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2008-08-29 13:28
What it's about:

In the not too distant future, the deadly Reaper virus breaks out in Scotland, killing tens of thousands in weeks. The country is brutally quarantined, leaving those inside to die of illness or starvation. Thirty years later, symptoms of the virus appear in London and the fascist government elects to send a small and discreet task force back into Scotland to find a cure amongst the few survivors. Lead by Major Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra), the team encounters ruined cities and murderous clans of cannibals.

What we thought of it:

Anyone familiar with Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers [2002] and The Descent [2005]) will have an idea of what to expect – edge of your seat thrills accompanied by fountains of blood and a topping of gallows humour, and Doomsday delivers them all by the gore-filled bucket full. Anyone expecting subtle nuances in dialogue and character development should stop reading right here.

The plot is pretty much a mash up of Escape From New York (1981), Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) and 28 Days Later (2002), set in a grim future of environmental disasters and massive overpopulation to an 80s soundtrack. Luckily it's pulled off with the charm and attitude of Planet Terror (2007), and works nicely as an entertaining tribute to the films that influenced Neil Marshall.

Rhona Mitra lacks the acting chops and dramatic weight of Sigourney Weaver, but she still makes a kick ass action heroine. Between her looks, posh British accent and the coolly detached way she dishes out ultra violence, she is what all those disappointed Lara Croft fans have been waiting for. Malcolm MacDowell plays a tyrannical lord/scientist with his usual B-movie aplomb and the rest of the cast look great, even though many of them just yell and wave their fists a lot.

There are loads of fantastic little details that will appeal to genre fans, like the Fine Young Cannibals blasting in the background as a screaming gang of punks cook a man and devour his bloody flesh, to name one. It’s also worth seeing if you recognise any of the scenery, as much of Doomsday was shot in and around Cape Town.

There is nothing original about Doomsday, but it captures the atmosphere of those 80s punk horror movies perfectly. It’s fast, violent and action packed, with more than enough humour to render the more ludicrous moments funny rather than embarrassing. If you enjoy retro horror/action, or just want a blood soaked evening of entertainment that'll leave you feeling jolly instead of emotionally battered, then Doomsday comes highly recommended.

- Ivan Sadler

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A small group of soldiers must venture into the post apocalyptic wasteland of Scotland after it was quarantined to find a cure for the deadly virus that wiped out the population 30 years ago.

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