Doomsday (2008) from writer/director Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers and The Descent) could easily be mistaken for ’28 Years Later’.
Set sometime in the not-too-distant-future, Britain (or is it the world?) has been ravaged by a plague (sound familiar?) and as a consequence, Scotland has been fenced-off to contain the spread of the killer-bug. Like a modern day Hadrians wall really.
All is well until plague-infected low-lifes are discovered in an East London ghetto.
The well meaning Prime Minister calls for action, but unfortunately those around him are only interested in saving their own bacon (having destroyed all their Irish-bred pigs!).
Having discovered survivors living behind the fence in Glasgow, the PM’s bent advisor calls for a mission to track down a missing scientist, last seen somewhere in the Gorbals – believing that the scientist has somehow managed to develop a vaccine.
What follows can only be described as a 113 minute, 28 Days Later come Resident Evil come Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome come Escape from New York adventure.
Enter Major Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) – or is it Snake Plissken? The good major is sent into the dead zone along with several muscle-bound, gun toting, he-men and women to find said scientist.
After arrving in the deadzone, the two search teams decamp to search for their goal. But, of course, all is not well in Denmark. As soon as they arrive ‘Mad Max’ like canibal-lunatics attack the searchers, killing many of their number.
With a mediocre performance from Mitra, and a lack-lustre performance from Bob Hoskins (as the amiable good-cop) which he only bettered in On-the-Move – the 1980’s BBC TV programme for the illiterate unemployed, the movie still manages to be a jolly romp in picturesque Scotland.
Between the flying bullets, there is an escape scene in a steam train (I kid you not) and at one point, the heroes are even confronted by medieval knights in armour. It almost sounds like the film that has everything doesn’t it?
It all gets a bit silly here when Major Eden and her companions escape to a nuclear fallout shelter, where they find (crated-up since pre-plague) a Bentley. How the tyres haven’t perished is NOT one of the many questions you need to raise here!
I think the main question here, has to be ‘what is it with British horror films and these crazy plagues? As shown with the Hammer Horrors during the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, the Brits used to have more imagination than this.
However, with the success of 28 days later it now seems that this type of film is the ‘safe bet’. Which means that funding can be raised and that us viewers have to sit through a film which seems to be a mish-mash of a few others.
If you can put aside all the sillyness, it’s not a bad flick. 3 stars for gore, 2 for acting ability and 5 for the scenery.
Additional film information: Doomsday (2008)