DOOMSDAY

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THE
NEIL MARSHALL INTERVIEW
DOOMSDAY - 2008
USA Release: March 14, 2008
Crystal Sky Pictures / Intrepid Pictures / Moonlighting Films / Rogue Pictures
Rated: USA: R

Don't spend one red cent to see this movie. Sneak in. Break in. Steal a ticket. Do what you must to screw the system and - trust me - you'll feel right at home with the lawless savagery Neil Marshall (DOG SOLDIERS, THE DESCENT) cooks up.

Present day: The Reaper virus appears and sweeps through Scotland, leaving people in pools of vomit, blood, and puss and Scottish society in ruin. With swift response, the world seals Scotland behind an enormous wall and carefully avoids England for fear of contamination.

Fast forward 25 years: satellites reveal that some Scots survived the reaping and the Home Office - desperate to protect England from a recently discovered Reaper infection in London - must know why. Superintendent Bill Nelson (Bob Hoskins: BRAZIL) assigns the mission to Major Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra: HOLLOW MAN, THE NUMBER 23), who's been itching to return to the Scottish homeland she barely escaped as a child. Time cannot be spared, and she has but 48 hours to get in, get the goods, and get out: she needn't bother coming back if she's late.

DOOMSDAY is one-third MAD MAX: BEYOND THUNDERDOME, one-third 28 DAYS LATER, and one-third ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. If you liked any of those, you'll like at least part of DOOMSDAY. Neil Marshall effectively pulls script, photography, and style from George Miller (MAD MAX) and John Carpenter (THE THING), and even pays homage by naming characters after them. Careful viewers will even see some styles reminiscent of James Cameron (ALIENS) and Sam Raimi (ARMY OF DARKNESS).

DoomsdayViolence abounds, and you can believe Marshall delivers in the gore department. Decapitation, immolation, skewering, crushing, pummeling: it's all in there. The gore effects are well done, with only a few obvious props, prosthetics, and digital animations. One particular rabbit's demise will leave you wondering if any animals were harmed in the making of DOOMSDAY, and you'll be shocked to discover no such disclaimer lives in the credits. Despite the Visual Effects team (led by Hal Couzens: SHAUN OF THE DEAD, BATMAN BEGINS) outnumbering the Special Effects team (led by Kevin Adcock) 4 to 1, a masterful balance is found - enough to keep physical gore fiends sated.

I thoroughly enjoyed the soundtrack despite the volume and mix running a touch high. Going in, I expected a stock rock track, but I was pleasantly surprised with a blend of tribal beats, electronica, and modern aggro-punk. Marshall wisely pulled in Tim Matthews, whose previous work in SLITHER, 300, and Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN can be heard throughout the film.

If you're looking for something new or ground-breaking, go elsewhere. Fans of the genre will know exactly what's coming next the whole movie, so none of the shocks will really be shocking. Predictability is this movie's one true failing, but Marshall's solid, show-not-tell script keeps you engaged the whole way through. And at 105 minutes, that's no small task.

Also chalk up another

!!!UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHE ALERT!!!:
DOOMSDAY was produced by four movie studios, three of which are out of Hollywood. So guess what happens to DOOMSDAY? It gets the UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHE ALERT (URCA). Why? Read the UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHE ALERT to see what that is, then we'll continue this at URCA/Doomsday. Be warned. There be SPOILERS at the URCA.

What's more, there is a
!!!SCIENCE MOMENT!!!
In the opening sequence, hordes of Scots are trying to escape before the wall closes. Guards are sensibly posted to ensure no one infected gets through. Upon discovering a carrier amongst the crowd, the military opens fire. Wrong:

Continued at SCIENCE MOMENT/Doomsday.

DOOMSDAY delivers an infectious thrill ride worth seeing, even if only to relive the delicious post-apocalyptic anarchy of DOOMSDAY's successful predecessors. I give it 3 Shriekgirls.

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2008 E.C.McMullen Jr.

Doomsday (2008) on IMDb
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