Saturday, March 22, 2008

Movies of the week

Being busy with work lately, I haven't really been watching as many movies as usual. Trying to change that, though. This week I watched two of 2007's Horrorfest films and Neil Marshall's new film Doomsday.

Doomsday first. Marshall, writer and director of both Dog Soldiers (love it! Best werewolf movie ever!) and The Descent, serves up a horrific and wickedly amusing post-apocalyptic nod to Mad Max and Escape From New York with his latest release. The reaper virus spread throughout Scotland killing thousands in just a matter of weeks. The government's solution was to wall off the country, locking the door and throwing away the key forever. Until, that is, the virus appears in London. In a desperate attempt to find a cure, a group is sent across the wall to try and track down a doctor that had been studying the virus twenty some-odd years before. Satellite footage from three years prior shows that there are in fact survivors living in Scotland, but don't quite prepare the group for what they will be facing. 

The similarities between Doomsday and Escape From NY are more than a little apparent especially once you consider the fact that Eden, the main character, was inspired by Snake Bliskin. Of course, the film also brings to mind the more recent 28 Days Later, but only in that the country has been decimated by a virus - there are no zombies, there really isn't much focus on the virus itself, either. Instead, it's fight scene after fight scene with shaky camera action and lots of gratuitous violence and gore. Fun times! It won't win any awards, but it's a good way to spend your $9!

My first of the Horrorfest films are Dario Piana's The Deaths of Ian Stone and Mark Young's Tooth and Nail

Ian Stone, starring no one you would recognize, unless you watched UK's Hex or the second season of Dexter (lucky you) oh wait, and that guy who gets killed in the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and again in Cloverfield, is about a guy who keeps getting killed! Seriously, it's about a guy who gets killed everyday by these weird creatures. When he wakes up, he's smack dab in the middle of yet another new existence, usually worse than the one he just left behind. I won't tell you why, that would give too much away. Overall, it's a pretty good film. Surprising considering how disappointing most of 2006's were. If you haven't seen a movie called The Nines, starring Ryan Reynolds, I recommend you watch it. The two are strikingly similar in some ways - though not too much so. Deaths just made me think of it so I thought I would mention it. 

Anyway, Tooth and Nail another post-apocalyptic piece with some people you may recognize. Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones (aka Bullet Tooth Tony) both make appearances as some really heinous cannibals. And Rider Strong seems to be taking over as the new King of horror films. Yes, that's right the hot sidekick on Boy Meets World is all grown up. You saw him in Cabin Fever looking a little too ... well, dorky for my taste, but that was the point, wasn't it. In Tooth and Nail he stars as one of America's survivors holed up in an abandoned hospital. When the world ran out of oil everything went to hell in a handbasket and the few people remaining are fighting to eke out an existence and keep themselves fed. Also joining Strong are cheesy Robert Carradine (look at his picture, you'll recognize him) and Michael Kelly who previously fought zombies as, CJ, the asshole security guard in the remake of Dawn of the Dead - he essentially plays the same character here, but I like him! 

Overall, the movie is ok, again much better than last year's movies, and an interesting plot. The whole kicking-ass part in the end was a little hokey, though. Oh, and Strong also appears in another of '07's HF films, Borderland.  

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