After Dog Soldiers and The Descent, I was eager to see what writer/director Neil Marshall would do next. Unfortunately, his third movie is all kinds of bad. Doomsday is a frustratingly unoriginal mish-mash of Escape from New York and The Road Warrior, and I don’t mean that it pays homage to those flicks. I mean it tries to BE those flicks. As in, Rhona Mitra plays a female version of Kurt Russel’s Snake Pliskin, and the movie ends with people in tatoos and mohawks chasing her on the open road.
As if the movie weren’t disjointed enough, we also have to endure twenty tedious minutes in an unconvincing medieval castle with a whacked-out Malcolm McDowell (whose talent is wasted). The sequence is complete with a “Thunderdome/Gladiator” match that comes out of nowhere, for no reason. Doomsday is one of the most anachronistic movies I’ve ever seen. It’s high-tech modern, post-apocalyptic punk, and middle ages all in one. It doesn’t gel, not at all.
No character is remotely likeable and the story isn’t interesting. Heck, you’ll forget what it’s about anyway. Somehow, the mohawks and studded codpieces have something to do with a deadly virus (throw 28 Days Later into the emulation mix). I’m still stunned at just how little I cared about the whole thing. It’s ambitious in the most adolescent way possible, and the result is somewhere between a quasi-successful direct-to-video movie and a thirteen year old’s wet dream.
Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit www.scottschirmer.com. Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com)