Kill ‘Em All (2012) – By Duane L. Martin

Bangkok, Thailand. Eight international assassins are kidnapped and brought to what is known by some as "The Killing Chamber" where they’re placed in a large room together and forced by the leader of a group known as the Sharan Cabal to fight to the death in matches where they’re paired up randomly by numbers they find on objects like balls, their food trays and their sleeping bags. The two who are to fight each time must fight to the death, and the winner gets to enter a weapons room and choose a single weapon for themselves to use in their fights. Supposedly, the final assassin left alive will be allowed to leave with their life. The cabal’s leader watches them on security cameras, and uses a knockout gas to keep them under control, and to keep them from fighting each other before it’s time. Can the group work together to escape the Killing Chamber, or will they end up fighting each other to the death for the twisted pleasure of their captor? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

I’ll be honest. I wasn’t expecting much from this film. Simply from the description on the box, it sounded like it was going to be pretty lame. Now to be honest, the story itself is pretty lame and cartoonish, but the combination of the characters, the action and a great cast really turned this film into a very entertaining ride.

The legendary Gordon Liu plays the leader of the cabal, and he’s about as you’d expect him to be in a role like this – evil, creepy and totally bad ass. He really doesn’t have a physical part in it until the end of the film, but when he does, man, he really kicks some ass.

The rest of the cast put on some great fights, but they also bring dimension to their characters. It would have been so easy in a film like this to have characters that were little more than two-dimensional charicatures of action stars, but the cast and the writing really made them more than that, and it raised the film up to a level I didn’t expect. Yes the story is weak, but the characters are people you can pull for and you’ll watch them with a hope that they’ll succeed in escaping and taking out the bad guy. This prevents the film from devolving into just another generic action flick, and makes it something that is actually quite entertaining. Believable…no. Entertaining, yes.

There aren’t any special features on this release, but, then again, it isn’t the kind of a film that’s really screaming for them either. The film basically takes place in one building, and most of the enemies outside of the assassins are generic, no-name "types", most with ridiculous masks or some other generic style to them. I found myself wondering as I watched how many scenes had the same few stunt guys regurgitated as different baddies, which is easy to do when they’re wearing masks or the action is going too fast for anyone to notice. I can’t imagine this film had a huge budget, but they did quite well with what they did have. It’s got great characters, it looks really nice visually, and it brings the entertainment. I have no problem whatsoever in recommending that you check it out.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, check out the film’s page on the Well Go USA website here, and if you’d like to pick up a copy for yourself, you can get the DVD or blu-ray from Amazon, or from any of the other usual outlets.