Somebody has really got to do something about those pesky meteors from outer-space. Every time one crashes into our planet it seems to drop off some unwanted intergalactic toxic baggage like THE BLOB or the stuff they use to make Mary Jane candies. In the 1974 made-for-television film KILLDOZER, a meteor hits Earth carrying an amorphous blue alien force that lies in wait hundreds of years before surfacing. The blue goo gets its big break when it’s unearthed by a bulldozer which it then possesses in order to wreak havoc on a group of construction workers on an isolated island.
How evil is this intergalactic menace? So evil that it kills ROBERT URICH almost immediately and leaves the audience with CLINT WALKER. (Nothing against WALKER but let’s face it, he’s no URICH). As undeniably cool as a rampaging bulldozer is I have a real problem with the entity on board. Besides killing URICH, which I will never forgive it for, I just don’t get it’s beef. From what I can tell it’s trapped inside the bulldozer because it never jumps into any people or any other nearby vehicle. In addition, I don’t think there is any way for it to get off the island, so global domination is off the table. What’s it going to do after it’s killed everyone, just drive around alone in victorious circles? How very short sighted, if it befriended the men it could have become a celebrated international celebrity like HERBIE: THE LOVE BUG.
KILLDOZER, which is based on a story by THEODORE STURGEON, has the nerve to take itself very seriously. Its biggest crime, though, is the cut-away kill. Every time you think it’s getting to the good stuff, it turns away suddenly coy. Considering the movie’s obsession with all things masculine (wheels, breaking things and monosyllabic dialogue) I expect at least one bloody mangled body part! In a way the set-up is not that different from THE THING, but the execution here is as dry as a bone and the stakes are relatively low. On the plus side, its soundtrack instantly transports you back in time. The constant barrage of buzzing bleeps and blips will have you thinking there are synthetic cicadas playing nonstop MERLIN in your brain. It’s pure seventies gold!
KILLDOZER has inspired a band’s name, a marvel comic book and even this crazy online GAME. Its title also came in handy one day in 2004 when one MARVIN HEEMEYER went on his own bulldozer rampage. The machine he used was later dubbed “Killdozer.” The movie might be dated and relatively slow, but if you’re of the age where Tonka fantasies still crash in your head you’ll be on cloud nine. Unlike SMUCKERS, with a name like KILLDOZER it doesn’t have to be good.
* Above images courtesy of Bwana from Gorillanaut!