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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: Don’t Kill It

May 17, 2017 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #410: Don’t Kill It

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never met an actual human being named Jebediah, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number four hundred and ten, I take a look at Don’t Kill It, a new action horror flick starring the great Dolph Lundgren.

Don’t Kill It

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Don’t Kill It, directed by Mike Mendez, is the kind of low budget action horror movie that I wish the B-movie world made more often. It’s funny, weird, gory as hell, and has a classic performance by Dolph Lundgren, a bonafide B-movie legend. If Fangoria was still an actual magazine Don’t Kill It would have to be a cover story and, well, a cover. It’s one of those kinds of movies.

Lundgren stars as Jebediah Woodley, a badass, grizzled, professional demon hunter who is hanging out in the small Mississippi town of Chickory Creek, basically waiting for nasty stuff to happen. He knows that there’s an ancient demon somewhere in the town and that, when it shows its face, he’ll have to take care of it. It doesn’t take long for that nasty stuff to start happening as Chickory Creek experiences multiple strange homicides where someone is murdered, someone kills the murderer, and then the murderer killer becomes a murderer. How often does that kind of thing happen anywhere in the world?

The multiple murders alert the attention of the FBI and the FBI sends down Agent Evelyn Pierce (Kristina Klebe), a former Chickory Creek resident who left the town when she was a little girl under potentially mysterious circumstances. The people who remember her are both happy and surprised to see Pierce in town, but Pierce wants to find out what’s going on and get out of the town as quickly as possible. While conferring with the local police chief, Dunham (Tony Bentley), Jebediah makes his presence known and attempts to explain what’s really going on. As expected, no one believes a word Jebediah says and he’s arrested for disturbing the peace. Of course, if Jebediah wasn’t such an asshole he probably wouldn’t have been arrested. He probably would have been just thrown out of the police station.

So Agent Pierce begins her investigation and is immediately perplexed. The murders were brutal and, in many ways, insane, as the murderers showed no mercy. Men, women, kids, everyone was fair game. Pierce questions a survivor of one of the killing sprees and hears something that startles her. The killer had jet black eyes. Jebediah told her, right before he was led away, to ask about the eyes. Pierce takes Jebediah out of jail and interrogates him about what he really knows. Demons? Demons are bullshit, but Jebediah clearly knows more about what’s going on than he’s letting on. Over a gigantic plate of ribs, Jebediah explains what he knows, what demon hunting is all about, and what kind of demons there are in the world. In essence, the demon Jebediah believes is in Chickory Creek is a body jumper that moves from body to body when its current host is damaged beyond repair. The demon can’t be killed, but it can be isolated. In fact, the demon was isolated when, after a freak airplane crash, Jebediah lost the canister the demon was contained in. Jebediah figures that he can isolate the demon again if the local authorities and the FBI allow him to do his work. Since they really don’t have any other viable options, Agent Pierce and Chief Dunham let Jebediah gather up his equipment and attempt to find the demon. They’re not going to call a big town meeting and tell everyone what’s going on, though. No one outside of Jebediah thinks that’s a good idea.

So Jebediah starts riding around town looking for the demon. Agent Pierce follows. She’s still not completely sold on the whole “demon” thing. Demons? Since when are they real? The whole thing has to be crazy. And her first “Jebediah in action” experience leads her to believe that, yes, Jebediah’s demon hunting hooha is just that, hooha (Jebediah traps a guy in his nifty rifle net weapon, thinking he’s the latest demon host, but it turns out he’s just another witness who somehow managed to get away from a demon initiated massacre). After Jebediah’s demon hunting car breaks down, Pierce is attacked by a man with jet black eyes. Suddenly, all of Jebediah’s stories are true. He really is a demon hunter, there really are demons out there, and Chickory Creek is in deep shit if the demon can’t be stopped.

The rest of the movie is Jebediah and Pierce tracking down the demon, Jebediah and Pierce sharing several intimate moments, and seeing what the demon can really do. We also find out something strange concerning Pierce, her backstory and time in Chickory Creek back in the day, and how the town pastor, Erikson (James Chalke), really doesn’t care for Pierce at all. There are some nifty twists along the way, and we also get a chance to see how Jebediah became a demon hunter in the first place. It’s actually kind of sad.

What may surprise viewers of Don’t Kill It is how action icon and star Dolph Lundgren isn’t involved in much action throughout the movie. He fights a few times, he shoots some guns and whatnot, but Lundgren’s Jebediah isn’t a guy who shoots first, shoots second, and doesn’t bother asking questions because he’s too busy shooting. Instead, Jebediah is more laid back about what’s going on. He’s always concerned about what’ going on, he wants to take the demon out, but he isn’t a full on man of action. That’s a fascinating strategy because, well, Dolph Lundgren is in the movie. Shouldn’t he be cracking skulls and beating the shit out of people? Jebediah would much rather hang out, eat, drink, and sort of wait for the demon to come to him. When he does have to jump into action Jebediah is good at what he does.

