Adapted from a 1944 short story by Theodore Sturgeon, it concerns a group of construction workers on an uninhabited island off the coast of Africa, setting up an airstrip for an oil drilling operation. One of the crew's bulldozers becomes possessed by an alien life force after its blade strikes a long-buried meteorite. The possessed dozer then takes it upon itself to hunt and kill the workers.
Marvel Comics published a comic book adaptation of Sturgeon's story the same year the film came out, in its sci-fi anthology title Worlds Unknown.
Not to be confused with the Killdozer, the vehicle involved in a real-life rampage at Granby, Colorado in 2004.
- The Alcoholic: Kelly is a recovering alcoholic. When strange things start happening, Dennis suggests that he might have fallen Off the Wagon.
- Attack of the Killer Whatever: A bulldozer is likely to not pose much of a threat to anyone who can run faster then it can crawl. Its akin to a fat ninja who expels gas every few minutes.
- Automated Automobiles: It does drive itself.
- Black Dude Dies First: Technically averted, as Mack (white dude) dies from a mysterious illness shortly after the alien force is unleashed. However, Al (black dude) is the first to be killed by the possessed bulldozer itself.
- Broken Heel: Dennis when he and Kelly are running away in the climax.
- Chromosome Casting: An all male construction crew versus a killer bulldozer.
- Cigar Chomper: The tough-as-nails, unfazable mechanic Chub spends the entire film with a cigar clenched in his teeth.
- Closed Circle: A murderous bulldozer doesn't sounds like a threat you couldn't run away from... but then again, everybody's stuck on an island, and one of the first things the bulldozer destroys is the hut where the radio was located.
- Construction Vehicle Rampage: The bulldozer itself.
- Covers Always Lie: Based on the poster it looks like a crazy bulldozer roving around some mountain-forest area killing people and ritualistically shoving graves around. The movie...not so much.
- Crowbar Combatant: In the final confrontation, Kelly attacks the bulldozer with a pry bar: smashing one of its headlights to provoke it into pursuing him.
- Energy Beings: The alien entity trapped inside the meteorite.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Chub's truck explodes after being very slowly overturned by the bulldozer.
- Haunted Technology: The dozer is possessed by an alien entity.
- High-Voltage Death: Kelly and Dennis destroy the dozer by luring it onto a metal grid which they then electrify.
- Homicide Machines: The possessed dozer hunts and kills the workers.
- It Kind of Looks Like a Face: The twin headlights and grille of the possessed bulldozer look like a malevolent face.
- It's Probably Nothing: Kelly asks mechanic Chub to examine the bulldozer to determine why it went berserk. Chub reports back that he can't find anything mechanically wrong with the dozer, but there is mysterious humming emanating from the blade which he can't locate a source for. Kelly listens to the hum, then dismisses it as "probably nothing important".
- The Lancer: Dennis is one of the first to believe Kelly about the killer bulldozer, and becomes his major supporter him in fighting it.
- Made of Explodium: Several random items in the camp explode when the bulldozer runs over them.
- Magic Meteor: The energy entity arrives on Earth in a meteor and remains trapped there until the dozer smashes the meteor and the entity is released and possesses the dozer.
- My Car Hates Me: Dutch's jeep stalls directly in the path of the oncoming bulldozer.
- One-Word Title: Killdozer. The title is compound word of kill and dozer.
- Portmantitle: The title is compound word of kill and dozer.
- The Radio Dies First: One of the first things demolished by the bulldozer is the hut that houses the radio.
- Sanity Slippage: Dutch starts losing it after Mac dies: first becoming paranoid and then telling long, pointless stories. By the end, he decides that he wants to go for a swim while the killer bulldozer is still on the loose.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The entity trapped within the meteorite broken by the bulldozer.
- Vehicle Title: The title refers to the possessed bulldozer.
- Vehicular Combat: The final fight involves the bulldozer vs. an excavator piloted by the heroes.