Film Review: Doomsday Prophecy

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How the hell did I end up in this film – the face

CineTel & Anchor Bay are back with another one of their low-budget disaster movies as the battle continues over getting a cult following for awful films that become so watchable for giggles you have to love them. It opens with “Welcome to the Worlds Greatest Disaster!”. Yay for scripts!

Released: 2011

Runtime: 1hr 32 mins

The Premise

Good old Mayans – they do enjoy being shoehorned into every Doomsday film going – particularly in the run-up to 2012. This is little different but crosses a disaster movie with a thriller.

The Disasters Faced

Meteors, Earthquakes, Landslips, Black Holes, Volcanoes, Ash Clouds, Snipers and a wandering American accent from Alan Dale.

The Execution

Doomsday Prophecy is one of the few very low-budget disaster movies that takes a more artistic approach to how things are portrayed. All the disaster sequences are filmed to slow music with a moaning vocal that’s a low-key Lisa Gerrard. This means that they are either tasteful despite the terrible effects or actually its more funny depending on your mood. The mystery is two-fold. How to stop the world ending and how to evade the bumbling double bluffing agents led by Alan Dale whom although is a good actor cannot speak in an American accent to save his bacon. Aside from that though, the film is a tight 90 minutes, it’s constantly throwing some cheap disaster drama at everyone and throws up a question more than ever: If there is an Earthquake tremor breaking up the Earth in a straight line – why doesn’t anyone just veer off to the side?!?!

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Earthquake effects are copy and paste but slowly getting better from the low budget companies

The Effects

Some of the earthquakes look better than others but the volcano eruption looks like a PS1/PS2 FMV sequence. Thankfully the film uses lots of short bursts of special effects – little but often – so it doesn’t push itself to the fore as much as other low-budget films. The black sun/hole sequences are equally hit and miss.

Why It’s Worth Watching

I do like a nutty archaeology based mystery and this focuses heavily on that so it’s enjoyable from that perspective. Acting from Jewel Staite who spends most of the movie basically saying WTF is quietly humorous because of natural she is. Some of the other characters do a good job too.

Drinking Game

Your drinking game can certainly be everytime Alan Dale remembers halfway through a sentence he’s meant to be playing an American and switches accent. I know I’ve banged on about it… BUT ITS AWFUL!!!

Best Character

Jewel Staite easily as Brooke. Also, shout out to one of my favourite “I’ve seen him everywhere” actors Hiro Kanagawa who clearly does so well in his one scene in the opening, he’s killed before 5 minutes is up!

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Sadly this film continues the disaster movie tradition that the token Asian person seems to die. Hiro deserved better.

Best Death

Despite a high death count of nameless people, very few of the cast bite the dust so I’ll save the NYC Earthquake section as the best death section although props for cutting to a lady with a pram in a later section!

Weirdest Moment

Not so much a weird moment but because the Black Hole makes such a massive state of the solar system and literally gobbles up Jupiter amongst other things. I had got confused and thought it was the sun in my original review – which lead to a wonderful rant that the rest of the film didn’t matter. I will return to put something else here in future that is not just Alan Dale’s accent!

Random Trivia

This is a techie one – Italy couldn’t actually sink in an Earthquake because the tectonic plates are not pulling part – they are pushing against each other, so Italy would actually rise not fall.

Conclusion

Easily one of the better TV Disaster movies churned out of late, I actually quite enjoyed it. A goofy plot, some credible acting and some silly action scenes combined makes for light popcorn viewing. A million times better than 2012:Doomsday.

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2 Comments on “Film Review: Doomsday Prophecy”

  1. carlvs December 14, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    I saw this film on the SyFy channel this past weekend, and discovered that you made a small error in your review. It wasn’t the Sun that the Black Hole swallowed – it actually was the planet Jupiter. While this also would eventually have been bad news for the Earth (since that giant planet’s gravity field intercepts and deflects quite a few of the comets and asteroids that could have slammed into us,) humanity would not have doomed by this event*.

    * Well, at least not until first large comet that should have been “eaten” or “swatted” by Jupiter lands on us…

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