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Author Topic: Doomsday (Neil Marshall, 2007)  (Read 3467 times)
Arizona Colt
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« on: March 31, 2008, 09:02:03 PM »

***I SERIOUSLY DOUBT IT, BUT MIGHT BE SOME POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD***

Just got back from seeing DOOMSDAY and while I liked it, the movie unapologetically rips off big time from ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, MAD MAX, ROAD WARRIOR and a bit from THE WARRIORS but even before the film came out just reading the synopsis gives that much away but not since the Italians raped popular films of their plotlines has there been such blatant plagiarism. The duration of the film I couldn’t get these other movies out of my head. Even certain musical cues are awfully similar to ESCAPE FROM NY. The opening sequence looks almost directly lifted from Carpenter’s film even down to the card displaying the year followed by the word…NOW. There’s even a guy named Carpenter in the film. The lead actress also wears an eye patch for crying out loud (only during the first sequence with her than it’s abandoned). She also has a limited amount of time (48 hours) to get inside the wall and find a cure for the disease before all hell breaks loose.

The characters, the way they look, dress and their actions are all amalgamations of the above mentioned films. The car chase finale rips from Miller’s movies and even manages to recall a bit from ESCAPE in which the remaining heroes traverse an obstacle course of wrecked vehicles (minus the mines). ALIENS is also pilfered with its marines and the vehicles (they look just like the ones seen in the Cameron flick) they travel around in. The virus itself recalls 28 DAYS LATER or even Lenzi’s NIGHTMARE CITY if you want to be more accurate as many of the crazed victims reminded me more of the “zombies” in Lenzi’s classic exploitation opus.

The only thing that comes close to ruining the flick are the action scenes. Numerous times I kept saying to myself, “Please Mr. Cameraman, pull back just a bit so I can see what the hell is going on!” Not only does the camera cling tight to the combatants, but the editing is horrible in these scenes (even the daylight fight scenes) rendering the action mostly incomprehensible.

While a lot of people seemed to complain over the fact that there’s a medieval castle during the second half of the film, considering the film takes place in Europe I don’t see the big deal. The one thing that is odd is that everybody is wearing clothes right out of the ‘Knights of the Round Table’. Who is their tailor? This segment is alluded to earlier in the flick when a tape recorded message from Malcolm McDowall is played. He references Medieval times in his playback. Plus, the medieval social order he and his followers have resorted to is symbolic in a way. He speaks of “shedding their apparel”, starting over so to speak in reference to the state the Reaper Virus has placed mankind or at least Great Britain and portions of Europe.

The only character who gets any real development is Rhona Mitra and even she could be viewed as a rip off because of her similarity to actress Kate Beckinsale whom I initially thought was the star of this movie. She has a cool eyeball that acts as a recorder. She pops it out and tosses it down hallways to see what’s going on. She uses this ability during her first sequence when she has the eye patch. She keeps her orb in her skull the remainder of the picture. It’s a shame the female ROAD WARRIOR cannibal psycho pit fighter didn’t last very long or get more screen time as she was kind of interesting. She does pop up at the end though in some capacity.

There’s lots of gore throughout, too and the cannibalism scene is right extreme and one of the high points. There’s no shortage of the red stuff and I just wish the fights were shot and edited a little better so as to see the movements and who was hitting who. This erratic method of shooting and editing action comes to a head during the final car chase. The main heavy leaps into the car the heroes are driving and you hear all manner of sound effects signaling punches and bones popping but you can’t tell who is hitting who. I couldn’t imagine watching this full screen. There needs to be more HK choreographers on movies like this as they allow scenes to breath and don’t rely on loud sound effects of kicks and punches and rapid fire editing to sell a fight sequence.

DOOMSDAY is generally a fun movie if you don’t mind all the obvious pilfering, ripping off, homage whatever you want to call it. For me this goes a bit beyond homage. Considering what Marshall did before this, it is kind of perplexing that he would do such a movie as his big Hollywood debut and not go for something more original and eye catching. It’s definitely trashy fun that although rips from other more well known movies, the “stink” of more exploitative films from the likes of Lenzi and Mattei seem to be in the air as well. Listening to a Marshall commentary track will be interesting.

***ADDENDUM***

I remember LA mentioning he was an editing assistant on this film. It would be extremely gratifying to hear some stories working on this movie and what sequences he handled on this picture. Hopefully none of the fight scenes!  Smiley

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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2008, 10:11:01 PM »

I'm happy to see you enjoyed this AC! I've been wanting to see it because I'm a fan of those POST-APOYLOPTIC films it homages. I will see it pretty soon.

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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2008, 10:14:04 PM »

I enjoyed it but it's not for everybody that's for sure. I didn't enjoy the chaotic editing and shooting of the fight scenes though. Some of the worst I've seen.

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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2008, 11:00:06 PM »

I enjoyed it but it's not for everybody that's for sure. I didn't enjoy the chaotic editing and shooting of the fight scenes though. Some of the worst I've seen.

Well, it's a pop-corn flick so I wouldn't take it seriously. I like films like this here and there. They're good fun. How did Rhona Mitra look? She's absolutely stunning in the trailers. Kind of reminds me of Kate Beckinsale.

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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2008, 11:50:24 AM »

 Any woman who was the real life model for Lara Croft is okay in my book. Grin  Everything I've seen her in, she looks good, too bad she left Boston Legal after one season.




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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2008, 07:02:09 PM »

Went to see this today, after work, and it was already gone from my theatre Embarrassed

There is a showing tonight near the beach but I'm not driving that far for this. Tongue

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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2008, 05:47:57 PM »

oooooh the stories I have...  Afro

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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2008, 06:02:53 PM »

oooooh the stories I have...  Afro

Do tell if (if you can) when you have time. Smiley

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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2008, 11:48:20 AM »

  LA, you're back!  Those stories better involve Rhona Mitra.... Evil Grin

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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2008, 03:34:03 PM »

   Those stories better involve Rhona Mitra...


...engaging in steamy sex with you.

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