Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000 to 2009.
There’s a cannibalistic charbroil at the center of Neil Marshall’s playfully perverse movie mash-up of the macabre. (For those wondering, an extra-crispy British mercenary resembles roast beef.)
Fitting, given how Marshall gorged himself at an all-he-can-eat buffet line of film homage for a crazy-fun apocalyptic thriller about a virus that might overtake the United Kingdom.
Although 2008’s Doomsday works fewer nerves than The Descent, it’s fine to pig out on greasy, juicy bangers and mash like this. Marshall heaps helpings of George Romero’s rage, George Miller’s mayhem, James Cameron’s momentum, Paul Verhoeven’s viscera, John Carpenter’s cynicism, Ridley Scott’s sense of setting and John Boorman’s meaty medievalism.
Even Tyler Bates’ music-score garnish hijacks the ragged rumble of Pink Floyd’s The Wall and rock-orchestra crescendos of 28 Days Later …
Marshall uses a fresh plate each time through, distinctly drawing each hell-raising segment. By the time 105 minutes zip by, each of its five different feels delivers on promised grindhouse thrills. (Also guaranteed to make you smile: Hearing Bob Hoskins shout, “Don’t git ya knickas in a twist!”)
Copious action sequences look twice as expensive as the film’s $26-million budget, and its sheer propulsive movement proves its real draw (although Rhona Mitra, as the heroine, looks awfully fly in those pants). A climactic car chase hits huffy highs with clouds of diesel smoke and body parts clanging off the camera.
Also, you’ll never think of “Good Thing” by the Fine Young Cannibals in quite the same way again. Yikes.