Sunday, October 21, 2012

Doomwatch

(1972) ***

This BBC production bears the provocative subtitle Island of the Ghouls. Sounds promising, right? There's a sense in the first act of Doomwatch with its grey tone and suspicious lurkings-about that we may be watching something like The Wicker Man but with an even better grip on the bat. Check the premise: a government official heads to an isolated British Isle to study the effects of a recent oil tanker disaster. He's greeted with scowls and downright nastiness from the islanders. As he uncovers their dark secrets, the situation comes to a shocking head...

Literally.
ZING!

Fuck yeah. Whatever she's looking at with her wide, blue eyes must be pretty bad. You're killing it Doomwatch! Go for it!


Yeah! That's right! She's got Nukeface all up in her grill. Terrifying, Doomwatch. Yes!

And then one minute later...

Nukeface is sitting down and crying?

No. Stop it, Nukeface. You were one of the stars of what was turning into some promising horror cinema and now you're sobbing? With your wife putting a sympathetic hand on your shoulder? What's happening?

[50P rummages around for Netflix sleeve]

"A pollution expert travels to a remote island to study the effects of radiation, and there meets a strange and mysterious race of people...Doomwatch explores a frightening world of mutated lifeforms and murderous monsters..."

That *totally* sounds like horror to me.

[50P logs onto Netflix.]

Okay, still confused. The genre listing totally says horror -- in fact, it says it four different ways.

So it's misfiled. It should rightfully be filed under "Sci-Fi Thriller", but I guess the synopsis writer got a little trigger happy with "murderous monsters", and the genre labeler ran with it. Honest mistake.

"We're just gonna 'afta go fru and correct aww of 'em!"

Doomwatch labors through the "Sci" part of its Sci-Fi. I don't say this to be disparaging. In fact, at its most laborious, it feels not unlike The Andromeda Strain, or a boring episode of House. The science is attentive, and the performances have some effort behind them. The suspense does get ratcheted up pretty well as we approach the climax -- it's just that it all peters out into an explanation, and like nobody dies. It's watchable, but you're really only going to want to rent it if you're ready for a whole lot of this.

So you're telling me not *one* person gets their head crushed in someone's bare mutant hands? Fuck you, Netflix.

5 comments:

Octopunk said...

Well, you haven't been around for a little bit but you come back with a slam dunk! Very funny, sir!

Ghouls: 0
Doom: 0

Catfreeek said...

Hysterical review, that dude does look bad ass the sobbing would have totally killed it for me.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

In defense of Nukeface, sobbing does seem to be the natural reaction to the unfortunate circumstances. I would probably wear a mask or a paper bag over my head.

AC said...

love the ease of netflix but they almost literally don't have anything i want to watch.

like the look of nukeface, wish they'd gone in a gorier direction.

DCD said...

What a tease! Yeah, Netflix does have its drawbacks.