Film / Doomsday

"They started this fire. They can burn in it!"
Dr. Marcus Kane

Doomsday is a gleefully derivative post-apocalyptic sci-fi action movie, written and directed by Neil Marshall (director of Dog Soldiers and The Descent).

In the present day, after an outbreak of deadly killer face-rot in Glasgow, Scotland as a whole is walled off and the general population left to... well... rot. The rest of the world thinks this is going a little too far, and respond by turning their backs on Britain as whole. On the last helicopter out of Scotland is a little girl who's just taken a bullet to the face, given to the custody of soldiers by her desperate mother...

Fast forward to 27 years later, and that little girl has grown up to be Major Eden Sinclair, eyepatch-wearing badass cop. Which is fortunate, because the Reaper Virus has arrived in London, and the evil government is ready to send a team of soldiers north of the border in the hope of finding a cure. Eden has 46 hours to get to Glasgow, find the man who was working on a cure before the wall went up, and save the day.

Too bad the surviving population of Scotland are not feeling particularly fond of the nation that abandoned them...

This film provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Marcus Kane has Cally, his own daughter, bound and branded with a hot iron upon her return to him.
  • Action Girl: Eden Sinclair. Kick-boxing, sharp-shooting, one-eyed badass.
  • Alas, Poor Yorick: Done by Sol, who reattaches Viper's head to her corpse and sits her in the passenger seat.
  • Apocalypse How: Class 0: Regional Catastrophe
  • Apocalyptic Log: Kane's log, detailing his frantic attempts to survive in a barricaded hospital as civilisation outside crumbles and burns.
  • The Apunkalypse: After The Plague, Scotland's walled off and everyone reverts to their tribal, punkish roots.
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name: Eden Sinclair.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: Sinclair's team enter virus-infected Scotland through the rebuilt Hadrian Wall in a pair of sleek-looking APC said to be the last of their types.
  • Ax-Crazy: Sol. First he beats you up for not talking to him, then he beats you up for talking to him... He gets even worse in the finale, where he spends most of the time screaming in fury.
  • An Axe to Grind
  • Bathing Beauty: An unnamed blonde chick in a bathtub that has a shotgun.
  • Black Comedy: During the final showdown, a grieving Sol has had Viper's head reattached to her corpse and has her sitting in the passenger seat of his car. Said head later gets accidentally shot with an arrow by one of his mooks. Then, when Sol exits his still-moving car to have a shot at killing Sinclair, the vehicle crashes... and Viper's head falls off.
    • That poor rabbit that gets gibbed by a sentry machine gun.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: Goes a lot faster if you remember to bring along a very large axe. Whack!
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: A peculiar version involving a 30-year old car and mobile phone being broken out of storage and used to great effect.
  • Call Back: "If you're hungry, try a piece of your friend."
  • Chainsaw Good: Seen briefly in Sol's cellblocks.
  • Chased by Angry Natives: Occur here, with the natives being Violent Glaswegians.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Sol inflicts some nasty, prolonged beatings upon Eden after capturing her. Later, Kane has Cally tied up and branded with a hot iron for her perceived betrayal of him.
  • Cool Car: Bentley Continental GT Speed. Even more cool because the stunt that it pulls at the end of its chase sequence (which is ramming right through a bus) was done for real and the car didn't even had a scratch afterwards.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Dr. Talbot is graphically cooked alive by the cannibals.
  • Dark Action Girl: Viper. Tattooed machete-wielding cannibal babe.
  • Driven to Suicide: Hatcher, after he's accidentally splashed with blood from a Reaper Virus victim.
  • Dual Wielding: Viper starts her fight with Eden with two machetes. Which is convenient for Eden...
  • Dystopia: Totalitarian Britain, tanks are almost Lost Technology...
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Sol is grief-stricken over Viper's death, and tries to exact revenge on Eden for it during the climax.
  • Evil Chancellor: Chancellor Canaris, who cheerfully plans to allow the Reaper virus to ravage the general populace in order to reduce overpopulation.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Well, except the Bentley. There's a Transit van that explodes after hitting a downed motorbike and a caravan that's engulfed in a ball of flame after being hit by a gimp-wielding tricycle.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Eden Sinclair, but only some of the time. The rest of the time, she's using a cybernetic eye to replace the one she lost.
  • Eye Scream: The film starts with Eden Sinclair, as a young girl, getting her eye shot out. Later, during the car fight, the now-adult Sinclair starts pushing her attacker's eye in to fight him off.
    • After the opening raid, Sinclair is shown, in detail, re-inserting her cybernetic eye back into its socket.
  • Eye Spy: A cybernetic version is used by Sinclair for covert ops and nailing Canaris for attempted mass murder.
  • Fanservice: The first action sequence features a random nude woman. With a shotgun. Then about halfway through the film come the strippers, and for some reason all the punks have this strange aversion to being fully clothed in Scotland...
  • Faux Action Girl: Viper, who for all her looks and attitude, goes down pretty easy against Eden.
    • Justified, as Eden is a trained and experienced soldier where as Viper would unlikely to have received any combat training worth mentioning and lets her fellow cannibals do the fighting.
  • Four Man Band: Eden (The Heroine), Norton (The Lancer and The Big Guy), Stirling (The Smart Guy) and Cally (The Chick).
  • Forbidden Zone: Scotland.
  • Forceful Kiss: Sol forces a kiss on Eden. She bites him in response.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus/Shout-Out: In the underground bunker, just as one of the characters says "What were they keeping in here, the Lost Ark?", the camera shows a momentary flash of a wooden crate with a stencil that says "TOP SECRET — ARMY INTEL 9906753 — DO NOT OPEN", last seen in the closing shot of Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Full-Frontal Assault: The woman in the bathtub opens fire while naked.
  • Genre Shift: The film is advertised as a serious "after the plague" story kind of in the same vein as 28 Days Later, and plays it straight for about a half hour. Then we're off to over the top Mad Max land with an overnight in Live-Action Role-Play castle.
