My god, where have I been? Well, really just right here. But I am approaching a 3000-plus mile cross country move and though I haven’t really done much towards it yet, and it has not prevented me from doing some movie watching (or endlessly messing around with my new account at last.fm), it is disturbing to my routine and the blogs have again fallen way behind. So I’m just going to put Tentacles Of Whorror on the stereo, grab a big glass of Russian River’s “Pliny the Elder” and get to cracking on this backlog.
Last week, with much reluctance, I sat down and watched Doomsday. I borrowed this from a friend and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to. Though it was Neil Marshall, he has been somewhat hit and miss in his short directorial career. The Descent is easily one of my favorite horror movies of recent years, but Dog Soldiers was pretty unremarkable. That in my mind, and seeing the cover on this dvd case, which looks like is was designed for the most flaccid post-apocalyptic video game yet, I was not feeling it. I was surprised to see Bob Hoskins was a cast member, and that gave me some hope.
Doomsday starts out alright, when a lethal virus spreads through Glasgow, martial law is declared and road blocks are set up. What folks don’t realize is that these measures are setup to give the government time to build an impenetrable 30 foot high wall along the entire border between Scotland and England, just to shut out the virus. Of course some of those ungrateful Scots want to get the heck out of there, so this leads to some congestion at the border… Maybe a little violence, and after a nasty few moments at the roadblock, the people break through only to find themselves stopped at the wall, with great finality… As the door is closed and sealed just as the first fellow reaches it. This gives us the cue to fly ahead some thirty years to a police action in the future England. At which point, Scotland is an abandoned and off limits graveyard. Or so it seems.
When the virus rears its head in London. The government tells the police, led by the indomitable Bob Hoskins, that their aerial surveillance has, in fact, shown people in the streets of Glasgow for the last three years. Thinking that those people must have some kind of vaccine they decide to secretly send a small squad featuring our star, Rhona Mitra, to the other side of the wall to hunt down the lab of the doctor who had been one of the last strongholds of civilization when Scotland was shut off.
So far so good, The movie hits a down point soon after that when you fall into a whirling maelstrom of films… Are you watching Aliens when the marines are trying to make their escape form the terraforming plant? Is it Escape from New York? If so, why is it filled with those terrible characters from Class of Nuke’em High acting as if they had been cast in Thunderdome? It hits some pretty dumb points, and some that are so terribly derivative that they must have been intended as just a bunch of homages… I hope.
This crap only lasts for about a half hour though, and then the movie takes another big turn which is more interesting, though it winds up with a scene that is basically (well, almost exactly) Road Warrior, with the same vehicles characters and scenes, but with them chasing James Bond rather than Max Rockatansky.
All in all, if you can make it through (or skip) the horrible music/dance/circus number (where they are actually listening to Fine Young Cannibals (haha)), then the movie is pretty good. It looks good, has nice cinematography, it gets medieval, present and future on us, it takes some odd angles, has a lot of gratuitous violence, features a naked lady wielding a shotgun from a bathtub, a mighty nice Bentley, a leather gimp, and a cruel authoritarian figure that I rather liked played by David O’Hara. But most of all, has both Bob Hoskins and Malcolm McDowell and is pretty damned entertaining.