A weekly feature in which we unearth obscure horror and sci-fi flicks from the past and then make fun of them.
This week: DOOMED PLANET!!!
You can't get any more "cult" than the gleeful, gory, and ridiculous no-budget classic Doomed Planet. Made in 1999 by director Alex Mayer, this tale of doomsday cults, drug use, stupidity, and self-referencing tongue-in-cheek humor was shot completely on a digital video camera, with a reported budget of $10,000. Bringing to mind early efforts of the Troma Team, it was shot almost entirely is Seattle, featuring regulars at The Lusty Lady stripclub and surrounding bars as the main actors.
My first experience with the film was at the good old Vista in Eureka, where the director himself premiered it as part of a West Coast tour co-headlined by electro-comedy act Pleaseeasaur. I was blown away by its eclectic mix of bad special effects, hilarious dialogue, and completely unconnected plotlines, and immediately following the presentation I picked up a hand-numbered VHS copy for about $5, part of a limited run of 200. Unfortunately, I lent it to a former friend about three years ago, a guy who, for reasons I won't get into here, really hates my guts now. So no longer do I physically possess this ultra-rare cult horror classic, although I think of it often.
Tapping into the omnipresent pre-Y2K American paranoia so prevalent in late 1999, Doomed Planet tells the story of two dueling Seattle-based doomsday cults, namely the cold, corporate Doomed Planet Cult and the psychedelic, hippified Sad Flower Cult. Through a freeform, train-of-thought style featuring frequent commercial breaks and jaunts into local public access television shows, the tale unfolds, built upon a framework of bad acting, worse directing, and strange bouts of internet-related dementia.
For such an insanely amateur, low-budget movie, Doomed Planet is in fact highly watchable. Even B-movie expert Joe Bob Briggs agrees.
Below: Left to right - Tad Doyle from the 90's grunge/metal band Tad, "Jerry Garcia", and Sad Flower cult member "Kurt".
The highlights in this movie are so plentiful that I have trouble recalling them. In addition to a kung fu fight scene in which 300+ lb. Tad Doyle battles a 5-year-old-girl (left), we get a torture/evisceration scene in which cased sausages, stuffed animals, and other abnormal detritus are pulled from the stomach of a "cult member", death by razor frisbee, a commercial for Broccolium (a bright blue, bio-engineered "broccoli substitue" brought to you by Galaxaco), an actual German sausage-fest, and a posthumous message from Jerry Garcia ("I have bad news: There is NO HEROIN in Heaven").
My favorite chunk of dialogue, in which a German citizen and an American citizen shit-talk each other's countries by comparing their respective serial killers, goes something like this:
German Guy: "Jeffrey Dahmer!"
American Guy: "Hitler."
German Guy: "Unabomber!"
American Guy: "Hitler."
German Guy: "John Wayne Gacy!"
American Guy: (bored) "Hitler."
German Guy: (storms out of room).
This is a film so obscure that repeat attempts to find clips and/or a trailer on YouTube were completely fruitless, although it does have an imdb page (which contains very little useful information) and a semi-website. But lucky for you guys, I did manage to locate a website selling Doomed Planet in a brand new DVD format for $20, with special features and cast updates. So do what I tell you, and BUY IT. Unlike that Bowflex you bought in 1996, you WILL NOT regret it.
Below: In an admirable attempt at legitimacy, the makers of the film actually cut off their Jerry Garcia look-alike's finger. Unfortunately, it was the wrong one.
PS: To see what might just be the most fucked-up thing that has EVER been posted on YouTube, please click HERE. Thanks, Al.
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