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