killers are not inclined to make alliances.
Nonetheless, to survive the “Killing Chamber,” eight captured assassins
will have to work together. Needless to
say, not all of them are going to make it in Raimund Huber’s Kill ’Em All (trailer here), which releases
today on DVD and BluRay from Well Go USA, just in time for Christmas.
premise is elegantly straight forward. A
shadowy criminal mastermind has abducted the top freelancers working in
Bangkok, forcing them to face off in death matches, until there is only
one. Defiance of his instructions will
lead to another dose of gas flooding the chamber. On the other hand, each victor earns a trip
to the weapons room. Basically, it is a
martial arts Survivor with décor left
over from the Saw franchise. Frankly, it is strange nobody made this film
sooner, but here it is now.
us have no illusions. This is an old
school exploitation movie, through and through.
What it might lack in subtlety, it makes up for with in-your-face
violence, choreographed with authority by fight director Tim Man. Those nostalgic for Enter the Dragon rip-offs like Kill
and Kill Again will get plenty of red meat here. The dialogue can be rather clunky though, but
that’s okay, the delivery often is as well.
Yet, despite ‘Em All’s
profound B-movieness, the characters are better delineated than one might
is an explosives expert who wants everyone to join hands and work together to
survive. He is also suicidal, so this
might be his lucky day, regardless. Som
is a Black Widow type assassin, who stuns opponents with her fearsome midriff
of death. She also seems to know more
about their predicament than she lets on.
Carpenter is the crusty old Gary Buseyesque American expat of the hitman
world, who hasn’t survived this long for no reason. “The Kid” is the quiet, wiry type, but you do
not want to face him in a death match.
Throw in a sadistic man child and a German anarchist and you have yourself
a colorful crew.
this is not Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon. ‘Em All was obviously shot on a shoestring, but Huber still
recruited a cast that will interest genre fans.
None other than Shaw Brothers veteran Gordon Liu appears as their evil
tormentor, “Snakehead.” Perhaps even
more significant to martial arts connoisseurs will be the final film appearance
of Joe Lewis, the international kickboxing champion and one time student of
Bruce Lee, as Carpenter. Ammara Siripong
(co-star of the Thai martial arts film Chocolate)
is also an impressive screen presence as Som.
Arguably, she has the best fight sequence, involving the lethal use of
bricks (once again, ‘Em All is more
about brute force than finesse).
You should know by now if Kill ‘Em All is your idea of a guilty pleasure. For action fanatics, it has some cool
moments, especially those featuring the undeniably attractive Siripong and the
late great Lewis. You could say it’s a bit
grungy and unsophisticated, but Kill ‘Em
All is still the perfect film to put on after a big family Christmas
dinner. Recommended accordingly, it is
now available for home viewing from Well Go USA.
Labels: Ammara Siripong, DVD, Gordon Liu, Joe Lewis, Martial arts cinema, Thai Film