Land of Doom


1h 27m 1984
Land of Doom

Synopsis

Film Details

Release Date
1984

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 27m

Articles

Land of Doom


LAND OF DOOM (1986) You could barely throw a rock at a movie theater in the mid-'80s without hitting a poster for a post-apocalyptic action film made in the wake of George Miller's ferocious Australian hit, The Road Warrior (1981), itself a sequel to Mad Max (1979). Affectionately referred to by movie buffs as post-nuke films, these imitations include such maniacal action films as Warlords of the 21st Century (1982), Warriors of the Apocalypse (1985), Wheels of Fire (1985), numerous Filipino cash-ins like Equalizer 2000 (1987) and an even greater number of Italian ones like 1990: The Bronx Warriors (1982).

Lost in the shuffle at the time was Land of Doom (1986), an American independent feature first announced to the public during its post-production phase in a March 8, 1985 ad in Variety by its original distributor, Manson, for the annual American Film Market in Santa Monica. In September of that same year, the film was rolled out as part of a six-picture push at the Italian festival MIFED as part of a "Classic" program along with L.A. Streetfighters, Naked Vengeance, Born American and Radioactive Dreams; significantly, Land of Doom was advertised as a "recut" version without any further details.

Shot in Turkey, Land of Doom depicts the violent remainder of civilization after the "Final War" with amoral biker gangs terrorizing the populace. One particularly nasty gang, the Raiders, can only be stopped by the union that forms between our heroes, Deborah Rennard from TV's Dallas and Garrick Dowhen, whose brief career included the previous year's enigmatic horror film Appointment with Fear. The only person to go on record about the film, Rennard (who would go on to marry writer-director Paul Haggis for 19 years) most recalls the production as a physically challenging one due to its abundance of motorcycle work and noted that her most famous TV character was even known among the Turkish locals. This would mark the third feature for her director, Peter Maris, who had gotten his start with the crackpot urban thriller Delirium (1979). He would soon find himself at home in the home video action market with films like the Chuck Connors vehicle Terror Squad (1988) and a film that seemed to haunt every VHS store throughout the '90s, Diplomatic Immunity (1991). However, the standout element of this film for many viewers is the eclectic soundtrack by songwriter-composer-singer Mark Governor, who chased this down with another action quickie, The Devastator (1986), before moving on to a pair of higher profile horror films, Pet Sematary II (1992) and Uncle Sam (1996). Outside of his film score work, he's also a familiar face on movie soundtracks thanks to his songs which have appeared in such films as Nebraska (2013) and Downsizing (2017).

Post-nuke burnout had already been settling into the film industry by the time Land of Doom was up for grabs, and a formal theatrical release never materialized. Instead, the film was sold off and sent straight to VHS from Lightning Video, a subsidiary of Vestron Video, with even that tape release hitting far fewer shelves than usual for the label. Reviews at the time were few and far between with Variety dismissing it as a "weak Mad Max imitation" on October 8, 1986 upon the film's VHS bow. "Absence of any nudity makes it of little interest to exploitation film fans. Stark locations are atmospheric, looking as if it were filmed in Turkey or some other exotic locale." After that very modest debut, the film vanished into complete oblivion for decades until it passed into the hands of MGM, who finally gave it much broader exposure on home video and cable TV where its dusty charms could be better appreciated.

By Nathaniel Thompson
Land Of Doom

Land of Doom

LAND OF DOOM (1986) You could barely throw a rock at a movie theater in the mid-'80s without hitting a poster for a post-apocalyptic action film made in the wake of George Miller's ferocious Australian hit, The Road Warrior (1981), itself a sequel to Mad Max (1979). Affectionately referred to by movie buffs as post-nuke films, these imitations include such maniacal action films as Warlords of the 21st Century (1982), Warriors of the Apocalypse (1985), Wheels of Fire (1985), numerous Filipino cash-ins like Equalizer 2000 (1987) and an even greater number of Italian ones like 1990: The Bronx Warriors (1982). Lost in the shuffle at the time was Land of Doom (1986), an American independent feature first announced to the public during its post-production phase in a March 8, 1985 ad in Variety by its original distributor, Manson, for the annual American Film Market in Santa Monica. In September of that same year, the film was rolled out as part of a six-picture push at the Italian festival MIFED as part of a "Classic" program along with L.A. Streetfighters, Naked Vengeance, Born American and Radioactive Dreams; significantly, Land of Doom was advertised as a "recut" version without any further details. Shot in Turkey, Land of Doom depicts the violent remainder of civilization after the "Final War" with amoral biker gangs terrorizing the populace. One particularly nasty gang, the Raiders, can only be stopped by the union that forms between our heroes, Deborah Rennard from TV's Dallas and Garrick Dowhen, whose brief career included the previous year's enigmatic horror film Appointment with Fear. The only person to go on record about the film, Rennard (who would go on to marry writer-director Paul Haggis for 19 years) most recalls the production as a physically challenging one due to its abundance of motorcycle work and noted that her most famous TV character was even known among the Turkish locals. This would mark the third feature for her director, Peter Maris, who had gotten his start with the crackpot urban thriller Delirium (1979). He would soon find himself at home in the home video action market with films like the Chuck Connors vehicle Terror Squad (1988) and a film that seemed to haunt every VHS store throughout the '90s, Diplomatic Immunity (1991). However, the standout element of this film for many viewers is the eclectic soundtrack by songwriter-composer-singer Mark Governor, who chased this down with another action quickie, The Devastator (1986), before moving on to a pair of higher profile horror films, Pet Sematary II (1992) and Uncle Sam (1996). Outside of his film score work, he's also a familiar face on movie soundtracks thanks to his songs which have appeared in such films as Nebraska (2013) and Downsizing (2017). Post-nuke burnout had already been settling into the film industry by the time Land of Doom was up for grabs, and a formal theatrical release never materialized. Instead, the film was sold off and sent straight to VHS from Lightning Video, a subsidiary of Vestron Video, with even that tape release hitting far fewer shelves than usual for the label. Reviews at the time were few and far between with Variety dismissing it as a "weak Mad Max imitation" on October 8, 1986 upon the film's VHS bow. "Absence of any nudity makes it of little interest to exploitation film fans. Stark locations are atmospheric, looking as if it were filmed in Turkey or some other exotic locale." After that very modest debut, the film vanished into complete oblivion for decades until it passed into the hands of MGM, who finally gave it much broader exposure on home video and cable TV where its dusty charms could be better appreciated. By Nathaniel Thompson

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Released in United States 1984

Released in United States 1984