Long before television pioneering genius, Jerry London directed
such classics as THE BARBARA MANDRELL STORY and TAKE ME HOME:
THE JOHN DENVER STORY and soon after his groundbreaking work on
THE PAUL LYNDE SHOW and HOGAN'S HEROES, he made his homage to
the "monster movie" KILLDOZER!
Armed with a stellar cast of (ahem) men, Clint Walker (NIGHT
OF THE GRIZZLY, SNOWBEAST), Neville Brand (EATEN ALIVE), Bob Urich
(SPENCER FOR HIRE), Carl Betz (THE DONNA REED SHOW) and at least
2 more, as well as, a dog eared copy of Theodore Sturgeon's (LAND
OF THE LOST, STAR TREK) short story about machines who become
"possessed" by an electromagnetic occurrence of alien
origin turn on their operators, KILLDOZER WAS BORN! Well, the
made for TV movie was going into production. With a subplot of
alcoholism and anti-war sentiment, this groundbreaking indictment
of technology and the dangers of heavy machinery featured high-tech
special effects and mechanical mayhem that still has not been
rivaled. Just ask Stan Lee, Marvel comics even captalized on the
superhit which KILLDOZER became and the comic will now set the
collector back some $3.75 or so, if you can find it.
I don't want to indulge you with too much plot because there
isn't much to go around, but it goes a little like this. A bluish,
glowing meteorite lands on a isolated island somewhere on a plastic
globe suspended on fishing line. It is no coincidence that WARCO
(do I have to explain the obvious implication here) has a crew
of rugged, hardworking men clearing the land for an oil refinery
on this abandoned air strip from WWII. You see, in 1974 when KILLDOZER
was produced for television, oil was quite a topic for discussion,
gas prices soared upwards of 70 cents a gallon and it was "OPEC
this" and "CRUDE OIL that." Americans were looking
for ways to tap into any source other than them damned AAA-RAABS
for our guzzaline. Lloyd Kelly (Clint Walker) was there to get
this job done and bring it in under cost for WARCO. After all,
WARCO was giving Lloyd an opportunity, what with his "problem"
and all with the sauce. Unfortunately, not all of Lloyd's men
shared his enthusiasm for hard work and it usually took a rousting
to get his crew moving. Was this Jerry London's personal take
on us "lazy 'mericans?" Probably, lest we forget his
expose' of Anglo sexuality "Love American Style" remembered
less as social commentary on our sexuality and more for the "Dorito
Guy" Avery Schreiber. Excuse my digression. Lloyd gets a
couple of these dipsticks back to work and it is not long before
Dutch and Mack (obviously, the single syllabic names have relevance)
through total incompetence, hit the meteor which has been lying
dormant with their D-9 (denying, as in denying freedom, life,
exploitation of the land) Bulldozer. The rock won't move and after
more incompetent bickering and grab-dicking Lloyd takes over,
charging the rock until a strange blue electrical discharge runs
through the D-9 (denying) blade sending Mack tumbling. Mack, played
by a young Bob Urich, ultimately dies, Bob Urich later is diagnosed
with cancer in his real life. Coincidence? Lloyd chalks the death
off as a "freak accident" and our men continue working.
We are introduced to the whole gang, Chud, Dutch, Al and finally
Dennis, who due to the extra syllable in his name, is smarter
than the rest and thusly we expect him to save the crew from the
D-9 (denying) Bulldozer. As the D-9 (denying) has now been transformed
into a KILLDOZER, it begins stalking our crew, separating them
from the pack, killing them off, deliberating, slowing and painfully
methodically until, in a scene reminiscent of Kubrick's PATHS
OF GLORY, there is a stand off. Killdozer and Dennis's Power Shovel.
Supernatural machine vs. man-controled earth mover. But the power
shovel has an Ace in the hole with Lloyd, he didn't complete a
12 step program to have some goddamned hunk of rusted steel and
yellow paint stop him from coming through for WARCO and ultimately
himself, Lloyd becomes "human bait" while Dennis (the
smart one with 2 syllables in his name) rigs a electrical snare
to disable the intense KILLDOZER. As if Jerry London somehow knew
that he would forever work in television, with great signature
Made For Television films like THE BAMBI BEMBENEK STORY and DR.
