Friday, September 3, 2010

Shitty Movie Review - "Killdozer!"

Disclaimer: For some of my friends (you know who you are), refrain from reading this review until you've seen the film as there are some spoilers that, while they most likely won't lessen your love for the movie, might be better left unknown for the time being.
End disclaimer.

You know a movie will be good when people talk about it like a myth, but it is impossible to find a copy. Now I'd heard of "Killdozer!" through friends who in turn heard about it on the "Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien." It is impossible to buy a legitimate copy of "Killdozer!" but I was able to find a bootleg broadcast recording of it as an .avi file.

The film is based on a 1944 novella by Theodore Sturgeon. It took another 30 years before technology would reach the point that they could bring the novella to life.

The film does not strive to be anything more than what it is. Essentially everything you need to know is in the title: "Killdozer!" The author was able to sum up his story in a concise, straightforward, original one-word exclamation. It's a bulldozer that kills.

It is difficult to stress how amazing this movie is. Typically when I watch a movie, I try to tear it apart to see what I could do to push it back and forth over the line of common-sense film-making, to see how it could have been better, or at least smarter, then just the opposite to see how I could make it stupider. Usually I push harder for the stupider. "Killdozer!" managed to out-think me and go the extra step I would have done to defy all logic while still staying within the strict confines of the rules it sets for itself. In other words, you won't see Killdozer fly, but you will see it hiding and peeping out of the bushes, taunting people, and generally being a dick.

It is similar in plot to "Duel" which preceded it, and "Jaws" and "Christine" that followed it. Instead of a killer truck or shark, imagine a heavy bulldozer—a very slow bulldozer—that is slowly killing off the engineers and workers at an isolated Liberian construction site. I know what you're thinking—why can't they leave? Well, because they have job to do, dammit, and because they're lazy and can't run away from the unstoppable force that is Killdozer. In movies of this caliber, there is no shortage of idiocy amongst the principal characters. A character will make claims of a rogue bulldozer, yet no one will believe him and at the same time the bulldozer is clearly missing and no one else could have taken it. And no one goes looking for it. La-zee.

At one point two of the remaining characters stand at the top of a steep incline. One of them asks whether he thinks the incline is too steep for Killdozer to climb. The other character responds that, "given enough time, it can make roads anywhere."

One character, the foreman, refuses to walk further than ten feet, opting every time to hop into his jeep and drive the ten to fifteen feet to where he needs to go. It isn't until the end that he is forced to walk more than ten feet under his own strength.

Another character is so blatantly a closet homosexual it's remarkable that he even remained as is in the script. He constantly reminisces about the times he spent with his best friend, a "beautiful kid," who dies early on in the movie. He mentions getting into barroom brawls with him at his side and skinny dipping with him in Iraq. Then he invites others to join him for a midnight swim. He's always trying to pair off with one of the other guys. When it's suggested they form a threesome, he always refuses. One is enough for him.

This film has taught me many things. Why walk ten feet when you can drive? Bulldozers often go rogue. It's more important to bury your comrades than to try to stop a bulldozer from killing you. That an avalanche of small pebbles is life threatening. That rusty corrugated steel pipes make for a bad escape. That one and a half days is an impossible eternity. That Killdozer hates smoke.

I apologize for the lack of a picture, but this movie is so rad that even decent pictures are scarce.

My shitty movie rating: A perfect 10. This has to be one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. I laughed so hard I cried. It's like "Night of a 1000 Cats" or "The Wicker Man" good.


  1. I've been looking for good shitty movies to watch for a while now - thanks for calling attention to this one! I'm off to try to find it.

  2. Nobody I've ever shown this film to has picked up on the many subliminal themes of latent homosexuality. Kudos!