Loud, violent, and proudly derivative, the post-apocalyptic action-thriller "Doomsday" is the latest from UK cult director Neil Marshall, who impressed horror fans with his previous efforts, "Dog Soldiers" and "The Descent". Both pictures established Marshall as a director with a knack for reinventing well-worn genre pictures, but here, he seems more interested in stitching together favorite scenes and elements from established horror and science-fiction films. "Escape from New York" is the main source for "Doomsday", though there are plenty of nods to "The Road Warrior" and its multitude of Italian-made carbon copies, as well as the zombie/plague subgenre; the lovely but impassive Rhona Mitra is the Snake Plissken-esque loner sent by police (represented by Bob Hoskins) to infiltrate Scotland, which has descended into anarchy following a viral outbreak. The disease has surfaced in London (now a walled city), and Mitra is dispatched to find a scientist who may possess a cure. Marshall's vision of Scotland in ruins brings together the punk/modern primitive costume design of George Miller's "Mad Max" trilogy with some eclectic homegrown elements (knights on horseback defending a gang leader's castle), and while these touches are novel, the picture as a whole should ring overly familiar to any viewer who's spent time in the exploitation trenches during the past 25 years. Younger and less discerning audience members will undoubtedly enjoy the plentiful violence and gore, as well as the unbridled performances of the supporting cast, especially stuntwoman/actress Lee-Ann Liebenberg as the heavily tattooed Viper. --"Paul Gaita"
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"Doomsday" on Blu-ray
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Stills from "Doomsday" (Click for larger image)