UKM: Ultimate Killing Machine (DVD)
Directed by David Mitchell
Distributed by Genius Products
Tales of military experiments gone wrong are nothing new to the horror and sci-fi genres. There’s not a whole lot of new ground to break with such over-used subjects, but perhaps with just the right cast it can be done. This is the task of Archetype Films’ newest creation, UKM: Ultimate Killing Machine.
It seems the US military is interested in creating better soldiers. With their first experiment producing an all too violent super-soldier out of a war hero, the only obvious choice is to use the dregs and misfits of society. If the strong become too strong, then the weak may be just right.
Here the audience gets introduced to the little band of castaways. They certainly don’t resemble much of the typical horror genre youths, and that is a relief. First up is Zoe Snow (Victoria Nestorowicz) … a crack addict with amazingly all her teeth. Then there’s the pimply faced runaway, Carrie. Following that unattractive act is a rather annoying orphaned nerd named Buddy. The last addition to the loser squad is a “badass” named Waylon (Mak Fyfe). He sports a leather jacket and a chip on his shoulder.
OK, it is easy to admit that the cast is pretty good with the exception of Buddy. The way in which Zoe and Carrie look naturally ugly gives the film a little boost of realism in a totally illogical situation. One would think that if the military was experimenting with super-soldiers, they would use a better facility and maybe operate with more than a skeleton crew. Maybe soldiers should be armed with tasers since they don’t want to damage the test subjects? Nah, just give them guns they’ll never use and make sure they blurt out the words “grunt” and “maggot” a lot.
Now for the question that is surely on everyone’s mind: Did Michael Madsen even try this time? The answer is … sort of. He certainly didn’t come across as tired and bored, but as usual Madsen seemed to have no emotion whatsoever. Even when facing death and the destruction of innocent lives, his character, Major Blevins, doesn’t so much as smirk.
The story itself and its progression are utterly forgettable. The experiment leaves some, not all, of the test subjects with a little horny/rage switch buried deep in their brains. When pissed off, the subject can break down doors and knock out trained killers with one punch. If the super-soldier becomes excited or scared, its sex drive goes into overdrive. This last side effect had great potential for the comic relief that was already installed in the film at the get-go, but it is hardly used. Come to think of it, many ideas and subplots of the film seem to go nowhere. Love interests and back-stories are swept under the carpet.
For a horror film this sure did lack the gory goodness. One guy loses his head, another his face, and some poor jackass blows his top when his noggin gets squeezed. What exactly are we supposed to be scared of here? There’s no real sense of danger, which is a must in these films. The ultimate killing machine never gets a chance to do a whole hell of a lot of damage since the total number of occupants in the whole damn facility tops out at around 15. Hell, it even lacks sex even though the super-soldiers have upgraded sex drives. Not so much as a tit pops out during the whole adventure. That’s two big strikes. It’s a good thing that this film was shot with some skill behind the camera, or it would have been a total loss.
If you can get over the lack of nasty bloody death and sex and the overall depressing color palette used during the whole affair, you may just enjoy what little the film has to offer. But what is it that is being offered? Some light comedy? Sure. A couple of attractive women who never get a chance to be really sexy? Spot on. How about a whole bunch of amazing extras? No! Not one sausage for you fiends. We are privy to a few trailers, and that is it. On the bright side, though, the trailers for Archetype Films end up being more entertaining than all UKM had to offer.
Trailers. Yup, just trailers.
2 out of 5
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