Saturday, August 09, 2008

Tiny Apocalypse

So now I'm about to lose all credibility, if I had any to begin with. Last night a friend brought over Doomsday, the latest from director Neil Marshall, who I normally enjoy. Dog Soldiers was fun, but I enjoyed more for it's promise of future delights than it's actual content, and Descent was one of the few theatrically released movies of the last few years that actually scared me. Doomsday continues the theme of unapologetically genre-based films starting with the letter D, and it looks like he's going to keep it up with his upcoming film Drive. Doomsday was not well received, although it didn't bomb, either. Most critics seemed aware of what the movie was trying to do(revive the tradition of 80's era post-apocalyptic action movies with grim heroes), but the main complaint was that the duplication seemed "lazy and uninspired." My only guess is that these same critics were expecting a satire or parody, not a love recreation.

I have to be honest and say that Doomsday is a pretty stupid movie, with very little substance to it beyond cheesy genre thrills. It's basically a hodge podge of 80's post-apocalyptic movies; a little Mad Max, a little Escape From New York, a little bit of The Warriors, and countless other movies made cheaply for the booming 80's video market. But Doomsday avoids the curse that befalls most homage movies by copying not just the setting, but the anarchic spirit of the films it's taking inspiration from. So complete is the insanity in this movie that, when I first watched it, tired and dozing, every time I opened my eyes I thought a new movie had started. Jumping from 28 Days Later style military action in Scotland to Beyond Thunderdome style bread and circus antics, to fucking Robin Hood, I couldn't keep up.

Let's just say the film had me from the moment when the heavily tattooed, mascara wearing leader of the cannibal tribe walks onto a stage and begins dancing and lip-synching to Adam Ant as a prelude to public torture. That's just pure fun.

1 comment:

Ben said...

I really liked the medieval aspect of the 2nd half... that's something I've wanted to see in apocalyptic movies forever!!
-Ben