Story: John Trevor (Leslie Nielsen) was once part of a top secret mind control effort, known as Project: Kill, where drugs were used to create enhanced soldiers and bodyguards. While Trevor managed to escape, he still feels the effects of the program’s powerful mind control drugs, though he wants to take down the operation, not return to it. The withdrawal symptoms are severe and unpredictable, but he pushes on, taking out narcotic driven hitmen and corrupt law enforcement, while also finding some romance with Lee Su (Nancy Kwan). His former boss has put out the order to take Trevor out, as he is in a dangerous state and could reveal the truth about the sadistic program to the world. Will Trevor be able to survive and warn everyone, or will he simply be the program’s next victim?
Entertainment Value: I had to see this one, as Leslie Nielsen battles a drug fueled mind control program, taking on crooked cops, cartel hitmen, and more. I was indeed shown the promised product of Nielsen versus a host of various villains, but Project: Kill has more b movie delights than just that, with a number of hilarious, outlandish sequences. I won’t posit this one as a hidden cult classic, but it has a lot more fun tucked in than I expected, to be sure. The narrative is convoluted and takes some inexplicable turns, which results in some parts of the movie being downright surreal and others over the top, while a good number of scenes just feel dull and drawn out. Of course, I’d like to have seen more outlandishness, since that is where the fun is, but Project: Kill is inconsistent on that front, though again, there is a lot more madness here than anticipated. But if you’re looking for a serious thriller that actually makes sense, you’ll likely be let down here, as that is not what Project: Kill is at all. If you just want wackiness and Leslie Nielsen as a gonzo action hero however, give this one a look.
Once I read the synopsis, I had to see Project: Kill, but I was drawn to the movie in the first place because of director William Girdler and of course, lead actor Leslie Nielsen. I’ve enjoyed Girdler’s catalog of off the wall films, so I wanted to check another off the list, while Nielsen as a drug addicted action hero trying to stave off mind control elevated this to “must see” status. And I was not disappointed, as Nielsen is just as outlandish and fun to watch as I expected. I love all of the action scenes here, with low rent set pieces, some explosions, and some truly hilarious martial arts showdowns, including some where Nielsen looks quite out of his element. But that makes those scenes even more fun, as they’re so hokey and over the top, I couldn’t help but be entertained. Fans of cinema from the Philippines will appreciate the ever present Vic Diaz, who plays one of the villains. The cast also includes Nancy Kwan, Gary Lockwood, and Vic Silayan.