Neil Marshall interview Dec 02 2008 Doomsday. It’s flawed, violent and about as much fun as you’ll have with a DVD this year. And yes, we are including your secret stash in that theory. We caught up for an exclusive chat with director Neil Marshall. Neil Marshall, as befits his northern upbringing, is a no-nonsense sort of chap. His explanation of Doomsday’s flaws? ‘It’s not intended to be esoteric, it’s just meant to be balls to the wall fun.’ And it certainly is. It’s a post apocalyptic tale where a group of soldiers (led by a leather clad Rhona Mitra) enters a quarantined Scotland to find a cure for a world-killing virus. Instead they find two rival tribes battling each other and now them. ‘It’s a homage to the post-apocalyptic films of the early 80s,’ explains Neil. ‘It was that period of time when I was 12, 13, 14, when I was very heavily inspired by what I was seeing and at the time I was seeing things like Escape From New York, Excalibur, Mad Max… ‘Those films had an amazing impact on me so I kind of wanted to do a “best of”, throw all those elements in there and make a kind of living tribute to them. As for the directing career, Neil acknowledges another film of that era for setting him on that path. ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark made me want to be a film director,’ he reveals. ‘And just that selfish desire to see films I wanted to see, that nobody else was making. That’s what I do: I make these films because I want to see them. At the time of release, we gave Doomsday ‘three out of five but called it the best three star movie of the decade’ (‘so why didn’t you give it four?’ asks Neil with a laugh). However, as Neil says, ‘a lot of people just didn’t get it at all’ - which is remarkable when you consider certain elements. The splattered bunnies, for example, or the cannibals with circus skills, or, indeed, the climactic car chase to the sound of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Two Tribes. ‘That track in particular was written to the script from very early on. I remember listening to that and thinking “God, that would be so good for a car chase!” and I couldn’t believe nobody had done it before.’ Aside from publicising his new DVD, Neil is keeping himself busy with a number of projects as well as keeping an eye on the Descent sequel. ‘I’m an executive producer on it, I’m overseeing it, but overseeing it from a distance.’ Not that he envisaged there ever being a sequel to most of his films. ‘For me, the story was wrapped up but they wanted to do a second part and they own the rights. And I don’t own the rights to Dog Soldiers, so I couldn’t do a sequel anyway. ‘Actually,’ he laughs, ‘Doomsday is the only film I’ve made where I did consciously set out thinking I could make a sequel to this and it’s never going to get one!’ We have to ask. Given that Raiders was the original inspiration. Did you see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? ‘I did see it, yes,’ says Neil and pauses. ‘ And the verdict is it was a crushing disappointment.’ Happily we doubt you’ll feel that way about Doomsday.