It’s also fascinating how Lundgren’s Jebediah isn’t exactly a likeable hero. Jebediah is actually kind of an asshole. He doesn’t really care what you think, he talks over people, and he’s a little too honest about what demons can do to people. When the authorities eventually do convene a town meeting, instead of helping Chief Dunham assure people that everything is under control, there’s nothing to worry about, and everything is going to be okay, Jebediah tells the town that there’s a chance that several of the people assembled might not live until tomorrow. That’s something a Bruce Campbell kind of guy would blurt out. But a Dolph Lundgren?

The demon murder and massacre scenes are shocking and gory. As I said, the demon has no problem killing anyone in front of it, and several young people are shot and stabbed to death, sometimes on screen. And there’s plenty of blood to be seen, both CGI blood and good, old fashioned “real” movie blood. There are also several gore sequences where heads fly, heads are crushed, body parts are lopped off, and blood goes everywhere. The big town meeting massacre scene is one that you will be talking about with your B-movie loving friends afterwards. If you’re not talking about it, well, I think you need to reconsider your life choices.

What helps mitigate the nastiness of the bloody murders is the movie’s tone. Don’t Kill It is very, very funny. It isn’t one of those “tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek” deals, which is refreshing as hell. Director Mendez and screenwriters Dan Berk and Robert Olsen clearly know how to straddle the line between goofy but not annoying and terrifying and gross and make it all work. You’ll end up leaving the movie believing you’ve seen something thoroughly unique. It isn’t, but it will seem like it is.

DontKillItCast

The performances are all excellent. Lundgren gets to stretch his acting muscles as Jebediah and do a few things he doesn’t get a chance to do all that often. He’s funny, he’s sometimes annoying (when he’s in full on asshole mode), and he’s so world weary from his job that he’s kind of annoyed by the whole thing. He’s still doing it, but, at the same time, he’d probably be a happier person if people would just believe him instead of having to find ways to prove himself again and again. Check out the scene where he attempts to explain what his job is while holding off two police officers who can’t quite hold him back. It’s hilarious, and how often do you see Dolph Lundgren as the wacky one?

Kristina Klebe does a great job as Agent Pierce. She’s a straight-laced officer of the law who just wants to do her job and isn’t interested in nonsense. When she realizes that everything Jebediah told her is true and real, she eventually accepts what’s happening around her but she’s still, deep down, skeptical about the whole thing. A demon may be in front of her, but she figures that she can still rely on her FBI, “real world” training to deal with it, even if that training won’t work in the end. Klebe also has great chemistry with Lundgren, both in a “buddy cop” sense and in a romantic sense. I do think you will be surprised by what happens to her at the end.

James Chalke is despicable as Pastor Erikson, but you only really see that towards the end of the movie. You should suspect he’s no good the first time you see him, though, when he’s perturbed that Chief Dunham won’t keep him in the loop on the multiple murder investigations. He’s the spiritual adviser for Chickory Creek. He “needs” to know what’s going on. And Tony Bentley does a good job as Chief Dunham. The poor guy is clearly overwhelmed by what’s going on around him, and you almost feel sorry for him when the shit really hits the fan, he sees it all go down, and has no idea how to react to any of it. You don’t blame him for what he does at the end of the movie.

Don’t Kill It should be the start of a B-movie franchise for both Lundgren and Mendez. I have no idea if it will, further Don’t Kill It episodes will obviously depend on how much money the movie makes on home video and TV, but I hope that we haven’t seen the last of Jebediah Woodley. He’s too cool a character to see only once. And while Lundgren seems to be in demand at the moment (he’s still on Arrow, he has several low budget action movies in various stages of production, and he’s set to be a part of the upcoming Aquaman movie), let’s all hope that he can find the time to do another Don’t Kill It. The world needs a franchise like Don’t Kill It. It really does.

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See Don’t Kill It. See it, see it, goddamn see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: If it’s less than 40 I’ll be shocked. I lost count after 25.

Explosions: A few, and they’re pretty nasty.

Nudity?: A little.

