PREMATURE EVALUATIONS: DON’T KILL IT 2016 dir. Mike Mendez


When faced with a violent aggressor, in order to defend one’s self, we have a tendency to run away or fight back. It’s in our nature, thanks to evolutionary need. When running isn’t an option, we tend to fight back without any stops. But what happens when that can end up causing more problem? When kill or be killed becomes kill and be killed? Things get creative and fun when Dolph Lundgren deals with this exact predicament in the new horror/action/comedy DON’T KILL IT, directed by BIG ASS SPIDER‘s Mike Mendez. Having premiered at Fantastic Fest 2016, DON’T KILL IT is now hitting limited theaters and VOD on March 3rd, 2017.

SYNOPSIS:
Lundgren is Jebediah Woodley, a demon hunter tracking a murderous demon to a small Mississippi town. This demon isn’t one you can easily exorcise as it jumps host bodies to whomever kills its previous host. Thus the title. Unless you want to be housing an unholy killing machine that sounds like a mix between a bull and a pterodactyl, then seriously, DON’T KILL IT.

WHAT WORKS:
Also returning to the town is FBI agent Evelyn “Evil lyn” Pierce (Kristina Klebe). Pierce was raised in the town and left it after disaster struck her family. Now she’s tasked with figuring out who or what is behind the multiple homicides in the normally quiet burg. Yes, it’s a traditional law enforcement trope, but Klebe really sells that she’s familiar and yet alien to the area that she’s been away from for many years.

Lundgren is in amazing shape, looking great as the gruff, badass demon hunter that wears just about every holy symbol imaginable. And Mendez gets him to flex his comedic muscles as well.

WHAT DOESN’T:
The demon’s guttural scream is a loud one. And it can sometimes sneak up on you. While this won’t be an issue for theatrical screenings, it will create a challenge for those of us that like to sneak scary movies when our families are sleeping. So, be prepared and keep that remote volume control at easy access.

WHY SHOULD YOU SEE DON’T KILL IT?:
With a plot involving the fact that you can’t kill the antagonist, and plenty of people trying to do just that, you know that hijinks are going to ensue. This also leads to one of the more chaotic town hall meetings this side of recent Republican ones about repealing the ACA. When I asked Mendez how he knew that town halls were going to be crazy, he stated that he hired psychic writers. I’ve got my eye on you, Dan Berk and Robert Olsen!

This film is a treat for anyone that is a fan of Mendez’s other work, but also for fans of the EVIL DEAD series in its goofier entries. A dream would be to see Ash and Jebediah team up for some supernatural ass kicking and scenery chewing. And you know that you want to see how Ash would deal with Jebediah’s net gun!

Robert Kurtzman is on hand to ensure that things get nice and bloody! We get plenty of practical heads blowing up and torsos rend asundered. Yes, they do blend in some CGI with the possessed’s blackened eyes and a few blood effects, but for the most part, there is physical gore a-plenty!

Be on the lookout for James Chalke, the town’s pastor. Besides being a great foil for Jebediah, Chalke has been in over 8 movies with Lundgren! Apparently they enjoy working with each other.

CAST:
Jebediah Woodley: Dolph Lundgren (UNIVERSAL SOLDIER, THE EXPENDABLES)
Agent Evelyn Pierce: Kristina Klebe (Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN, PROXY)
Chief Dunham: Tony Bentley (12 YEARS A SLAVE, DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB)

CREW:
Director: Mike Mendez (THE GRAVEDANCERS, LAVALANTULA)
Writers: Dan Berk and Robert Olsen (BODY, STAKE LAND II: THE STAKELANDER)

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