Drinking With The Dread: Doom For The Masses Edition

Doom“Matt. Before we actually do this, are you sure Andrzej Bartkowiak’s Doom is *the* hill you’d like to die on? What about the haters?”

Kill ’em all, let God sort them out.

Wait, sorry. You know that’s a direct quote from Dwayne Johnson’s “Sarge,” right? A tad bit aggressive if you don’t, so I apologize – but yes. “It me,” as the kids say. Revving up his chainsaw and charging into the industrial sci-fi hellscape that is 2005’s Doom. A movie you all seem to hate so vehemently given my Twitter interactions, and also my favorite collector’s edition steelbook in the ol’ blu-ray collection. “Yeah, because it’s so bad it’s” – NO. IT’S GENUINELY FUN, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU’VE HAD A GOOD AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL.

And thus another entry of Drinking With The Dread was spat unto the Earth.

Without argument, Doom is a no-brainer booze screening. Maybe when watching Bartkowiak’s critically-ravaged video game adaptation with a sniper’s eye for continuity it’s easy to scoff at. I get it – tactical teams would wear helmets, jump scares are plentiful, cheesy militant stereotypes bark orders – but that’s also what makes Doom such a riotous group experience. Deaths are ludicrous, monsters are bountiful and Mr. The Rock is off the damn chain with one-liners. Has Richard Brake ever been creepier (suck it, 31)? Karl Urban more begrudgingly badass (the mutant scientist gun-down)? THE DOOM EVER DOOMIER?!

Sarge’s platoon may be a rag-tag collection of Predator knockoffs, but they know how to own their roles (the holiest member’s tag is “Goat” because it’s typically a satanic symbol, get it?!). Self-mutilating when making mistakes, doping up on drugs to ease the Hell-on-Earth gloom that paints a dark shadow over solar lifestyles, they’re one wad of chewing tobacco away from being NPC recreations based on generic war boy forms, if only because Doom goes for style over substance when it comes to destruction. Hell Knights, Resident Evil lookin’ crawlers, zombified facility workers and all (prosthetic costumes hide veteran monster men Doug Jones and Brian Steele). There’s always danger and it’s never dull – from electric containment units to Portman’s sadistic potty demise.

Doom is an easy movie to knock – what video game adaptation isn’t – but cinematographer Tony Pierce-Roberts’s blend of seamless in-level perspectives with an otherwise fly-on-the-wall narrative is playful. References stick and payoffs ensure die hard Doomers see their favorites – BFG, duh – all set to a digitally-doomsday atmosphere. Blackness engulfs Bartkowiak’s restricted space colony maze of nanotechnology and animal laboratories, colorful in the hues of interstellar insurgency. You’re in, out and on with your day after 105 minutes of round burstin’ necro-annihilation – mission fucking accomplished you unappreciative heathens.

Highlight party moments include but are not limited to:

  • Pinky’s transformation.
  • Gratuitous BFG wanking.
  • Karl Urban’s FPS demon rampage.
  • The Rock isn’t supposed to die!
  • One committed rat impersonation.
  • Always check for explosives before you jump.
  • Clint Mansell’s crunchy, industrial rock score.
  • “Daddy’s home.”

Hope you’re locked and loaded, my Drinking With The Dread squad. It’s time for the Doom drinking game rules:

  1. Drink every time a squad member’s “codename” is spoken.
  2. Drink every time a squad member dies.
  3. Drink every time there’s a jump scare.
  4. Drink every time the BFG (ahem, “Big Fucking Gun”) is mentioned, fired – ‘eff it, drink for anything involving the BFG.
  5. Drink TWICE when Portman says/does something creepy.
  6. Drink TWICE whenever someone uses Ark transportation or passes through a nanowall.
  7. Take a SHOT when John Grimm aka “Reaper” goes into first-person mode.

Be warned, this drinking game is “Nightmare” level difficult. My test run clocked in at about four and a half cans of Narragansett along with a shot of mezcal for myself and a fellow Doom enthusiast (each). Our Friday plans to “pregame” before going out quickly morphed into a night in, our bellies filled with golden nectar from the shores of Pawtucket. Don’t worry, if I’m trying to make y’all watch Doom I’ll sure as hell get your buzz on. The rules line up oh-so-well with Reaper’s run-and-gun rampage. You’ll be feelin’ plenty good enough to root and scream along with his final showdown against Sarge – whose name you’ll *hate* before the night is over.

As always, drink responsibly – but if you’re watching Doom, you’re probably not very responsible to begin with so start suckin’ down some sudz, you space-nancy cockroach.

Can I get one final cheers for Doom? You can rant and rave about how unpractical or nonsensical it all may be, but Andrzej Bartkowiak made a damn entertaining “movie” (as Steven Spielberg would say, re: Ready Player One comments). One that traps characters between closing doors with hilarious repetition and unlocks one of cinema’s perviest, most skin-crawlingly-uncouth side characters in “Portman.” Pre-superbeef Dwayne Johnson lays waste to Mars’ worst kept DNA splicing secret, Karl Ubran’s scowl is on-point and Rosamund Pike one again makes you ask “Why isn’t Rosamund Pike in more movies?” Go suck an egg, internet. Doom rules.



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