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Doomsday Stories

average rating is 1 out of 5


Patrick Foley


Posted on:

Jul 21, 2023

Film Reviews
Doomsday Stories
Directed by:
Derek Braasch, Marcelo Fabani, Phil Herman
Written by:
Derek Braasch, Debbie D, Marcelo Fabani
Phil Herman, Debbie D, Joel D. Wynkoop

Dark, post-apocalyptic futures are everywhere in film these days, but if the present means watching Phil Herman’s Doomsday Stories, maybe these futures aren’t so bad. This anthology film is at least immersive, in that it makes the viewer want to burn all of society down and start afresh.


In a post-apocalyptic future where the world has been beset by multiple disasters of a zombie virus, a deadly cure and a nuclear holocaust, lone survivor Zorack (Phil Herman) travels the wasteland looking for purpose. He comes across a book that contains stories from before the disaster – sometimes in the direct vicinity of the collapse, others several weeks and months later. He regales the audience with these stories, and the lessons that can be learnt from the fates of those caught up in doomsday.


Doomsday Stories is an unfortunate mess of a film that splatters together a mismatch of sci-fi and horror elements in the hope that one of its disjointed stories allows it to find some sort of purpose. Unfortunately, the tales are rambling and without any sort of direction or overarching theme. The film’s prologue is completely baffling and includes a fully-fledged plot outline that seems to have little bearing on subsequent events. Anthology stories can give writers and directors opportunities to truly experiment and innovate, but there is none of this in Doomsday Stories, just a combination of weak and stereotypical plot strands.


The film long overstays its welcome at two hours. The poor production, which may have just about been charming enough to make this a ‘so bad it’s good’ B-movie, begins to grind long before the half way point. The sound quality is abysmal at times, making key conversations incoherent. And the visual effects look like they’re from decades ago. There are occasional moments which the film works around its limitations well, but these are few and far between. And my ultimate bugbear with post-apocalyptic films (mega-budget or shoestring) is present everywhere: Why is everyone’s shirt so bloody clean?


It’s a good thing the film features an ensemble cast, as this means none of the dreadful displays of acting stands out as especially bad. Herman himself as the tentpole figure of Zorack gives probably the best showing as the world-weary yet quippy survivor guiding viewers through the history of the world, but passable shouldn’t be as good as it gets. Not that the script particularly helps anyone out, with first-draft dialogue that sees Joel D. Wynkoop’s character Kirk repeating the word ‘Asta’ over and over again to a mind-bendingly irritating degree, and Debbie D’s Katrina reacting shockingly casually to a brutal rape (in an unearned and rather malicious torture porn sequence that adds pitifully little to the film). The opening story ‘Broken Promises’ feels at least consistent with the film’s theme, but any early promise is swiftly lost as the film veers deeper into more ambitious yet less impactful madness.


Lower budget or not, the fundamentals of Doomsday Stories are so far off course that it’s hard to even respect it as an independent, ambitious passion project. At best, it’s amateurish, clunky and overcomplicated. At it’s worst, it is spiteful, error-strewn and aimless. Doomsday can’t come soon enough.

About the Film Critic
Patrick Foley
Patrick Foley
Digital / DVD Release, Indie Feature Film
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