STUDIO: First Look Pictures
MSRP: $14.99
RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes


The Pitch

His rules.  His way.  No exceptions.  This includes plot, logic, even enjoyable violence.

The Humans

Steven Seagal, Holly Dignard, Chris Thomas King, Michael Filipowich, Mark Collie, Karyn Michelle Baltzer, Isaac Hayes.

The Nutshell

Memphis detective Jacob King (Seagal) is on the trail of two killers, one called Lazerus (Filipowich), is into ritualistic killing involving astrology.  The other, Billy Joel Hill (Collie) is just a good ole boy who likes to kill shit.  If that weren’t enough, King has a pretty young Fed (Dignard) looking over his shoulder every step of the way.

The Lowdown

I used to like quite a bit older Steven Seagal movies because, no matter the level of writing, you could at least be assured that the fight scenes were generally going to be entertaining.  An arm bent the wrong way, a billiard ball to the teeth, a Jamaican drug dealer broken in half.  All good stuff.  Now of course he’s older, heavier, and uses camera tricks and stunt doubles to pull off his fight scenes.  This is old hat to us that know of his movies.  Kill Switch is just the latest in the assembly line of bad direct-to-DVD movies Seagal is keeping himself employed with these days.  Some of them, I hear, are still enjoyable.  Check out this Urban Justice review.  But there’s absolutely nothing to be enjoyed here.  Even the Seagal signature violence is so badly shot and edited – even more so than you’re used to – as to be unwatchable.  As for the script, which Seagal wrote, it makes you wish they’d get back to said unwatchable action scenes ASAP.

The breakdown is that Seagal is Memphis Det. Jacob King, who’s hot on the trail of a ritualistic serial killer called The Grifter, and later known as Lazerus.  Being that this is the South, Seagal is running around all movie long with his best below-the-Mason-Dixon-line drawl.  It’s actually the best part of the entire movie, which tells you something.  Basically King is haunted by the childhood murder of his brother, which holds no importance in the here and now, it’s just there for dramatic effect and presumably to kill time.  There’s no mystery to Lazerus and why he’s killing people, other than he’s into astrology, man, and it’s a good subtext to whack people.  There’s FBI Agent Frankie Miller (Dignard), who is there for no reason at all except for window dressing.  And another killer, and one much more interesting, Billy Joe Hill, is a renegade B-story, meant to appear every once and a while just to make someone go all red.  Add in ridiculous fight scenes, a couple of which have zero to do with anything at all, and you have your movie.  And let us not forget the copious gunplay.  King shoots enough rounds to make Rambo blush, without ever seeming to hit anything he’s aiming for. 

Now I’m all for the wanton violence, gunplay, blood and the like, but there’s got to be a least a little pretense of a plot…somewhere.  Anywhere.  And if not, then at least make the action watchable.  On a side note, Isaac Hayes also has a minor role.  I’m embarrassed for him to be in this movie.  Kill Switch is a melange of shockingly bad action sequences and loose and dead end plot threads.  Seagal has done plenty of fun bad movies.  This isn’t one of them.

The Package

The lone good thing the film has going for it is that it’s visual quality is actually not bad.  But the sound is annoyingly low at times and the subtitles were written by a retard, which doesn’t help.  No special features except for trailers. 

1 out of 10