Thursday, October 9, 2008


You certainly are, if you dare to put this 2007 shot-on-video crapfest into your DVD player. Directed by Michael Su, DOOMED is ostensibly a parody of SURVIVOR with an undead twist, but the overall execution is done so poorly that fans of both reality TV and zombies will be utterly bored and disappointed. (If you want to see this type of thing done right, check out Brian Keene's novel CASTAWAYS, about an island-bound reality show beset by monsters, due in bookstores this January.)

In a premise that sounds awfully similar to THE RUNNING MAN, a near-future competition-based reality show pits teams of convicted felons against each other for the chance of early release, as well as a $50 million prize. The contestants are dropped on the Isola de Romero (sigh), unaware--though they should be, given the glaring zombie-flick reference--that the island's living dead population will be their biggest challenge.

DOOMED might've worked if it had attempted to satirize the conventions of reality TV or voyeuristic entertainment, but all it does is simply replicate an ordinary episode of SURVIVOR; I've never been fond of the show, which increased my tedium tenfold, but even a die-hard fan would be put off by this. Instead of drama or tension, the flimsy screenplay gives us scripted recreations of reality-TV bickering, and substitutes types for characters. And when Su finally gives us an action sequence, it's punctuated with annoying video-game "hit points" that tally up the damage, a detail that gets increasingly exhausting each time it's employed.

Laughably inept, boring beyond belief, DOOMED keeps its zombies off-screen much of the time, breaking them out only when it's time to thin the cast. (If I told you their appearances were edited so quickly as to be incomprehensible, would you be surprised?) At a meager 76 minutes it's still stretched to the snapping point, finished off with a stupid cop-out ending that would've enraged me, if I hadn't already hated this movie from the get-go.

I'd rather be stranded on a desert island, eating a fried rat off Richard Hatch's bare ass than watch this thing again.

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