger or more interesting world beyond the current events. For the most part, though, the plot serves as a great way to cram a lot of manic violence into a compact runtime.
Now when I say violence, I really mean head lopping, shotgun ripping, grenades exploding carnage. What makes these scenes so impressive is that each chopped limb or exploding head has the appearance of being pulled off using practical effects. It seems each time an onslaught begins the movie goes into overdrive to show us as much ridiculous gore as possible. In a way, it resembles the bloody “Itchy and Scratchy” cartoons with a horror bent.
If I am being honest, the horror presented is not the real emphasis of this picture, but merely the window dressing. There are no real scares, the characters are mostly stock, and any emphasis on the idea that a demon can make a person kill their loved ones is pretty much lost amidst the bloodshed. It is still an entertaining ride, but those looking to be creeped out may want to seek out a different feature.
I feel like most people seeing this film probably already know that it is going to be more action than horror just by the inclusion of Dolph Lundgren and Kristina Klebe. While this is more of a run and gun movie than one involving hand to hand combat, there are a few scenes where both get a chance to show off their athletic abilities. As far as acting chops go, Klebe was solid in her part, but I feel like I have been seeing her play a lot of authority figures lately so I would love to see a bit more variety in her roles. To me, Lundgren was the real winner here as he gave a pretty charismatic performance that made me want to spend more time with his character.
One problem I had with this picture was that there were two points where it seemed like things were solved until someone intervened at the last minute. While I can accept pulling this trick once, twice in the span of twenty or thirty minutes is just too much. It does not help anything that one of these instances came out of absolutely nowhere and seemed like a ploy to just unleash some more violence.
All in all, while this is not that much of a horror movie, it is a practical effects extravaganza. Those who love Dolph Lundgren, Kristina Klebe, or bloody anarchy are going to have a blast watching this feature. Fans of ridiculously violent movies like RE-ANIMATOR (1985) or EVIL DEAD II (1987) will find themselves right at home.
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