Project: Kill
PROJECT: KILL
aka, TOTAL CONTROL. 1975

Director: William Girdler

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



A military team specializing in assassination intervention, established after the Kennedy assassinations, has over the years changed into something more sinister, an international hit-squad. They are chemically enhanced for physical & mental abilities, but also take mind control drugs so that they never question their orders.

This we are informed by project leader John Trevor (Leslie Nielson) & his second in command Lassiter (Gary Lockwood), themselves presumedly the toughest of the tough.

The casting makes them seem more the doofiest of the doofs. The fact that in the meantime Leslie Nielson became a comic actor making fun of such roles enhances the "what were they thinking!" element of Project: Kill (1975).

Project: KillThe film shows us no assassinations & no evidence of physical or mental prowess, & really nothing that would require mind control before anyone would do it.

Nevertheless, John Trevor has gone off his meds, & in between bouts of withdrawal pains that make him squint his eyes & flex his unimpressive muscles, he has come to realize that the team is evil.

So Trevor takes it on the lam, heading to the Philippines where he has friends he trusts. His second in command is in hot pursuit.

If you can please imagine a kung fu film in which wussy Gary Lockwood & grey-haired scrawny Leslie Nielsen pretend to be butching it up like Bruce Lee, you may have an idea of how exciting the action is. This seems laughable casting even in 1975, before Leslie Nielson's acting style was acknowledged to be worthy of slapstick comedies.

Throw in a touch of Yellow Peril with Vic Diaz as Alok Lee & his group of equally Spanish-looking Chinese spies. "Hong Kong interests" (by which I presume they meant China) are trying to capture Trevor because they want to get their mitts on the mind control technology, without regard for the fact that Trevor wouldn't know squat about how to make the drugs.

Since it's an international action spy tale there has to be a few hot babes or close approximations thereof. What passes for a hot babe is Nancy Kwan as Lee Su, an attractive enough actress but rather school marmy.

All the fight choreography is clunky, & the climax of Trevor vs Lassiter (geezer vs wimp) kung fu fighting is totally silly-ass. Even not counting the laughable premise that these guys are chemically enhanced super-warriors, the film is just broadly bewilderingly crappy.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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