For the entire month of April, Cinefessions will once again be locked inside The Asylum, reviewing tons of releases by the famed studio. Every weekday throughout April you will get another Asylum review. April’s podcast will also be devoted to films from The Asylum.

Killers 1997Title: Killers (1997)
Director: David Michael Latt
Runtime: 83 minutes

Before The Asylum realized how profitable “mockbusters” could be, they spent a good number of years releasing low-budget, direct-to-video horror movies. The first, which is really more of an action film than a horror film, is Killers. That’s right, the first April in The Asylum post of 2015 is of the very first movie The Asylum produced!

The idea behind Killers is pretty simple: a man steals drugs from a dealer, and is going to meet up with a group of teenagers in a warehouse to sell them at a cheap price. Both parties win. When the teens get to the warehouse, though, they see another car pull up: it’s the drug lord, and he obviously wants his drugs back.

The entire movie takes place inside this one warehouse location, which appears much bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside, but that’s beside the point. The use of one location is pretty typical in indie films because it keeps costs low, but the director manages to use the warehouse to its fullest. The acting in this isn’t great, but it does a good enough job to get the emotion across, and main story arc is played well by the lead female.

What’s best about Killers is how much it reminds me of The Descent. The themes are similar in that both films are about a female character being pushed to the brink of humanity and becoming something she didn’t realize she could be. The ending is so remarkably similar to The Descent that I suspect Neil Marshall – the director of The Descent – must have seen this film and used it as inspiration for his movie.

One of the problems with Killers, though, is the lack of backstory, most notably for the character who acts as the soulless killing machine. Why or how this guy got this way is never explained, and it feels like there may have been a whole subplot removed from the movie to save time that dealt precisely with this. Given the type of film it is, though, I didn’t really expect a lot of characterization coming in, so I can’t say I was too disappointed.

Killers is admittedly better than I expected overall, but it doesn’t stand out in any way. It’s good enough, though, that I want to watch the sequel. I’d give Killers a mild recommendation, but I imagine that most people would rather spend their time with real actioners, like The Terminator or Robocop, or anything with Dolph Lundgren, for example.