Year of Release: 2008
Genre: Sci-Fi / Adventure
IMDB Rating: 1.9 / 10
Level of Awful: Requires Post-Film Lobotomy
Breast-O-Meter: 0 / 5
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
You know, I consider myself a patient if somewhat long-suffering individual so far as b-movies go. I have seen things that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I have built up an immunity to things like the Asylum and Syfy Originals, but there are somethings that you just cannot prepare for. 2012: Doomsday is one of those things. Part of the Asylum’s trilogy of disaster movies that also includes 2012: Ice Age and 2012: Supernova, 2012: Doomsday is by far the worst of the trio. With this one they decided to throw in everything and then a few people’s kitchen sinks: the recipe includes Christian theology, New Age thinking and Mayan prophecy, but it was definitely left to cook for a little too long. By the end of it you’ll be so confused you’ll begin to wonder if you hallucinated the whole thing or if you actually saw this movie play out before your very eyes.
Our tale of misadventure and outright confusion begins in Mexico. Sarah is a Christian missionary incapable of displaying emotion or vocal inflection who’s on assignment in a little village in the back and beyond of nowhere trying to help out those good Christian people who are less fortunate and white than herself. The entire village has suddenly become ill and she desperately needs to find a doctor but, when that fails, a random medical student snapping photos of her jogging will just have to suffice. They realise that something is terribly wrong on the way back to the village when they pass a river that’s near boiling point and all the fish are dead and floating downstream. What possible calamity could have caused this?
The whole world going to Hell, that’s what’s causing this. Sarah’s father works for the US government tracking unusual phenomena that may have adverse effects on the planet. Somehow the combination of planetary alignment in the solar system and the sun’s rotation around the black hole at the centre of the galaxy have caused the Earth’s rotation to stop (although in this movie it has no effect on the magnetosphere), enormous storm cells to form and the continents to move around a little bit. It’s a helluva lot of stuff to have going on all at the same time. Thankfully we have Dr. Frank Richards, a man of science and reason to help us out. Well, science and reason until he discovers a crucifix in a Mayan temple and decides that the only logical thing to do will be to take it to a different Mayan temple to fulfill a prophecy as ordained by Fate. Making sense so far? Didn’t think so.
Because we don’t have enough strange people to pay attention to the movie also throws Susan at us. Susan’s a staunch atheist nurse who believes that science can explain everything. Somehow it’s going to explain her strange desire to visit a Mayan temple that she’s only ever seen in a dream as a child. Her mother, a very devout Christian woman, believes this is all part of God’s greater plan for mankind. So now all these odd people must make their way to the Mayan temple to fulfill a prophecy made by Christians in the Americas nearly a thousand years ago while avoiding a variety of natural disasters before time runs out and the entire planet is decimated. Oh yeah, and the rapture’s thrown in amongst all this just for good measure.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- The words ‘we need to evacuate’ just dare a volcano to erupt.
- The Mayans were famous for their underground Christian churches.
- Scientists refuse to accept that the Mayans practised crucifixion, and are insulted if anyone even mentions it.
- Doctors often argue about whether to use medicine or just leave it up to God.
- When the world’s about to go to Hell someone needs to be there to take pictures.
- God will plummet the whole Earth into chaos just to teach one blonde woman to believe.
- God, Christ and the Fates often club together to buy humanity gifts.
- Missionaries in villages in the hell and back of nowhere often have no skills that would be useful to the people there.
- Newborn children are the exclusive property of God.
- Mankind has a dormant instinct to flock to Mayan temples that is awoken during times of the apocalypse.
- Distance in Mexico is measured in how many hills you need to climb over.
2012: DOOMSDAY TRAILER
BUY 2012: DOOMSDAY AT AMAZON.COM
Year of Release: 2010
Genre: Sci-Fi / Horror
IMDB Rating: 3.8 / 10
Level of Awful: Medium
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
It doesn’t get much cheesier than a SyFy creature-feature produced by Roger Corman, which is exactly why I was drawn to this one 🙂 Admittedly it is more of a sci-fi movie than a horror one, but when you have the opportunity to watch a half-shark, half-octopus creature swimming around and eating its way through Mexicans you really can’t pass up an opportunity like that. This is a perfect example of a b-movie because it’s not the acting (Julia Roberts must be so proud of her brother for being in this) that makes it bad but rather the complete absurdity of the monster the characters are faced with and the microscopic budget the effects must have been made on. I enjoyed a good few giggles staring at the screen while this played while constantly muttering ‘no, no way’ to myself.
The military’s up to its old tricks again: not content with nuclear weapons, missiles or allowing Justin Bieber to go platinum they’ve decided that they need something better, something that can take out pirates (aargh matie!). So what better plan than to genetically combine a shark and an octopus? It can have the shark’s teeth and ferociousness with the octopus’ tentacles and intelligence. Of course if you’re working in a corporation like Blue Water and need to prove that the billions of dollars used to fund this little f**k you to nature was worthwhile you need to take the creature, codename S11, for a test run. And what better way to test a creature with an antenna lightly strapped onto its head that allows you to control its movements (the only thing, in fact, that stops it from escaping) than making it chase after a small boat with rapidly spinning propeller blades? As is usually the case when idiots are testing mutant man-eaters the propeller blades cut through the strap and dislodge the antenna, making it impossible to control S11, who now gladly swims away while the people back at mission control sit and vaguely ponder what should be done next.
Now you obviously can’t just let the escaped sharktopus run around the ocean on its own little mission down along the Mexican coastline so Blue Water needs to find someone with a knowledge of the waters to help them bring it back to the lab. Enter Andy Flynn, a one-time disgruntled employee of Blue Water until he asked Nathan Sands, the boss, for a raise. Thinking that asking for a pay increase is an insult Nathan fired Andy, who has been living happily in Mexico drinking tequila and swimming in the pool. Joining him and his $300 000 pay cheque on this little mission are Nicole, Nathan’s daughter, and his best friend Santos. The plan: to dive underwater, tranquilise the sharktopus, bring it to the surface and launch darts into its head that will allow Nicole to interface with its brain again and command it to stop eating everyone.
There are several problems with this search and recovery mission, however. For a start this thing is really fast and can quickly grab a snack in the shallows by throwing its tentacles onto the beach to grab someone. If that doesn’t prove to be effective the sharktopus can also walk on land (water? fish? anyone?) and chase after people that way. Its skin appears to act like a forcefield and repels bullets or anything else you shoot at it and, perhaps the saddest of all, nobody in Mexico takes you seriously when you tell them a half-shark, half-octopus is coming their way to eat them, so civilian casualties are rather high. Add to this the fact that Nicole’s daddy went behind her back and altered the sharktopus’ brain to make it a killer rather than just a hunter (meaning that it kills at random rather than just for food) and you’ve got an enormous list of odds stacked against you. It’s now up to Andy, armed with a machine gun and against ever wearing a shirt, and Nicole, sweet and brilliant, to save the day and take down the sharktopus before more people get eaten and before daddy gets really mad.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- There really are fish in the ocean.
- Sharktopodes speak whale.
- Sharktopodes shoot ink despite having no squid in them.
- Mexican women don’t own clothes, just bikinis.
- A woman’s breasts will not get up and dance.
- The military does not need to get any form of permission from government to fund really weird genetic experiments.
- Chum should be used as a last resort when hunting a giant man-eating sea creature; try diving after it first.
- You should shoot giant man-eating sea creatures after they’ve eaten your friend, not as an attempt to save him.