Review: KILL MODE (2019)
Thijs Meuwese came to everyone’s attention in 2018 with the release of Molly. An incredible post-apocalyptic film about a girl fighting for survival and getting by as much by sheer determination as by superhuman fighting ability. It climaxes in a thirty-minute sequence where Molly (Julia Batelaan) battles her way through the enemy fortress to rescue a young girl.
But that wasn’t the film he wanted to make. He couldn’t get the money for that, so he pitched a lower-budget prequel. With the success of Molly, he had no problems getting Kill Mode financed. And so we are back to a future in which a virus has wiped out much of civilization. There’s a cure but only The Company has it, and they can charge what they want for it. That was eight years ago.
David (Dave Mantel) was a rebel fighter. Now he works in an illegal clinic, subverting The Company through other means. But when former comrades Richard (Burt Rutteman) and Alex (Yasmin Blake) turn up with a plan to liberate the cure to the virus he’s drawn back in.
After a run-in with an old man (Ted Neeley, Jesus Christ Superstar, Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival) who praises the company even as he begs for spare doses of treatment he hooks up with what remains of his old team. A raid on a Company facility gets them the cure. But it isn’t a formula, it’s Molly who’s been held captive and exploited for her natural immunity all these years.
Of course, The Company wants her back at all costs. But free from their chemical restraints the powers Molly showed signs of in the first film can now come to maturity.
While obviously shot on a bigger budget than its predecessor, Kill Mode is still low budget by Hollywood standards. That doesn’t stop it from delivering the action. And there is plenty. The film opens with a shootout that sets the film’s tone. And the animosity between David and psychotic Company agent Angel (Cyriel Guds). They get to resolve their differences in a fight involving battle suits that look like portable versions of Ripley’s loader from Aliens.
There are also nasty-looking electronic swords, gloves that fire magnetic charges, and, of course, guns, lots of guns. The action tends to use a bit more shaky-cam than I like and there’s the odd bit of questionable CGI. But neither is too bad, especially given the budget Kill Mode had.
Kill Mode takes the dystopian, post-apocalyptic future of Molly and adds a bit of something that falls between X-Men and Firestarter. And an ending that sets up the films to become a trilogy. I’ll be looking forward to it.
Kill Mode has been acquired by Raven Banner for worldwide sales. Expect announcements of distributors and release dates soon.