UKM: The Ultimate Killing Machine (2006)

UKM: The Ultimate Killing Machine (2006)

Death is the only option

A small group of outcasts and misfits decide to join the army as an alternative to prison and wind up serving at an experimental facility where they are to be turned into ultimate killing machines by a crazed doctor and his stem cell research. However one of his previous creations, a former soldier who didn’t turn up the way the doctor ordered, breaks loose and begins to cause havoc across the facility, killing anyone who stands in his way.

 

There’s nothing remotely wrong with calling a film UKM: The Ultimate Killing Machine if said killing machine does actually get to kill someone. There is a big problem however when said killing machine fails to deliver on the kill front. Unfortunately for me, this falls into the latter category. Once again the lure of a cool-looking cover box with a kick ass title has suckered me in. Like a silly moth unable to resist the lure of the bug zapper on the porch door, I am inexplicably drawn to dreck this and still go back for seconds, thirds and fourths, hell I’m probably on eight-hundredths now. I have earned the right to criticise a film which has damaged more brain cells than a bump on the head. Even more perplexing is quite why and how Michael Madsen is in this film but more on him later.

UKM: The Ultimate Killing Machine does have the look and feel of a big budget release at times. The only signs of its constraints are sparsely furnished sets and the very limited number of characters (this top secret facility is manned by about five guards and two scientists) – and with a low number of characters comes the inevitable low body count. When the super-soldier is accidentally released and goes on his ultimate killing spree, I was expecting the screen to be filled with carnage galore. Even the front cover is doused in a dark shade of red to make it look like it’s going to be a bloody massacre. It isn’t. A head is lopped off. A face is ripped apart. When you think of the phrase ‘ultimate killing machine’ you immediately get visions of a completely rabid monster tearing everything up in its path with as much anger and ferocity as possible. You don’t think of some big guy walking around the same few sets occasionally popping out to say boo to someone before killing them instantly. So that was grossly disappointing.

They had the perfect set-up and spoil it by just having him do nothing. The whole idea of giving him super-strength and a super-sex drive was there for the writers to mine and mine some golden nuggets from. But like a lot of things that happen in the film, they are either good ideas with bad execution or just no execution at all. Plots and threads are dropped at random and picked up whenever they are needed to explain something. There’s no real sense of urgency. No feeling of excitement when anything happens. And above all, there is absolutely nothing to be scared of. I can’t recall a scene where any future scare is built up with a bit of tension. No atmosphere is created and as a result, the film just goes through a lot of motions.

Michael Madsen is giving top billing and he gets plenty of screen time. The question is he still asleep whilst he is acting or does he try? Well is the Pope Jewish? That’s a stupid question. Madsen slums as always, even struggling to get his words out at times. The mad doctor is played by an eccentric-looking actor. His assistant is played by a hot chick. The rest of the army grunts do just that and shout “maggot” a lot. It’s left to the four main characters to actually do a decent job in their roles. They’re not the usual sort of folk. The girls are pretty unattractive and don’t do the usual skanky things like dropping their tops. The guys fall into more clichéd territory with the roles of nerd and jock taken. But even they manage to eek some life out of their characters with decent performances. You actually do care a little for these people and I’m guessing that’s due to the opening scenes where they explain their reasons for joining the army. It’s a bit refreshing to see but it’s a shame that the rest of the film doesn’t really care.

 

UKM: The Ultimate Killing Machine has such a class name for a film that anything other than an all-out splatter fest was going to be a disappointment. I just wasn’t expecting the disappointment to be as bad as this. It’s not a complete waste of time but it might as well be.

 

 ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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