Last night, I saw a great movie on Fox. And by great I mean Uwe Boll great rather than ‘contains actual greatness or even a redeeming feature’ great.
Doomsday (2008) is another laugh-a-minute horror movie from writer/director Neil Marshall, who’s responsible for such masterpieces as Dog Soldiers and The Descent. This time the incomparable Marshall takes on the post-apocalypse sub-genre with typical style to create a melange of every 1980s post-apocalypse and viral terror film that decade produced. Unless you count the way these allusions are skilfully blended into 113 minutes of implausible and often gratuitous violence, it’s really tough to pinpoint any single instance of originality here.
The way to watch this film is to sit back and let the play of images, sounds, references and allusions play over you. For example, in the obligatory Mad Max: Beyond Thuderdome scene (only one of two post-apocalyptic gladiatorial arena scenes), once you grit your teeth through the opening act – fat, bald Scotsmen in kilts dancing the Can Can – the soundtrack waivers between Adam and the Ants’ Dog Eat Dog and the Fine Young Cannibal’s Good Thing before finally deciding on Siouxsie and the Banshees’ Spellbound as the accompaniment to the Scottish savages, still stunned by the spectacle, eating the defeated from the arena.
Somehow, Marshall manages to convince actors who really should know better to appear in his films. I really wish I knew how he does it. It can only have been blackmail that lead Bob Hoskins and Malcolm McDowell to sign up for their parts in this monstrosity. Another actor, David O’Hara, in the film looks and sounds so much like Liam Neeson you are left in absolutely no doubt who Marshall wanted for the part. The main character actor, Rhona Mitra, main assets – her tight bum and sexy brooding looks – are on constant display as she acrobatically tumbles and shoots her way through what passes for a plot.
As always, RottenTomatoes.com sums the film up perfectly and has a whole bunch of nifty quotes from critics that are 100% spot on.
Doomsday is a pale imitation of previous futuristic thrillers, minus the cohesive narrative and charismatic leads.
See this if you liked the Mad Max series, Escape from New York, 28 Days Later, Bambi Meets Godzilla.