Blu-ray Review: Killdozer! | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, November 23rd, 2020  


Studio: Kino Lorber Studio Classics

Nov 12, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

A meteorite crashes onto a remote island where a small group of construction workers—including Robert Urich, Clint Walker of TV’s Cheyenne, and Carl Betz of The Donna Reed Show—are breaking ground on an airstrip for an oil company. When they rip into the buried extraterrestrial rock with a bulldozer, a malicious alien lifeforce possesses the massive machine and goes on a rampage, and the men must do everything they can to survive as their numbers dwindle.

I’ll admit: I went into this 1974 made-for-TV movie expecting to laugh my ass of as an evil, possessed bulldozer ran over a bunch of television actors, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Killdozer! is legitimately frightening for much of its runtime. It’s something like The Thing—following a small crew of men in isolation who don’t trust each other during a crisis—crossed with a slasher movie where the knife-wielding maniac has been replaced with a driverless bulldozer. Since it was shot for TV there’s obviously no gore, but that might make it worse: the movie regularly cuts to the expressions of the mean bearing witness to their colleagues being crushed underneath heavy machinery. The idea behind Killdozer! is inherently goofy, but the execution resulted in a tense nail biter.

Kino Lorber’s Blu-ray makes the full-screen presentation look bright and crisp, although of course this isn’t a film that was ever intended to win award for cinematography. There are some very nice extras, though, including an audio commentary by historians/critics Lee Gambin and Jarret Gahan, and an interview with director Jerry London, who’d go on to helm the award-winning Shogun miniseries in the early ‘80s. All-in-all, it’s a great release for a movie that’s far better than someone who hasn’t seen it would ever expect.



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