QUINN MEDICINE WOMAN: THE HEART WITHIN he puts his stamp on the
ending of KILLDOZER that will forever stand as one of the most
lack luster pieces of shit endings EVER in a supposed monster
flick. The goddamned bulldozer "dies." The slowest most
agonizing death, no, not for the bulldozer but for us, it drives
onto a tarp, sits there, some sparklers go off, smoke bombs, its
3 lights flash, Lloyd and Dennis, wince, guffaw and finally walk
up and put their ears to the blade to make sure KILLDOZER is done.
A fucking bulldozer was the star of a movie, on television, financed
by network executives. Fucking A, and now a "television event"
is Brad Pitt appearing on "Friends." Thank you, Jerry,
I will never be young again.
KILLDOZER can be had. Whether or not it should be remains a matter
of contoversy. Are you man enough? Rumor has it there is an Argentian
print which includes the Dennis character mating with KILLDOZER
to set-up the sequel in which a super-smart offspring is created...KILLBOBCAT!
FOOTNOTE: KILLDOZER is, and should be, remembered more as the
incredible noise rock trio from Madison, Wisconsin, who had the
balls to cover great songs from the 70s, speak up for the Proletariat
and growl their way into indy rock history by screaming "Go
ahead and hate your neighbor!" Part of the original "pig
fucker" movement who took the credo "louder, slower!"
and ran with it, they never got the credit they so desparately
deserve. In another musical reference to the film, while Ted Bundy's
Volkswagon was recording at AmRep stuidos we caught KILLDOZER,
the movie, on the tube, I think that the intensity of our live
studio work probably was given a boost after watching Carl Betz's
performance, or it could have been the Minneapolis version of
|Almost some action.
|Lloyd gives KILLDOZER
the old "fuck you!"
Gestapo Black Exploitation?
From Tobacco Row It's Good!
Squad Join Today!
Meateater Do Not Touch!
Stranger Run Run Opie!
House On Hwy 5 Sheesh!
Locked Doors It's Dirty!
Massacre Some Like It.
Pussy It had to be done
Alley It is Rock.
Woman Truck. Woman.
Freak A Classic for You!
Geek Bigfoot Porn
School Ghosthustlers Wow!
Island You Must See!
Not that kinda Cock!
Alienator Feeling Alienated?
Island Vanity and the Beast
Spree Tim Ritter's $0 budget wonder
Prof. Tread still can't sleep.
Tramp She is sumpin' else.
Footmen Tire You...? Heavy religiosity!
Knievel Evel of Course!
Killing Of A Chinese Bookie! Smart Guy.
Pink Angels Gayness, and Bikes
Burning The 80's, ahhh the 80's.
- The Winged Serpant! Larry Cohen rules!
For Your Life! WARNING Racist content
Tall Buford Pusser in the Hizouse!
Camp Internet Geeks Unite!
Losers Ya Loser!
of the Mutilated Bro. George gets busy.
Me An Angel Gal Biker and more.
Grim Reaper Reap on.
One of William Girdler's triumphs.
At Dawn A Modern Classic.
Boy Carradine, Dress, Dourif!
Hollywood Rape-Slaughter Rare expose'.
Savage Weekend. Take
Dead and Buried.
A Should-be Classic.
Summer In Barefoot County. PeeUww!
Night Train To
Terror Choo Choo!
Drink Your Blood Glug, glug!
Russ Meyer and breasts!
Stop Women Honnnk HonnnnK!
Deadly Darling! Pigs!
the Germ Fighter! Clean up!
Doesn't Cathy Eat Breakfast? Why?!
County Express! Glug, Glug!
The Night God Screamed!
White Dog Racists
City Slickers get offed!
Times Five Sean MacGregor's Titantic!
at the Red Wolf Inn Burp!
Eyes See It
Greatest Sinner One of the best!
Baby! Goo Goo!
Camp Nightmare Viva the Revolution!
of the Beast Creatures Booga!
Play Dead Incest craziness!
of Death Vacation madness!
Come, Evil Go! Bye, Bye Sinners!
Strutters Get Black Sucker!
Pretty Eddie Deep South Craziness!
Golem Jewish Folklore or what?
NYC Apartment Blues
To Kill A Clown
Alan Alda Vietnam Vet!
Spook Who Sat Next To The Door Booya!
Woke Up Early The Day I Died Mr. Ed Wood.
Mutilation Man Andy Copp goes arty on us!
People Across The Lake Good TV!
Woman Hunt Load Up Gents.
Devil At You Heels Daring Devil.
Are The Damned Dammit!
Farm TV movie Classic!