DOOMSDAY

PrintE-mail Written by Ed Fortune

Harlan Ellison has a lot to answer for. His influence can be felt across the entire sci-fi and fantasy genre. For example, his Outer Limits dramas, Soldier and The Demon with a Glass Hand are partly responsible for the plethora of movies featuring time-travelling rebels and evil robotic infiltrators. Or to put it another way, he’s responsible (in a round-about manner) for low-budget movie bore-fest, Doomsday. Though it’s just as fair to blame the Terminator franchise as well.

Doomsday (formerly known as Death Machine) begins in the far-future, which has been ravaged by a desperate battle between humanity and its robot overlords called Erebrus. Heroic rebel Achilles somehow makes his spaceship go back in time so he can infect humanity with an anti-robot virus that will prevent the robot uprising from ever happening. Of course, the Erebrus have sent back their own agent, a humanoid killing machine wrapped in biker leathers and a modified aeronautics helmet. This creature is toting around a huge laser cannon that closely resembles lashed-together plumbing supplies. Achilles wanders around trying to spread his humanity saving virus, and the robot follows him, killing anyone who may be infected.

Low budget sci-fi movies are difficult to do well, and Doomsday is ambitious in its scope. Sadly, the story is let down on every level. The acting is constantly on the edge of high-drama, meaning that from scene to scene there’s nowhere for the action to go. The pacing is too slow for what it is and cinematography either spends way too much time sweeping across the prettier parts of the United Kingdom or focusing on the grimier parts of seaside towns. The plot itself is hardly original and though there are some nice nods to Greek myth, it fails to have a theme or deeper meaning. Though the actors are quite good, the characters they play are pretty unlikeable throughout.

There are better low-budget movies of this kind out there. Doomsday is one for completists only.

DOOMSDAY / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: NEIL JOHNSON / STARRING: ALAIN TERZOLI, AMY PEMBERTON, DARREN JACOBS, RICHARD LAWRENCE / RELEASE DATE: TBC
 

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