Doomsday title

Tag line : Survive This....

DoomsdayOh deary, deary, me, where to begin with this mess of a film? I'd put off viewing this for quite some time, as I'd heard bad things about it. But as the Sci-Fi channel were showing it one evening, curiosity got the better of me, and thought I'd have a look.

To be fair, at the start of the film, I found myself really enjoying it and thought perhaps I'd been a bit premature in judging it so harshly, before actually seeing it for myself. But as the film progressed, I soon realised I had been right to avoid this all along.

It begins with a virus outbreak in Scotland, which is decimating the population, which in itself is not a bad idea (joke), with some disturbing scenes of civil unrest and the army struggling to maintain control, before the government eventually seals off everything North of the border (another idea I like).

Then things starts to go downhill quite rapidly, as it proceeds to nick bits off "Escape from New York", as a group of soldiers, lead by a Major Sinclair (Rhona Mitra), has to go in and find survivors of the plague in the hopes of finding a cure. Following a few good action scenes, things quickly descend into absurdity when the group are captured by a bunch of refugees from a Mad Max movie and forced to watch them dance to the song "Good thing" by The Fine Young Cannibals, and the "Can Can" by Bad Manners (I shit you not)!

Having escaped from that lot, things get medieval, as they try and locate a Dr Kane (Malcolm MacDowell), who's holed up in this old castle and find him surrounded by his very own Knights of the Round table. The film then turns into "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" as Rhona Mitra's character is forced to fight the dark knight (I could have sworn this guy was gonna say "Tis but a scratch" as he got back up) .

Anyway, having gotten away AGAIN, the ending descends into a blatant rip off of the Mad Max movies as they find a car in an old Government bunker and are chased across the Scottish countryside by thugs in bangers and hot rods to the tune of the song "Two Tribes" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, which just got increasingly more ludicrous the more it went on.

I mean this whole chase, and the amount of stunts in it, was just so over the top it would put a Chuck Norris film to shame, and I spent almost the entire scene laughing my arse off. I mean the whole movie was just a hodge podge of different ideas cobbled together, producing an incoherent mess. Awful, awful, awful, and not in a good way either. I mean, was this supposed to be a comedy?

The basic premise of civil unrest following a virus outbreak might have made a good film, but this was executed so badly I failed to take any of it seriously and I often wonder whether Neil Marshall is still capable of making decent movies. I'm sure Bob Hoskins and Malcolm Dowell regret their involvement in this.

Overall marks : 4/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "The End Is Nigh", "Mankind has an expiration date".

  • The films budget was $30,000,000

  • Two of the soldiers in Sinclair's group are named Miller and Carpenter, which were references to directors George Miller, who did Mad Max, and John Carpenter, who did Escape from New York, which were the films this was heavily based on.

  • The Prime Minister's name "John Hatcher" was a reference to former real life conservative Prime Ministers John Major and Margaret Thatcher.

  • Though set mainly in Scotland, the majority of the film was filmed in South Africa.

  • Rhona Mitra's character Major Sinclair was meant to be a cross between Max Rockatansky from "Mad Max" and Snake Pliskin from "Escape from New York".

  • The armoured cars used in the films were named APCs (Armoured Personnel Carriers), which was a reference to Aliens, which also used Armoured Personnel Carrier vehicles for the troops. As the soldiers go into the building, the Sgt also had similar lines of dialogue to the Sgt in that film, such as the line "Check those corners".

  • The German DVD was cut by about 6 minutes by the censors before they would pass it with a "Not under 18" rating.

  • Alexander Siddig (AKA that guy who played Dr Bashir in Star Trek) who plays the Prime Minister, is the nephew of Malcolm MacDowell, who plays Dr Kane.

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