Don't Kill It Film Review
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by: Jerry Smith
Very few filmmakers can walk the fine line between horror and comedy as well as director Mike Mendez. From the days of THE CONVENT all the way to the semi-recent BIG ASS SPIDER, the guy just knows how to give genre fans a lot of bloody fun. While the uneven yet pretty fun flick THE LAST HEIST wasn't as great as we all had hoped (the film was notoriously tampered with), Mendez has now returned with one of the funniest horror films in quite some time, the Dolph Lundgren-led DON'T KILL IT.
Offering one hell of a setup, DON'T KILL IT wastes no time in lettings its viewers know exactly what they're in for, when a hunter comes across an evil which posseses his dog and when said hunter kills his animal, the evil passes into him. We're then thrust into a very entertaining and downright shocking opening sequence involving a whole slew of people killing their spouses, children, getting killed themselves then seeing the evil transfer to another person. I must say, it's quite the beginning of a very entertaining story. With this kind of evil on the loose, we obviously need a badass protagonist and that hero comes in the form of action legend Dolph Lundgren, who is at the top of his game with this film. Playing Jebediah Woodley (a character that NEEDS a franchise built around him), Lundgren is somewhat of a cowboy shaman, a demon hunter who knows how badass he is but is also very aware of crazy his declaration of demons and so on is. Every hero needs a sidekick/love interest and that comes in HALLOWEEN/TALES OF HALLOWEEN's Kristina Klebe as Agent Evelyn Pierce, a woman who left her small town years before and is forced to return to solve the grisly series of murders.
Full of chemistry that is fun to watch, the Lundgren/Klebe duo confront demons after demons but are forced to figure out how to destroy them with the unfortunate realization that they can't kill the infected person without becoming a demon themselves. The pair make a good team and it's awesome to see the very talented Klebe hold her own and them some with the great Lundgren. It's a very unique and interesting concept, one which feels like it calls back to similar angles presented by older films like THE FIRST POWER or FALLEN, but without even feeling derivative of those films.
Full of inventive and downright gory kills, DON'T KILL IT is a great break from reality and one of those genre films that has its aim on your funny bone at the same time as grossing you out. Everything from CHEAP THRILLS/WE ARE STILL HERE's Elissa Downling playing a woman who is infected through sex, BLOOD BROTHERS/GET THE GIRL's Graham Denman getting quite the sharp pain in another scene and a who's who of genre notables each making you laugh with each of their cameos. It's a film which shows just how witty and maniacal Mendez and Co. are, and one which makes you WANT a sequel, as opposed to a lot of genre films today which keep a steady amount of followups without being warranted to do so. After sitting through DON'T KILL IT, you're screaming for more Woodley action, because let's face it...Lundgren picking up girls at bars, killing demons and having an endless supply of one-liners is just that much fun to watch.