Neil Marshall has shown he has a knack for making gritty but stylish
films. 2002 brought Dog Soldiers,
an imaginative werewolf film that went against the grain of recent
horror films by using make-up and traditional special effects
instead of CGI to create his monsters. 2005 saw The Descent
mix a fight against subterranean flesh eaters with an oppressively
dark and claustrophobic underground setting. Now Marshal has turned
his one-two punch of writer/director on a new target; a virus
induced apocalypse, with his new film Doomsday.
Doomsday starts in the present day, with the outbreak of a
new and extremely deadly virus called “Reaper”. The disease spreads
quickly though Scotland, but has been limited to that region. To
prevent its spread, the government builds a wall isolating that end
of the UK. Their plan is simple, let the virus run its course and
kill everyone in Scotland, but in the process they will save the
world from the disease. A rather heartless, but seemingly effective
tactic for 27 years... until, in 2035 the virus re-appears in
London. Now a team must go into Scotland and look for a cure. The
problem is that the surviving population of Scotland has reverted to
a violent, medieval state and they have a justifiable grudge against
anyone from the other side of the wall.
well as playing an infected victim & punk in the film.
Marshall's Doomsday feels like a movie you've seen before.
The start of the film borrows heavily from John Carpenter's
Escape from New York, not just in concept but also the style of
music, and even the heroine Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) who's a
one-eyed bad-ass much like Carpenter's anti-hero Snake Pliskin.
Later the film shifts from one eighties film to another as The
Road Warrior influence takes over when Sinclair faces off
against a cannibalistic, anarchist society led by homicidal maniac
Sol (Craig Conway). This portion does make one ponder where they get
all of their hair product to keep their Mohawk haircuts spiked and
At this point the reader may think: “Well this film must not be very
good if it just keeps borrowing from other films and doesn't bring
anything new of its own.” That is where Neil Marshall's flair for
filmmaking comes in. He manages to take the best elements from the
films and blend them together into a stylishly entertaining romp
through post-apocalyptic Scotland. The action is intense and almost
non-stop from start to finish with a fair bit of humor mixed in for
good measure. The character of Eden Sinclair isn't as memorable as
Snake Pliskin, but Mitra plays the role of hard-boiled action
heroine well as she sneers her way through the entire film. If you
want something new and original, you won't find it in Neil
Marshall's Doomsday, but if you're a fan of the
sci-fi/action films that were a staple of the early eighties film
diet, then you'll enjoy it. So dig out your parachute pants and hair
gel and check out Neil Marshall's Doomsday, the film
version of VH1's “I love the Eighties”.