Doobage: A storm, rain, attempted deer hunting, poor shooting, dog attack, off screen dog killing, family killing, major shotgun hooey, an unsettling demon scream, meat cleaver to the chest, face boiling, shotgun blast to the head that we get to see (automatic nomination for the Dolph Lundgren award/greatest movie ever made for this very scene), off screen kid killing, ass fondling, a demon sex dream with disturbing choking elements, multiple medallions, vaping, prostitution, a bad law enforcement meeting, crime scene investigation, multiple murder flashbacks, some badass demon hunting gear, toilet paper, a big ass net shooting rifle, an overheating car, shoulder shooting, rubber bullets to the head, attempted bloody bullet removal, gauze, two scars, a big town meeting, a major axe attack, bloody head removal, machete to the face, multiple head shots, exploding head, bloody chainsaw attack, vehicular assault, sarcasm, poison making, an FBI assault, a killer kid, axe to the top of the head, antler through the face, torture, someone threatening suicide, tree tricks, chest stabbing, head smashing, more exploding heads, grenade hooey, attempted human finger bone used as a stabbing weapon, exploding human, a booze flask, and a shark.

Kim Richards?: Yes, both onscreen and off screen.

Gratuitous: Gold canister, Dolph Lundgren, Dolph Lundgren wearing a hat, Dolph Lundgren talking about the nature of consent, “I’m a piece of shit!,” Dolph Lundgren explaining what his favorite ice cream is, demon sex, Dolph Lundgren wearing multiple medallions for some reason, Dolph Lundgren vaping, a radio news update, small town Mississippi, a stuffed raccoon head, Dolph Lundgren eating ribs, men refusing to pay a diner check, beef jerky, Dolph Lundgren attempting to dig a bullet out of his arm, Dolph Lundgren using a pay phone, Christmas, shooting Santa Claus, Dolph Lundgren shooting a pastor with rubber bullets, grenade hooey, and the promise of a sequel that would kick major ass.

Best lines: “What the hell’s the matter with you?,” “Gabriel, you sonofabitch!,” “I like your hat. My Daddy used to have a hat like this,” “Sir, why don’t you leave me out of this?,” “I’m a piece of shit!,” “Are you fucking stupid?,” “I’m not parking anything,” “You want these murders to stop you best listen!,” “The eyes. Ask about the eyes,” “Pretty messy, huh?,” “These are really great ribs,” “You want to tell an entire town that there’s a body jumping demon on the loose?,” “What, do you live in your car?,” “Howdy!,” “Who the fuck are you?,” “This is complete bullshit, isn’t it?,” “Merry Christmas!,” “Do you really have to do that in the car?,” “Trouble sleeping?,” “Are we talking about fucking angels now?,” “What the fuck?,” “What do we do now? Call for backup?,” “You suck at this game,” “Why did you bring this evil to our town?,” “Be gone! Be gone, hellspawn!,” “Calm down, ya’ll. Rubber bullets,” “Wait. What exactly is your role in this? Go to hell,” “Fuck you both, you’d run, too,” “There’s something very… unnatural going on here,” “Take care of my car,” and “Be gone, devil!”

Rating: 10.0/10.0

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Things to Watch Out For This Week

ResidentEvilTheFinalChapterDVD

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter: This is the sixth, and presumably final, movie in the improbable action-horror franchise from Paul W.S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich. The Final Chapter isn’t the best movie in the franchise, but it does have some cool moments, some cool monsters, and a great, post-apocalyptic look. I wish it wasn’t the end, that there were more RE movies on the horizon, but, heck, the fact that Anderson and Jovovich managed to get six movies made is an insane accomplishment that should be celebrated by all B-movie nerds. Check out my appreciation of the Resident Evil movie franchise here, and then pick up The Final Chapter. It really is pretty dang cool.

XXXTheReturnofXanderCage

XXX: The Return of Xander Cage: I didn’t see this when it was in theatres, but then I’m not a fan of either XXX movies. I think the idea behind them is solid and sort of okay, but at the same time the execution of those movies was lacking. The first one was popular, but the second one, with Ice Cube, wasn’t as popular. So how the hell did we get a third one? I guess it’s because star Vin Diesel wanted to make it. I don’t know. I would have preferred to see another Riddick movie, but then that’s probably just me. Is this worth actually owning? I’m thinking of renting it, or waiting for it to show up on TV. Anyone out there see this?

InstantDeathDVD

Instant Death: Lou Ferrigno stars in this low budget action effort as an ex-Special Forces guy who has to battle the British criminal underworld for some reason. Some of the reviews I’ve seen for this have been pretty scathing, but I still want to check it out. And, heck, when was the last time we saw an action movie starring Lou goddamn Ferrigno? Exactly.

RichardTheLionheartRebellion

Richard the Lionheart: Rebellion: This is the second in what is, I guess, some sort of low budget franchise all about Richard the Lionheart. I haven’t seen the first one, Richard the Lionheart, but that one had Malcolm McDowell in it. And Rebellion has the great Debbie Rochon in it in some capacity. Low budget medieval movies are hard to pull off, so it’s probably best to rent this and the first one to see if they’re worth owning. I kind of like the trailer. It has some nice looking moments in it.