    • Subverted. There are scenes of the Reaper Virus infecting London and riots going on. An infectee got Hatcher contaminated, hence the latter's suicide.
  • Genre Throwback: Marshall basically made this film to show off his love for dystopian science fiction movies from The '80s.
  • Gorn
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: After Talbot is cooked alive by the cannibals, there are several close-ups of his cooked flesh being sliced into.
  • Have a Nice Death: The movie's establishing raid sequence includes, among other things, Eden shooting a hot naked chick dead in her bathtub... THROUGH THE CERAMIC.
  • Homage: To Mad Max, The Warriors and Escape from New York.
  • I Choose to Stay: Eden decides to stay in Scotland and is strongly implied to become the new leader of the cannibal gang.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: The British government, sealing off Scotland when an extremely lethal virus with no cure or possible vaccine and leaving the entire population to die. They have no trouble with sealing off a portion of London where the disease was discovered and leaving millions to die.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Sol's gang. Being Glaswegians, they deep-fat fry their victims first.
  • The Immune: A cure for the Reaper virus was never developed, there's just a lot of Scotsmen who were naturally immune to it.
  • Klingon Promotion: Eden apparently takes over ruling the cannibal tribe after killing Sol.
  • The Lancer: Sergeant Norton.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Seriously. Just about the only person who doesn't explode in a shower of blood when they die is Norton.
  • Mad Scientist: Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Marcus Kane. But then, with a name like Kane, what do you expect? Also his son Sol, which is presumably short for Solomon Kane.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Cally.
  • Made of Explodium: Eden drives a Bentley clean through a bus. Which explodes. And then Sol's severed head flies out of the explosion and hits the camera.
  • Moe Greene Special: Young Eden. This is how and why she has an eyepatch and a cybernetic eye.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer lets on that this is an after-the-plague serious film. It only takes a half an hour of watching the film when you can check off every scene you saw in the trailer and things just get downright silly.
    • See above for a subversion.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Lots, but the ultimate example is probably the cannibal punk Glaswegian strippers. Pole dancing to "Good Thing".
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Averted by Sol, who can't seem to let his go.
  • Off with His Head!: Eden takes out Viper this way. Later, Sol loses his head during the final showdown.
  • The Plague: The Reaper Virus.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: In the Car Chase at the end.
    Sinclair: You like pain?
    Gimp: Yeeeah!
  • Reality Ensues: Various fight scenes run on this. The cannibals that the team initially run into would in other movies overwhelm them easily. Here they're cut down in droves, and only their sheer numbers and the possibility of being surrounded causes the group to retreat. Sinclair's fights against Viper and the big knight in Kane's castle are also this, mainly because they're a cannibal and a medieval-style knight that have never been in a fight against a trained soldier in their lives and are beaten fairly easily by her.
  • Rule of Cool: Cyber-eyed badass, foam grenades, "Good Thing", cannibal BBQ, medieval castle in the future, random Bentley having a car chase with punk-built mutant cars and then the punks climb on the Bentley and fight while everyone's still driving, Made of Explodium, nude chick with shotgun, exploding bunny, random gimp, the Gimpmobile!, a severed head crashing into the camera, and the cyber-eyed badass going back to Glasgow and becoming the cannibal punk's leader by tossing their former leader's aforementioned severed head in front of them and telling them "If you're hungry, try a piece of your friend". And just about everything else in between those moments.
  • Sanity Slippage: Marcus Kane underwent this, resulting in him becoming the insane tyrant he is.
  • Scavenger World: Played with. The walled-off Scotland looks like something from a Mad Max sequel with no or few gunpowder weapons in use, very limited electricity and really ramshackle cars kitbashed together from old wrecks; the rest of Britain still bears a passing resemblance to what it's like today but seems to be turning slowly into this, as we see its authorities treat tanks as Lost Technology, which is justified as Britain has no trade with the rest of the world due to sealing Scotland off to die of the plague.
  • Schizo Tech: Knights in armour, longbows, steam trains, Mad Max-inspired death machines, APCs, video camera glass eyes, sword fights...
    • One group of survivors intentionally threw out all modern tech, and the other group doesn't have the means to reproduce the now-broken technology.
    • According to the director, this was the inspiration for the movie. He got a picture in his head of a medieval knight attacking a futuristic agent with gun and tried to figure out how to work that scene into a movie.
  • Shovel Strike
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Sol and Cally.
  • Soft Glass: Before they leave for Scotland, they are told how tough and state of the art their armored vehicle is. Once in Scotland, it doesn't take very long for a punk to break through the windshield as if it's a car window. Low bidder?
  • Spikes of Villainy: The cannibal tribe has this as part of their general aesthetic.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: The cannibal gang party before they feast is set to music of the Fine Young Cannibals.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Eden, unarmed and unarmoured, is shoved into an arena and finds herself facing a heavily armed seven-foot monster in full plate armour. Her reaction? A quiet, deadpan, "bollocks."
  • Too Dumb to Live: One of the soldiers, while sitting inside his heavily armored APC, sees a female "survivor" outside and leaves to go rescue her, despite Eden warning him several times not to. The survivor turns out to be an infected punk, who promptly sneaks behind him and slits his throat when he isn't looking.
  • Train Escape
  • Unholy Matrimony: Sol and Viper.
  • Violent Glaswegian: An entire army of them.
  • Waif-Fu: While Rhona Mitra is not exactly a waif, she pummels her way through a lot of much larger opponents throughout the film, including a seven-foot killer in full plate armour.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Sol.
  • You're Insane!