UKM: The Ultimate Killing Machine DVD Review
Written by Daniel Benson
Released by Momentum Pictures
Directed by David Mitchell
Written by Tyler Levine & Tim McGregor
2006, Region 2 (PAL), 85 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on October 15th, 2007
Michael Madsen as Major Blevins
Mac Fyfe as Waylon
Steve Arbuckle as Buddy
Victoria Nestorowicz as Zoe Snow
Erin Mackinnon as Carrie
Simon Northwood as Sgt. Dodds
Deanna Dezmari as Lena
Crackpot evil scientists at a secret military base are performing experiments in an attempt to create the ultimate killing machine. Their biggest triumph to date is Sergeant Dodds, a highly decorated soldier turned screaming killer, whom they keep under lock and key for his own safety and that of the other half-dozen members of the curiously under-staffed facility.
The DVD shelves of UK stores are stuffed with ‘medium-budget’ horror DVDs at the moment. Chuck together a reasonable location, decent production values and a recognisable lead name, Michael Madsen in this case, and you’re onto a winner. Aren’t you?
Not quite. The uncontrollable nature of Sgt Dodds is down to his high achievements, as explained by the lead doctor in a dodgy Austrian accent (naturally, all mad scientists come from Western Europe). To realise their goals, they should focus on lower achieving subjects. This logic is never explained, but it opens the door to generic horror movie teenager group #147,576. Enter Jock-guy, Nerd-guy, Slut-girl and neurotic-virgin-girl.
Clumsy shoe-horning of clichéd teens aside, UKM starts off fairly well, if extremely predictably. There’s some pleasingly effective gore as Dodds escapes and tears up the staff, and the real feeling that there’ll be some intense battles between the him and the newly empowered teens. However, the movie loses its way around the halfway mark and doesn’t seem to know whether it wants to be a psychotic chase movie or a study of “we’ve been genetically mutated, what the hell’s happening to us?”.
I only expected to be semi-entertained by UKM, and since about 50% of the movie was entertaining, I guess my expectations were met.
Video and Audio:
UKM was shot on video, but high quality video that gives it a look very close to film. This has been presented extremely well on this single layer DVD. Running a shade over 80 minutes, and with an extras selection that eats up less than a supermodel with a coke habit, there’s ample room for good quality visuals. The picture is crystal clear, and shows no compression artefacts during the many darker scenes. Skin tones are natural and the overall colour palette is rich and solid. The movie is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen.
The movie has a DD2.0 track which, although unremarkable, is as clear as its visual counterpart.
Just a solitary trailer for the feature. Strangely, it is presented in widescreen, output as 4:3 so the viewer gets bonus matting on the sides of the picture, in addition to the top & bottom.