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Review: Don't Kill It (2016)

Don’t Kill It is the latest B movie vehicle for Dolph Lundgren, in which he plays a demon hunter. . . . ya, you heard right; Dolph Lundgren as a demon hunter! The demon possesses a body and if anybody kills the person being possessed, it possesses the killer. There is really not much more to this movie than that description, and it is exactly as stupid, silly, campy, and absolutely awesome as it sounds (mostly because of Lundgren). I’m tempted to just end this article now, because I know I’ve already said enough to convince you to see this movie. I’m going to keep writing though, just in case any of you are crusty haters of Dolph Lundgren/B movies about demon hunting. If you are one of the aforementioned crusty haters, please read on anyways. Maybe I can persuade you. Or maybe you’ll read this and all I will have accomplished is convincing you to never ever watch this movie. . . ever! Either way, I’m helping you out, so keep reading! Also, this is a duo review with 2Spooky author Matt McNeal so, if you want a second opinion, check out his review here.

To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what genre I would classify Don’t Kill It as. IMDB classifies it as a action/fantasy/horror. I suppose that is correct, but that classification doesn’t really do a movie like this justice. There’s no way around it, I’m going to have to create an entirely new genre. Let’s call it Junk Food. The Junk Food genre is for movies, like Don’t Kill It, that are just really bad for you. Movies that don’t fit one genre in particular because they are just mashups of a bunch of random crazy stuff. Movies that are intentionally bad because their goal is to be as campy as possible. You know they’re bad, you know just shouldn’t watch them because they don’t bring you any real value, and you know you will most likely regret watching them. . . But, dang it, sometimes you have a craving and only Junk Food will suffice!

If that’s not clear, I’ll give some examples. Probably the most popular movie that would fit this genre is Sharknado, a movie that is 115% garbage, but somehow became popular enough to become a series with three sequels and a 5th movie on the way! See what I mean by junk food? Everybody knows they shouldn’t eat it but, for reasons nobody can understand, people continue to go back. Another example is the 2013 movie Big Ass Spider which, as you could probably guess, is about an extremely large spider attacking a city. Trust me, the rest of that movie flies along with all the subtlety of its title.

I bring up Big Ass Spiders for one reason only, and it is not because you should watch it (please don’t watch it. I don’t want that on my conscience). It’s because the director of Big Ass Spider, Mike Mendez, happens to be the director of Don’t Kill It. See? I wasn’t just rambling incoherently in the last paragraph! I was bringing it back around. The reason I’m telling you all of this is so you know exactly what kind of movie this is. I don’t want to mislead you. It’s a Junk Food movie, directed by a veteran of the genre. It’s a movie that I just can’t bring myself to say is good. I mean, when it comes to honestly evaluating this movie as a film, there’s almost nothing that I can truly say is done well. But, just like fast food, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that make this movie enjoyable to watch while it lasts. I’m going to focus on those things because maybe, just maybe, there is someone out there who will read this and think, “Man, that sounds like my kind of movie!”

First and foremost, the reason I even gave this movie a second glance, Dolph Lundgren. I won’t sugar coat things, Dolph lundgren is an amazing actor! Alright, fine. . . so that’s not exactly true. . . but he is extremely cool, likeable, and, lately in his career, surprisingly funny. The combination of those three things is an absolute necessity, not only for the role but, more specifically, for this role in this movie. Let’s think about it for a second. He’s playing a guy named Jebediah Woodley (Great badass name!), who goes around the country hunting and killing demons (Great profession!). It’s pretty obvious you need a badass guy to play him. But we’re not talking about a serious supernatural movie here. We’re talking about a schlocky B movie. Since that is the case, Lundgren needed to bring a sense of humor to the role. In order for a movie like this to be even remotely watchable, Lundgren had to be fully aware of how campy the movie is, and he had to be in full blown, tongue-in-cheek mode. Luckily, Lundgren can pull off badass in his sleep, and he does so with a smug grin on his face the whole time that lets us know he is in on the joke. He nails the role and he absolutely nails the tone to make every scene he’s a part of fun and watchable. He is one of the only reasons to watch Don’t Kill It. . . Which I guess means if you don’t like Dolph Lundgren you probably shouldn’t watch this one.

I did say Dolph was one of the only reasons, not the only reason, so I suppose that means I should mention the other (Ya, there’s only one more. I told you; there’s not a whole lot of good things in this). The other reason is the action. . . kind of. See, it’s not that the action itself is very good (it is mediocre at best); it’s that the action works well with the campy, horror aspect of the movie brilliantly. The action (which is pure chaos in the most enjoyable way possible!) serves to create some fun and creative death scenes. Various weapons are used to maim, sever limbs, and explode heads; all of which happens with egregious amounts of blood. All of these scenes are done with very low budget practical effects that just add to the charm of the movie.

Overall, I would say this movie will only be enjoyable to a very specific audience. I would only recommend this to someone who, like me, loves Dolph Lundgren, or to somebody who enjoys schlocky B movie horror with fun practical gore effects. If either of those apply to you, I can recommend this to you with a clear conscience and I have a feeling you will, at the very least, be able to appreciate this movie for what it is. If neither of those sound like your thing, or if everything I’ve talked about in this article sounds horrible, DO NOT watch this movie! Trust that instinct, because it is most likely correct. This movie is definitely not for everybody (my wife absolutely hated every second of it. . . well, every second she was able to stay awake for anyways). But, if you’re having a movie night with some friends and those friends happen to love Dolph Lundgren and corny action/horror/comedy movies; first of all, congratulations on choosing the best group of friends ever. Second, this movie would be a perfect choice to make for a fun, quick watch that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

RATING: I can’t bring myself to seriously rate this on a 1-10 scale. It’s just not that kind of movie. I’m just going to rate this on the Is It Watchable scale. On that (totally real, completely not made up just now) scale, I would rate it as:

WATCHABLE (At your own risk! You can’t say I didn’t warn you.)

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