Kill and Kill Again
|Kill and Kill Again|
|Directed by||Ivan Hall|
|Produced by||Igo Kantor
Edward L. Montoro
|Written by||John Crowther|
Marloe Scott Wilson
|Edited by||Robert Leighton
|Distributed by||Film Ventures International (USA)
Ambassador Film Distributors (Canada)
Kill and Kill Again is a 1981 South African/American action film notable for being the first live-action film to use the visual effects known as bullet-time. It is a sequel to Kill or Be Killed (1980). Filmed in Sun City, Bophuthatswana, the film has a more tongue in cheek comedy approach than its predecessor.
The plot involves Steve Chase (James Ryan), trying to stop the evil Marduk from amassing an army of mind-controlled karate slaves and taking over the world. Steve is assisted by Gorilla, the strongman (Ken Gampu); Gypsy Billy, the "former champion of the world", Norman Robinson; The Fly, the mystic (Stan Schmidt), and Hotdog, the gimmicky weapon-expert and theoretical comic relief (Bill Flynn). Also on Steve's team is Kandy Kane (Anneline Kriel), a woman claiming to be the daughter of Dr. Kane, who invented the potato-based mind-control serum that Marduk uses on his army.
The movie is characterized by confusing dialogue and a plot that's largely taken from Bruce Lee films (Steve Chase must defeat Marduk's champion The Optimus in a karate tournament), although the martial arts scenes are considered by some to be surprisingly accurate (especially in the final karate tournament) ignoring the constant backflips Steve Chase uses to get anywhere.
The American release of the film had the actors dubbed with American accents. In the film scenes were shot with the characters handling American money both to not give away that the film was South African, despite it being a sequel to a popular South African film.
The bullet-time scene occurs at the end, when Marduk has died and his chief guard is about to kill Dr. Kane while Steve is climbing up the outside of the building they're in. The guard fires his gun (at 1:36:10) and the bullet comes out very slowly and moves across the screen in a recognizable (but low-budget) early version of the famous scene in the Matrix. After ten seconds of the bullet flying across the room, Steve Chase has gotten up the building, gets inside the room, and deflects the bullet with a metal ashtray.
This very low-budget "Bullet-Time-Slice" sequence was achieved very simply, in-camera, with no post-production effects. The first shot of the bullet exiting the barrel of the gun was shot in close-up, with the barrel removed from the frame of the gun locked-off pointing downwards but with the camera also turned on its side, framing the barrel horizontally, but pointing down toward the floor. (When viewed 'upright,' this would then appear to be pointing at the subject in a correct manner.) A bullet, smaller in diameter than the inside of the barrel, was then dropped down through the barrel along with a puff of smoke from a cigarette. The bullet-and-smoke shot was filmed at 120fps to create the desired effect. To achieve the "Matrix"-style shot that followed, a close-up of the bullet rotating in front of the lens with the camera moving along with the bullet and the victim visible ahead was executed as follows. According to Tai Krige, S.A.S.C, the film's cinematographer:
"A large circular piece of clear Plexiglass was rigged to the camera dolly directly in front of the camera lens with a bullet fixed to the middle of the circular sheet of Plexi. A small electric motor was used on the outer edge, out of frame to rotate the Plexi and of course the bullet. And by then simply dollying the camera with the entire rig down the room gave us the shot of what looked like the camera flying along directly behind the bullet travelling through the air toward the target....By carefully 'lighting out' the reflections on the Plexi, the shot was accomplished.
"Filming Low budget 'indie' type movies do have their advantages...One has to come up with ideas to try and make the shots work without the use of expensive post production effects....The opening credits sequence with the large orb of the sun behind the hero going through his moves was simply shot in the studio with him shot in silhouette against a large silk scrim with a lit red sun (lots of red filters over the lamp) from behind the scrim and by lowering the lamp stand it looked like the sun dropping down behind him. The 'wavy' credits were all shot on stills film and projected on to a white silk cloth which was physically waved by hand with the type, or names then shot at 120fps appearing to magically wave around...Dissolves in and out, from one credit to the other edited in finished the effect."