Troma // 2011 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Paul Pritchard (Retired) // April 20th, 2012
Six People. One Dream Vacation. One Twisted Game. One Rule.
Six strangers wake to find themselves in a building they have never seen before. After making their brief introductions to each other, they attempt to find a way out, but the group soon realizes they are under surveillance from their captor, and that the only way to escape is to kill.
There are three types of bad movie. Firstly, there are those that fall into the "so bad it's good" category; an example of this would be the Mick Jagger/Emilio Estevez clunker Freejack or the much celebrated Troll 2. Next up are the movies that are truly an affront to mankind, and all that is holy; examples of this are much rarer, but House of Sin would be an obvious candidate. Finally, there are the movies that are bad, but in a half-assed kind of way, lacking either the unintended charms to earn it guilty pleasure status or the balls to be all-out awful. Kill falls firmly into the latter group.
Very little actually happens during the course of Kill's 90-minute runtime, with most of the action taking place during the final act, by which point most viewers will have turned it off. The initial setup, which sees six strangers awaken to find themselves the subject of a madman's game, is reminiscent of Saw 2, but lacks a charismatic villain to carry the film. As is discussed in the directors' commentary, the characters in Kill are hardly unique, and each serves only to fill a very specific (and clichéd) role, such as the whiny girl or aggressive jock. Given little to do, besides repeatedly ask each other what is going on -- dialogue which is usually strewn with unnecessary expletives -- these characters offer absolutely nothing to make us empathize with them. Such is the disconnect between the audience and the events onscreen that I, for one, couldn't care less whether these people lived or died.
Even if you approach Kill hoping for a little gore, you'll be left wanting. What splatter there is rarely extends beyond a few ketchup stains on a T-shirt.
The acting is, without exception, awful. I genuinely take no pleasure in saying that, and readily admit I could do no better myself, but come on -- I've seen coffee tables that were less wooden. Admittedly, the appalling dialogue does the cast few favors, and at least their contribution is no worse than that of writer-director duo Chad Archibald and Philip Carrer, who fail to offer a single redeeming feature for their movie.
Considering the overall lack of quality, credit should be given to Sonica Disturbia, for delivering a rather impressive score, which -- far more than the acting or directing -- goes someway to creating a suitably menacing tone.
The DVD transfer is pretty solid. The picture is reasonably sharp, with a light amount of grain throughout. Colors are suitably muted, with good black levels. The stereo soundtrack sports clear dialogue.
An audio commentary featuring both directors headlines the special features. Unfortunately, the track is prone to long silences, while at other times, the two directors talk over each other. A trailer for the film is also included, along with a couple of "Tromatic Extras." The first of these extras is "Radiation March," which will be familiar to anyone who has purchased a Troma DVD before. The second, and more entertaining extra, is "Transvestite PSA," which features Lemmy from Motorhead, along with Matt Stone and Trey Parker of South Park fame.
Whichever way you slice it, there's no escaping the fact that Chad Archibald and Philip Carrer's Kill is poor, and not worth your time or money. For final clarification on how sloppy this release is, the DVD cover misspells director Chad Archibald's name.
All filler, no killer.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Tromatic Extras