I’m fairly sure Neil Marshall is a genius.
Inspired by this, I’m driven to write a short and unprofessional (not to mention untimely) review of the utterly fantastic Doomsday.
I should probably include the basic premise: unspecified mystery horror-virus infects Scotland, the British government rebuilds Hadrian’s Wall. Thirty years later the virus reappears in London and the prime minister and his shady right-hand man send Rhona Mitra into Scotland to look for survivors. Said survivors have either become bloodthirsty cannibal savages or live in the country trying to recreate a medieval feudal society.
Doomsday came out in the US quite a while ago, and instantly became one of those movies I really, really wanted to see in a cinema but never got around to going to watch. How foolish I was.
The movie is utterly fantastic, and combines two of my favourite things, namely, a post-apocalyptic setting and truly ridiculous violence:
Unfortunately, it also combines two of my least favourite things, namely, cheesy dialogue and Bob Hoskins:
The reason Doomsday is brilliant is because it’s all completely intentional. The film is chock full of overt references from Mad Max (crazy barbaric denizens of the near future sporting Mohawks) to John Carpenter (naked, large breasted blonde taking a bath during a drug deal with a shotgun close at hand) and plenty in between. Marshall even had the foresight to include some of the worst music ever made (re: 80s British pop), although I just couldn’t get past Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I can’t be that knowing when it comes to my action/gore/sci-fi schlock.
The decision to soundtrack the people-eating party near the start with some Fine Young Cannibals DID make me laugh though. As did the underlying joke that people from the north of England and Scotland are a bunch of savages while those from the south are untrustworthy toffs too smooth for their own good. Except for Bob Hoskins. He seems to take Dick Van Dyke’s infamous attempt at a cockney accent in Mary Poppins personally.
On a sidenote, Bob Hoskins was in a movie called Last Orders in 2001 with Ray Winstone and Michael Caine. I remember thinking it looked interesting but I’m not sure that my ears could handle that much geezering around. Proceed at your peril.
Get Doomsday when it comes out on DVD.