Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Doomsday, Automaton Transfusion, Death Race 2000

I haven't done a movie review for a while and I have THREE, yes, THREE reviews!!  I'll start with the good review first:
Doomsday was written and directed by Neil Marshall, who I think is my long lost mindbrother. He's making the most kick-ass English-language horror / horror-like flicks these days, blowing everyone else out of the water. As I wrote to my co-worker who will read the note tomorrow: "Doomsday is like everything I ever wanted for my birthday (which is October 26 so don't get confused). It is what would have happened if The Road Warrior and Excalibur had a child with a mad case of 28 Days Later as they were escaping from New York. Yes, it is that badass."
Since I happen to LOVE all of the movies mentioned (except Excalibur because I haven't seen it, but I couldn't think of any well regarded medieval movies), this one little picture encapsulates everything I love about them and expounds on them in cool ways. It's freakin' awesome. And Tyler Bates's score cannibalizes from the music of John Carpenter (just a touch of synthesizers in there amongst the guitars and pounding drums) and the 28 Days / Weeks Later scores in a heavy, intense soundtrack that was exactly what the movie needed.
I was really happily surprised to hear Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Spellbound." I thought it a little strange being that the song was from 1981 and it's supposed to be a futuristically primative 2033 (I think...I know it's in the 2030s.) Maybe I'm just thinking with an American brain, but I'm not entirely sure a kid born in the early 2000s and grows up isolated and without electricity is going to know anything about classic "post-punk" from fifty movie-years previous. Few kids now could tell you who they were and we have electricity and are only twenty seven years removed. Then again, they all have hair dye and neat urban-tribal, almost Gaelic, tattoos to go with their real mohawks (I'm so sick of the faux-hawk, I want to smack somebody. You want a mohawk, then do it right! Commit, ya tosser!!)
The cast is brilliant and Rhona Mitra is absolutely phenomenal. No matter how large or small each actors' role is, you remember them, not because they were cheesy, but because they were good.
Be warned, case The Descent didn't fill you in, Marshall likes the gore. The effects are all well done, very gory and well-heh-executed.
Excellent flick if you like movies like the ones I mentioned. There's a thin line between rip-off and mash-up when there are so many obvious influences and this, to me, is a mash-up because it was done well.
Automaton Transfusion was directed by...well, you know what? I don't care who directed it. I don't care who wrote it. It was a crappy movie. I watched ten minutes out of the 75 minute running time. It was laughably bad "plot"-wise, predictable, and it looked like it was filmed on someone's cell phone.
Don't bother.
Death Race 2000 was directed by Paul Bartel and written by Robert Thom. It starred David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone in a race of interesting looking cars across a totalitarian run America. While elements of the story are relevent today, and there were a few interesting bits, I didn't think of it as the Godsend I've heard it was for years. It was a bit silly and politically heavy-handed, especially when your lead character looks like The Gimp from Pulp Fiction for three quarters of the movie, but I was able to sit through it with only a little mumbling from the peanut gallery that is me so it was alright.
That said, you may want to pick it up for a view if you like Roger Corman flicks because this one is being remade by America's version of Uwe Boll: Paul W.S. Anderson. I can just about guarantee that as silly as this one is, it's better than whatever Anderson's brain vomits forth.
Okay, that's enough from me. I need to go play some God of War: Chains of Olympus and sleep. :D

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