After completing a couple of shocking horror movies (Dog Soldiers, The Descent), director Neil Marshall decided to make what seems like an homage to some of the best apocalyptic cult thrillers of all time.
After a lethal virus known as The Reaper contaminates most of Britain, authorities discover survivors. These survivors prove that there is some hope of a cure. As further discussions suggest a mission to acquire the cure is necessary, Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) appears to be the perfect soldier for the job. She is sent to find the survivors and bring back a cure to save mankind. However, the survivors have gone renegade and have become destructive anarchists bent on killing all those who seek the cure. The result is Doomsday, although a more appropriate title would have been Freaks of Anarchy.
Like John Carpenter (who is a cult phenomenon known for films like Halloween and Escape From New York), Neil Marshall is expanding his ability to entertain by switching genres from horror to fire-and-brimstone. Doomsday is a wild, gritty, and deliriously entertaining throwback to cult classics of the late ’70s and early ’80s. It successfully combines a Mad Max persona with Escape From New York imagery into something new and worthwhile.
Rousing fights scenes, aggressive camera work, and brutal violence, all from a director who isn’t afraid to drown his audience in blood — this is the type of movie that leaves you with a silly grin printed on your face. It might be trash, but it’s high quality trash and brings out the rough-and-tough, unchained ruffian at its core. If this doesn’t sound like your kind of movie, don’t see it — otherwise you will be wanting to skim through your Disney DVD collection to wash off the dirty feeling. Those who are interested will be cheering on the action with clenched fists.
It does contain some faulty narrative and the action in the beginning is rather mundane. But in a film that has weapons that automatically blow away wildlife (in this case a bunny), has hardcore car stunts, cannibalization, and a severed head that crashes square into the camera, one pretty much forgets all the blemishes. I had a blast with this film. If you’re in the mood for an ultra-violent and coarse tribute to cult classics you shouldn’t be disappointed.
I was throughly entertained, having taken the time to relish the subliminal jokes built in for those of us having a good time. Rhona Mitra’s character exhibits what turns men on. She’s hot, she’s tough, and she knows how to handle firearms and swords. Having said that, Rhona Mitra is reason enough to see it.
The DVD’s special features includes an unrated version of the film that claims to have extra, more explosive action not seen in theaters (it really doesn’t), “Anatomy of Catastrophe: Civilization on the Brink”, “The Visual Effects of Doomsday”, the original theatrical trailer, and more. I found the unrated version to be no different from the rated version. Nevertheless, see it and enjoy it for what it is: hardcore, gritty entertainment. 4/5 stars