Sunday, 4 January 2009


I had high hopes for this one for a number of reasons. First off, it was written and directed by Neil Marshall. The man responsible for Dog Soldiers and The Descent, two terrific films. Secondly, it is Marshall's homage to films like Escape From New York and the Mad Max trilogy. Films I love! Genres I love!

But this one disappointed.

It started off great. A killer plague wipes out most of the residents of Scotland forcing the U.K. to totally isolate the region by wall to the South and by a sea blockade of mines around the rest of the nation. After close to 30 years it is discovered that the plague still exists and that there are survivors living in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

A girl who escaped (sans one eye) from Scotland before it was sealed off is now a grown up special forces hottie. She is chosen to lead a team into Scotland to finds some survivors to halt the spread of the plague in London. Since there are survivors there must be a cure, right?

First she encounters a group living a very Mad Max-ish existence in Glasgow. Why is it that as soon as a bunch of people die in a Nuclear War or a monstrous plague, the survivors begin piercing things and shaving their heads into Mohawks? Anyway, these guys are bad. And they are cannibals. Which makes no sense since there appears to be plenty of cows running around the countryside. But I've never tried human flesh, so I could be talking out of my ass.

The team later encounters a second group of survivors led by Malcolm MacDowell, and this is where the film lost me. This group of survivors, in under 30 years, have reverted to living in the Middle Ages. Castles, swords, armor, horses and bad personal hygiene. You get the picture.

Not sure where Marshall was going with this particular homage. I get the Mad Max references and the Escape From New York references, but this one escapes me. Knightriders by George Romero, maybe? I dunno.

I do know that I was thoroughly enjoying the film until it went there. REALLY enjoying it. But as soon as that happened I was really let down. And even though it went back to the Mad Max theme fairly quickly, it was too late. For me.

I get that it was supposed to be just a little bit o' brain candy for those that love these kind of films. And lord knows, I'm one of them. But the Medieval shit just was a bit too much for me. Shame.


Slyde said...

i was actually going to post this one when i watched it last month, but laziness got the better of me.

i thought this movie was ok, but i agree that the worst part of it was the medival aspect, which seemed to have been brought in, then dropped completely.

i gave it extra points because the main chick was the hot policewoman/serial killer from season 3 of nip/tuck, but from all the fanfare i heard about this movie from the comic book fanboys, it fell alittle flat for me.

B.E. Earl said...

A one-eyed Rhona Mitra was outstanding, but the Malcom MacDowell stuff was ridiculous.

downtown guy said...

The disconnect between "they ate all the animals and now eat each other" and the huge herds of cows was just too much for me on this one.

B.E. Earl said...

DG - yeah, that made no sense at all. And cheeseburgers taste good!