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B-Movie News

DannyMcBride

Michael Myers won’t be “unstoppable” or “supernatural” in the next Halloween?: According to Danny McBride, one of the masterminds behind the next Halloween reboot, said in a recent interview that Michael Myers won’t be “supernatural” or “unstoppable” in the next movie. McBride believes, along with fellow Halloween reboot guy David Gordon Green, that Myers is scarier if he’s “believable” or “realistic.” So, presumably, we won’t see the Myers we saw in parts 4-6 or 7-8 in the next Halloween, whatever the hell that means.

Yeah, that’s what I said. Whatever the hell that means. Because, first off, if this reboot is meant to be a sort of sequel to the first two Halloween movies, how is the reboot going to explain Myers surviving a massive explosion and being burned to a crisp? Are we going to get the old “it wasn’t Myers that was burned up, it was a security guard in the hospital” thing, the old switcheroo that we saw at the beginning of Halloween Resurrection? And, ha, I almost forgot about this, but didn’t Myers have his fucking eyes shot out, too, at the end of Halloween II? How is the reboot going to explain away that?

And hasn’t Carpenter said, multiple times, that the ending of the original Halloween was meant to imply that Michael Myers is supernatural? He was shot six times and he fell off a balcony and smashed into the ground. How the hell is a “real” person supposed to survive all of that without massive injuries, both external and internal?

So maybe the next Halloween is meant to be a suspense movie with a new Michael Myers that is a deranged guy in a mask who can die? Or is this just McBride trying his hardest to distance whatever the hell he and David Gordon Green are doing from the original franchise, the first reboot franchise, and the Rob Zombie movies?

Because, again, how do you explain what happens to Myers in parts 1 and 2 without the supernatural? And isn’t the supernatural aspect of Myers, the whole phantom killer thing, what makes Myers scary in the first place?

ChanStallone

Jackie Chan and Sylvester Stallone set to star in new action movie: It’s too bad that Stallone couldn’t get Chan involved in The Expendables franchise in some capacity, as I’m sure that would have kicked ass, but this proposed team-up movie sounds like it could be an interesting sort of substitute. The movie is called Ex-Baghdad and is apparently about a Chinese security mercenary teaming up with an ex-U.S. Marine to take out a band of bad guys who have taken over a Chinese oil refinery in Iraq. Chan is set to play the Chinese mercenary, and Stallone the Marine. It’s a Chinese movie, so who knows if it will even get a major release in the United States, but I’m sure we’ll get a chance to see it on home video or something.

The guy who did the awesome Act of Valor and the watchable Need for Speed is set to direct, so we know that Ex-Baghdad will be watchable, too. And, hopefully, comprehensible. I don’t think a Wolf Warrior approach is going to work with this movie.

What the hell does Ex-Baghdad mean?

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Who is the Douchebag of the Week? Go here and find out!

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Next Issue: Crash and Burn!

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Check out my review of david j. moore’s The Good, the Tough, and the Deadly here!

Check out my interview with the man hisself david j. moore here!

Check out the interview I did with the great Jino Kang here!

Check out my interview with character actor Vladimir Kulich here!

Check out my interview with martial artist and actor Paul Mormando here!

Check out my interview with writer/actor/director Shahin Sean Solimon here!

Check out my interview with director Michael Matteo Rossi here!

Check out my interview with actor Tyrone Magnus here!

Check out my interview with Hector Barron here!

Check out my interview with Jeffrey Orgill here!

Check out my interview with director Michael Baumgarten here!

Check out my interview with actor and stuntman R. Marcos Taylor here!

Check out my interview with action movie legend Don “The Dragon” Wilson here!

Check out my interview with Paul Kyriazi, the director of Ninja Busters and Death Machines, here!

Check out my interview with martial artist and actor Eric Jacobus here!

Check out my interview with martial artist and actor Juju Chan here!

Check out my interview with noted stunt performer and stunt coordinator Luke LaFontaine here!
Check out my interview with film journalist Marco Siedlemann here!

Check out my interview with Revenge of the Ninja and American Ninja director Sam Firstenberg here!

Check out my interview with Amariah Olson, co-director of The Shadow Effect here!

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Well, I think that’ll be about it for now. Don’t forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

B-movies rule. Always remember that.

Don’t Kill It

Dolph Lundgren– Jebediah Woodley
Kristin Klebe– Agent Evelyn Pierce
Tony Bentley– Chief Dunham
James Chalke– Pastor Erikson
Aaron McPherson– Emmett
Billy Slaughter– Agent Jackson
Randy Austin– Gabriel
Michael Aaron Milligan– Frank

(check out the rest of the cast here)

Directed by Mike Mendez
Screenplay by Dan Berk and Robert Olsen

Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Not Rated
Runtime– 83 minutes

Buy it here