On October 25th, Screamfest and the TCL Chinese Theatre presented the Los Angeles premiere of Don’t Kill It. While at first the film’s plot may seem all too familiar to anyone well-versed in the demonic possession sub-genre, the resolution comes with a unique twist.
When demon hunter Jebediah Woodley loses track of an evil spirit, a small town in Mississippi faces an epidemic of grave proportions. However, unlike most demons that can be exorcised, this one cannot be killed. In fact, this one is contracted like a disease through murder.
Don’t Kill It is the latest horror comedy from director Mike Mendez (Big Ass Spider!, Tales of Halloween). The film stars Kristina Klebe (Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival, Tales of Halloween) and action hero Dolph Lundgren (The Expendables, The Punisher).
Dolph Lundgren, in contrast to many of his previous roles, acts as a protagonist that both men and women alike can get behind. Demon hunter (or rather demon wrangler) Woodley is tough and a rebel against authority in addition to being somewhat of a feminist as he fights off demons as well as misogynistic creeps in dive bars. He’s every man— and woman’s— hero.
Once again, Mike Mendez proves that he has an innate talent for mixing horror and comedy. The audience at Screamfest roared with hysterical laughter one minute and yelled out “Don’t Kill It!” the next. “It’s my natural voice as a filmmaker, I can’t help it,” said Mendez regarding his magnetic draw toward horror comedy as opposed to strictly horror. “At times, I have tried to suppress it, but it was doing more harm than good and I was taking away the element that gives my films a unique personality. So, I’ve decided to embrace it and just go with it. I’m much happier with the results that way.”
And so are we, Mike. So. Are. We.
Aside from the loads of laughs mixed with horror, one of the most enticing qualities of Don’t Kill It is its ability to provide an avenue of catharsis for its viewers. With the intensity and gory nature of the violent scenes and the the heavy rock n’ roll tracks, the film is like watching a friend play a bloody video game in that it is a fun way to let off a little steam and leave the killing to the actors. If you are having a rough day, don’t sweat it and watch Don’t Kill It.