Review: WE WILL NOT DIE TONIGHT (2018) – New York Asian Film Festival 2018

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A title like WE WILL NOT DIE TONIGHT conjures up expectations of a full-on, balls-out battle for survival. And the latest film from Richard Somes (AFFLICTION) certainly delivers plenty of fights and a twist that makes the film feel like a much darker version of JUDGMENT NIGHT or ENEMY TERRITORY.

Kray (Erich Gonzales) is a stuntwoman who’s getting ripped off and taken advantage of on her current film. She needs money to pay for her father’s medical treatments, (he messed his own body up as a stuntman back when Roger Corman was filming everything over there). So when her old street gang turns up with a job to bring in some fast cash she’s interested. Their leader,  her ex, Ramil (Alex Vincent Medina) has set up a deal to move some drugs and make some quick cash.

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However, the deal has been changed. Instead of moving drugs they’re asked to grab some street kids to be used for organ harvesting. Horrified, the gang refuse and what was to be an easy job becomes a battle for survival.

Filmed in just eight days WE WILL NOT DIE TONIGHT is a ferocious slice of low budget mayhem. Taking a standard action plot and infusing it with horror elements to create a grim and brutal film. Shots of bodies being cut open to be harvested establish just how evil the villains are.

The film also makes a smart choice in keeping guns almost entirely out of the film. I don’t know how realistic that is but the results great. Damage is dealt out with fists, machetes, clubs, a sledgehammer, even barbed wire gets put to use. The choreography for the fights is solid and Gonzales, who like Anne Curtis from the similar BUYBUST, is best known for her work in romantic comedies, is convincing as an action heroine.

The abandoned factory that much of the film takes place in is a great setting. With everything from cramped stairwells to big open production areas, it has places to stage any kind of fight you want. The assorted tools and debris that can be used as weapons are an added bonus. It’s also surprisingly photogenic at times, allowing some striking use of light to offset the film’s usual darkness.

WE WILL NOT DIE TONIGHT made its world premiere at this year’s New York Asian Film Festival. Keep an eye on its Facebook page for other showings and eventual distribution.

Jim Morazzini

Movie buff, gym rat and crazy cat guy

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