Don't Kill It follows a demon hunter who must try and capture a demon that has a rather resilient quality. It is able to enter the body of most anyone and go on a killing rampage. Whomever kills the vessel the demon is inhabiting subsequently becomes possessed by the demon. So how do you stop a demon that can't be killed? Ask Dolph Lundgren.
Don't Kill It Review
Dolph Lundgren has always embraced his role as a b-movie actor. I've found that in today's cinema environment, that proves easier said than done. Because of the rise of independent movies and the ease of quality production practices and technologies, b-movies have become a bit of a rarity. The gap between a-movies and "everything else" has grown so much that it's more like a-movies and d-movies now. Unlike films in the past, that did the best with what they had available at their budget, b-movies today have to be purposefully designed to retain b-class quality and the self-awareness that makes them special. Otherwise, they become c-class or worse. Budget is no longer an excuse.
Lundgren has a knack for finding that niche, though. Don't Kill It features a b-movie classic style with campiness galore. One-liners abound in the goofy script, never taking itself seriously amidst the violence and mayhem. Every scene feels inspired by some 80's b-horror film. Think Wolf Cop, but...you know...with Lundgren.
I found the charm of this film wasn't quite as consistent as it has been in other homage films of its caliber. The script struggles to retain a story that can hold up the Fallen-esque plot for a full runtime. The demon keeps going on a rampage while Lundgren tries to capture it without killing it. It's so simple that the quirkiness of it wears off as the plot's momentum slows down.
The effects work is enough to breathe life into the flopping fish out of water, and Lundgren's blend of himself and Bruce Campbell gives enough spark to get you through. There just isn't much offered outside of those two elements. While it may put a smile on your face, none of it is scary and there aren't many genuine laughs to be had. The b-style delivery is so on-point that even the jokes that are strong fall flat.
So, yes, homage to the 80's b-movies can have its charm, especially when it gets a star so willing to embrace the role, but it can also prove difficult to watch when it drags like one too. Other films have proven stronger at holding ground with their sporadic spoofing than this one, yet, it houses plenty of enjoyment for somebody looking for some mindless popcorn-munching fun.
Horror Qualifier: 8/10
Horror Quality: 5/10
Film Quality: 4/10