Loud, violent, and proudly derivative, the post-apocalyptic action-thriller Doomsday
is the latest from UK cult director Neil Marshall, who impressed horror fans with his previous efforts, Dog Soldiers
and The Descent
. Both pictures established Marshall as a director with a knack for reinventing well-worn genre pictures, but here, he seems more interested in stitching together favorite scenes and elements from established horror and science-fiction films. Escape from New York
is the main source for Doomsday
, though there are plenty of nods to The Road Warrior
and its multitude of Italian-made carbon copies, as well as the zombie/plague subgenre; the lovely but impassive Rhona Mitra is the Snake Plissken-esque loner sent by police (represented by Bob Hoskins) to infiltrate Scotland, which has descended into anarchy following a viral outbreak.
The disease has surfaced in London (now a walled city), and Mitra is dispatched to find a scientist who may possess a cure. Marshall's vision of Scotland in ruins brings together the punk/modern primitive costume design of George Miller's Mad Max trilogy with some eclectic homegrown elements (knights on horseback defending a gang leader's castle), and while these touches are novel, the picture as a whole should ring overly familiar to any viewer who's spent time in the exploitation trenches during the past 25 years. Younger and less discerning audience members will undoubtedly enjoy the plentiful violence and gore, as well as the unbridled performances of the supporting cast, especially stuntwoman/actress Lee-Ann Liebenberg as the heavily tattooed Viper. --Paul Gaita
Sci-fi action film from writer/director Neil Marshall ('Dog Soldiers', 'The Descent'). When the deadly 'reaper virus' hits Scotland, the decision is taken to literally wall-off the country from the rest of the British isles. This process of containment proves to be successful until, 27 years later, the virus resurfaces on the streets of London. A group of specialists led by no-nonsense copper, Captain Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra), is covertly dispatched into the still quarantined Scotland to seek out a cure. What they find is a nightmarish landscape torn apart by two rival factions - one led by the scientist Dr Marcus Kane (Malcolm McDowell), and the other by his son, Sol (Craig Conway) - and the one thing both factions agree on is that Sinclair and her team have to be eliminated...