The “Doomsday” trailer was almost a promise that one of the worst movies of all time was about to be released. A post-apocalyptic future with punk rock cannibals on dirt bikes? I’m thinking “Rollerball.” Unfortunately for lovers of awful movies, the end result is surprisingly somewhat watchable.
It’s the year 2035 and Scotland is just getting over a pandemic that has wiped out its entire population. The landmass is quarantined with a giant wall that stretches across the island, and orders are to shoot on sight anyone that comes near it. The pandemic in question is no zombie-creating virus a la “28 Days Later.” Instead, it’s simply a plague that gives you boils and makes you die a slow, painful death. Yummy.
Now that the disease has run its course in Scotland, everyone is presumed to be dead. But that all changes when satellite photos start showing people climbing over the wall. Conveniently, this is right about the time the disease breaks out in London (called the “Reaper” virus in one scene and the “Doomsday” virus in another by indecisive scientists). A special ops officer named Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra, “Nip/Tuck”) is picked to lead a team to figure out how the hell people survived.
Back in post-apocolyptic Scotland, there are two groups of survivors. The first group Sinclair encounters is a wild group of goth-rock 20-somethings whose hobbies include running around with battle-axes and eating each other (despite the inexplicable fact that Sinclair’s team runs into about 10,000 cattle a few miles away). They quickly capture and kill most of the team and proceed to cook and eat one of the generic soldier boys in a scene so over the top that it’s not even disturbing.
In fact, the goths are so entertaining, with their facial tattoos and surprisingly convincing rock-star leader Sol (Craig Conway, “Vera Drake”), that you’ll actually find yourself wanting to chant along with the barbaric crowd. The fight scenes are incredibly well choreographed for a movie that would seem like it would have the budget of “Saw” and Lord knows you’ll have no idea what happens next.
And what does happen next? Sinclair escapes and takes a train across the countryside where she finds the second group, the Renaissance fair crowd. They’ve taken up refuge in an old medieval castle and proceeded to dress and act like it’s the Dark Ages. If you thought these guys were good compared to the goths, think again – Sinclair finds herself in a medieval gladiator fight to the death in no time. So far we’ve gone from modern day to 2035 London to anarchist Scotland to the Middle Ages. It’s hard to believe there’s not a flux capacitor anywhere in this film.
All of this concludes with a car chase involving an indestructible Bentley and a “Mad Max”-like parade of vehicles pimped out with skeletons and gimps tied to the front.
All things said and done, it’s probably unreasonable to think there might be a “Doomsday 2” – that is, unless you’re a bloodthirsty 19-year-old, sitting by yourself.
At Showcase and Quality 16