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Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > Action > Science Fiction > Horror > Japan > Kill Devil

Kill Devil


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Film: C



Trapped in a game.  If it is not in some colorless cyberspace-looking hack, you can be in the outdoors hunted down and it is in the future!  This was more believable and usually made more sense in the Science Fiction of the 1960s and 1970s, but even Michael Bay’s The Island (2005) and the big budget could not cover up problems with the script.  Yuichi Onuma’s Kill Devil (2004) takes place in 2025 where a young man wakes up in the middle of nowhere and finds he is wearing an electronic bracelet.  He turns out to be in a war zone with people who supposedly have a gene that makes them killers.


The truth of this is never investigated, and if anything ignored, as the film wants to mystify itself into a corner of Horror cinema.  Unfortunately, the whole production looks more like an old 70s TV show like Ark II than Alien 3, A Boy & His Dog, Zardoz or the many “death sport cycle” films of the time that began with Peter Watkins’ 1969 film Gladiators.  If anything, this comes across as an ultra lightweight version of Watkins’ remarkable Punishment Park (reviewed elsewhere on this site) making a lightweight game out of what should be something with serious political implications.  Too bad this joins a “fun with police state” cycle in which one can karate themselves out of oppression.


That is idiotic enough, but the film has substandard martial arts, second-rate action, body mutilation moments that are tired on arrival and some exceptionally bad make-up.  This is schlock that seems to be unaware of that fact and that the actors are from TV in the East just confirms the slap-together approach this whole project has.  The characters (as in Punishment Park) are supposed to be rehabilitated from the experience.  Instead, it is an evil plot unaddressed from a script that needs some rehabilitation of its own.


The letterboxed 1.78 X 1 image is funny, yet colorful and unfortunately has its burned-in captions spilling off into the bottom black bar.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has no real surrounds, but is clear, if sometimes slightly bright at times.  Extras include previews for three other Asia Vision titles, weblinks, stills and an alternate ending that did not make a difference.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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