This inconsistent but interesting genre hybrid was the directing debut of Josh Becker, a longtime friend and collaborator of fellow Michigan-born filmmaker Sam Raimi. Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except is likely to interest Raimi fans since it shares a lot of the same artistic quirks that defined that director's early work: outrageous violence, bizarre camera work, and unexpected moments of slapstick humor. Raimi also steps in front of the camera in this film to deliver an unforgettably over-the-top performance as the terminally psychotic cult leader. Unfortunately, Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except lacks the kinetic pace and the consistent stylistic invention of Raimi's work. It also suffers from some indifferent casting (Brian Schulz is too young and fresh-faced to be convincing as the grizzled war veteran hero) and weak dialogue. However, it does benefit from a truly unique Rambo meets Helter Skelter premise. There are also plenty of gritty action scenes for the patient viewer. The battle in the Vietnam-set prologue and a brawl between the heroes and a group of surly bikers are pulled off with low-budget gusto. Ultimately, Thou Shalt Not Kill Except is too amateurish and uneven to rate as anything more than a curio, but Sam Raimi cultists will find it contains enough high points to make it worth a viewing.