Cult Corner is a new feature where Jonny and I offer our thoughts on movies that for whatever reason have got lost along the way. Maybe a film was marketed incorrectly or its release was over shadowed by a similar title coming out, maybe at the time people just didn’t get it. Here in Cult Corner we celebrate those movies and give them their fifteen minutes.
This week in Cult Corner we’re looking at Doomsday. Neil Marshall’s follow on to previous hit The Descent and the brilliant Dog Soldiers. For his latest film he envisaged futuristic soldiers battling medieval barbarians and it would be his most ambitious project to date. The film begins with Scotland being completely shut off from the British Isles in the hope of containing a lethal virus. Years later the virus re-surfaces in London so the Government assemble a team of soldiers and scientists, led by a female Snake Plisskin, to return to Scotland in search of a cure. What they find is a land without law and order where brutal cannibals and Nomadic gangs rule. Sounds like an average night out in Glasgow to me!
Although written by Marshall Doomsday is almost entirely (but cleverly) derived from early 80’s sc-fi action movies. From the Escape from New York opening to the climactic Mad Max style car chase by way of everything from Aliens, Warriors, Excalibur and Gladiator etc. The mash-up nature of the movie proved difficult for Universal to market despite heavily featuring the film during its popular Halloween horror nights at Universal studios in Florida. The opinions of those that did pay to see the film were divided by Marshall’s blatant homage seeing the movie as unoriginal and even blasphemous to the original source. Having spent almost three times the budget on his earlier releases Doomsday was considered a failure upon release. Interestingly the Scottish tourism board had also invested £300,000 into the film in the hope of boosting their economy. However, upon viewing the final cut it was determined that Doomsday was in fact derogatory to Scottish independence highlighting Scotland as London’s play thing!
Personally I can’t see what the fuss is all about. I loved Doomsday upon its release and it was one of my first Blu-ray purchases, which coincidentally was Universal’s first foray on the format after they initially backed the short lived HD-DVD! I completely understood what Neil Marshall was trying to do with this pastiche. It was just as much fun spotting one not-so-subtle genre nod to the next as it was seeing severed limbs flying about. I also loved the out of place 80’s pop soundtrack that added to the tongue in cheek absurdity of it all. Doomsday is taken far too seriously and whilst I will admit that Marshall’s sly British wit might not translate well to all audiences like its equally enjoyable predecessor Dog Soldiers it deserves a second look, just remember to get the beers in first!
DOOMSDAY OFFICIAL TRAILER.
DOOMSDAY LEGO VERSION!!