The Triple-D’s of Splatter

A review of Doomsday. (It’s good).

The Triple-D’s:

Dog Soldiers
The Descent

Doomsday - What day is it again?These are Neil Marshall’s first three movies. Each one is awesome in its own way.

  • Dog Soldiers is an ode to Aliens
    A pack of werewolves attacks a Scottish military excursion.
  • The Descent is a take on Alien
    Cave explorers are hunted by scary/freaky/badass creatures.
  • Doomsday is The Road Warrior
    a simple-minded, post-apocalyptic, brain-exploding action flick.

It’s as if each film is a love note to a previous landmark, even if the new installment brings nothing original to the table other than an updated sense of aesthetics. It’s also as if Marshall’s work to date is nothing but a high budget director’s reel, begging for loftier projects. I believe there is greatness in Marshall’s future, but if that is to be achieved, he will have to stop writing his own movies.

The film starts with about 20 minutes of boring exposition. We listen as Marshall gets all of the plot out of the way; bad dialogue, clunky plot holes, talk, talk, talk. Get to the action, dude! It’s tiresome to get it all at once, but once that’s out of the way you won’t have to think about it again. As a society, are we really so concerned with making plotless movies appear less plotless? Here, Doomsday sheds the sincerity of Marshall’s earlier work.

Marshall’s films trademark themselves with a lack of character depth that comes across as modest – his work doesn’t think too highly of itself. It’s unpretentious at its core, and that has a charming effect. However, the venerated Mad Max series never bound itself to such a clumsy back story, as Doomsday does. It seems that, along with his highest budget and greatest financial concerns to date, Marshall’s deal with the devil included a marriage to some of the more traditional film conceits. In the case of Doomsday though, the marriage is a loveless one.

Thankfully, when the film gets to the action, it gets there with an extra dash of awesome. Neil Marshall is the modern king of splatter, and Doomsday is perhaps his most splatteriffic splatterfest. By the time the movie actually gets going, the action and effects take over completely. Doomsday provides enough gore to satisfy a serial killer. It’s like a great action movie, except the explosions are all of blood. In this respect, Doomsday is everything that the Resident Evil franchise wishes it was.

Rhona Mitra’s spandex clad bootyBut I must admit, I was already sold on this one when I saw the preview and its gratuitous shots of Rhona Mitra’s spandex clad booty. There’s plenty of that in Doomsday too, and it deserves at least an honorable mention.

All in all, this is Neil Marshall’s worst movie. That’s really impressive.

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