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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: Land of Doom

April 30, 2020 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Land of Doom

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #553: Land of Doom

Post-Apocalyptic April: Week 5

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that thinks owning a crossbow in the post-apocalyptic wasteland would be worthwhile, unless it’s one of those specialized crossbows that requires a very specific kind of arrow to use because it’s the goddamn post-apocalypse and where the hell am I going to get those arrows, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number five hundred and fifty-three, Post-Apocalyptic April concludes with the post-apocalyptic sci-fi action flick Land of Doom, which, according to Wikipedia, was released in North America in early January 1986.

Land of Doom


Land of Doom, directed by Peter Maris, is a fairly lame low budget post-apocalyptic sci-fi action flick. While it has all of the necessary elements to be a potentially good low budget post-apocalyptic sci-fi action flick, it never really comes together and just goes through the motions. It starts out strong, but when the main plot gets going the movie just meanders about going nowhere. The performances are also pretty terrible.

Land of Doom stars Deborah Rennard as Harmony, a badass woman in the post-apocalyptic future who, after escaping certain death when the malevolent Raiders destroy her village, heads out into the post-apocalypse as a sort of lone warrior. Armed with her backpack and crossbow, she intends to fend off any and all enemies she encounters and survive. One day, Harmony runs into Anderson (Garrick Dowhen), a seriously wounded man who apparently attacked the Raiders by himself and kicked ass (well, he kicked ass and got his ass kicked at the same time). Against her better judgement, Harmony decides to help Anderson and allow him to tag along with her in the badlands. As they travel the desert and fight off various bands of marauders and whatnot, Harmony and Anderson develop a sort of friendship. She would much rather be on her own, but, at the same time, Harmony also gets that it’s wise to have friends and help, if possible, in the wastelands. Harmony is also curious about this sort of utopia that Anderson claims to know about, a place where society is trying to rebuild. She doesn’t really believe that it exists, but she’s also smart enough to know that she could be wrong. There really could be a new civilization out there somewhere. If there is, why not try to get in on it?

Now, while all of that is going on, the Raiders, led by the freaky Slater (Daniel Radell), want to find Anderson and kill him. Anderson was a member of the Raiders at one point, but he fell out of favor with the group when he went against Slater and his plans to kill everyone and everything that isn’t a Raider and rule what’s left of the world. Anderson thought it was wiser to work together with people and try to build a new world, a new civilization, so there was a fight between the two. After Anderson escaped the Raiders HQ, which is basically a cave somewhere, Slater sent his top henchman Purvis (Frank Garret) after him. And when Harmony meets Anderson, she sees the aftermath of a Purvis/Anderson showdown. Anderson killed every Raider except Purvis, and, like I said, Anderson got his ass kicked because he’s only one man. Anderson may be a skilled fighter, killer, and ass kicker, but one man can only obliterate so many armies before the numbers catch up to him.

So Harmony and Anderson navigate the wastelands while Purvis and the Raiders look for them. Harmony and Anderson run into some weirdo cannibals (this could have been an awesome and gross as hell sequence because they don’t find out about the cannibalism until right before they’re served some beef stew but it goes on forever and then just peters out), come across a band of plague victims (there’s some sort of disease that you can get), and they meet a guy that’s being attacked by dogs for some reason (this, I believe, is Akut Duz, who plays a guy named Orland). There are also dwarf midget mutants that look like the jawas from Star Wars and that figure into the ending.

Harmony and Anderson are eventually captured by Purvis and presented to Slater as trophies. Slater wants to kill Anderson and rape Harmony because that’s what a guy like Slater does in the post-apocalypse. Slater doesn’t get to do what he wants to do, and Harmony and Anderson manage to escape after Orland shows up with a flamethrower. There’s a final battle and brawl, and then the movie just goddamn ends. Was there hope for a sequel? Why didn’t director Maris try to make a good movie first?

We’re never really told how the apocalypse happened in Land of Doom. We have to assume that there was a worldwide nuclear war at some point in the past but it’s never explicitly said that that’s what happened. The world the characters exist in is pretty cool. It looks and feels like plenty of other post-apocalyptic movies but the vehicles look good, the costumes look “typical” but interesting, and the whole plague thing is different. It’s bad enough that you have to deal with marauders and the desert and all that, but you also have to worry about a potential plague? That’s fucked up. And there are cannibals out there! Cannibals! That fucking blows, man. Who the hell wants to deal with shit like that?

But the movie doesn’t really do anything with any of it. The world the movie exists in is filled with details, yes, but they don’t seem to matter to the plot. It’s all just stuff that’s out there that Harmony and Anderson may interact with at some point. Sometimes they do interact with it, sometimes they don’t. And then there’s the presence of the Raiders and the whole feud with Slater. Why aren’t the Raiders more of a presence in the movie? Why isn’t Purvis more dangerous? Shit, why isn’t Slater more dangerous than he is? The Raiders are the thing that Harmony and Anderson are trying to escape from. The Raiders are supposed to be the main threat Harmony and Anderson have to deal with. But the Raiders are just a thing that Harmony and Anderson interact with every so often. They’re really not much of a threat. I mean, they are a threat, but if they’re supposed to be the main villains they’re not allowed to be the main villains. What the hell is the deal with that?

And what’s with the lack of chemistry between Harmony and Anderson? They don’t have buddy chemistry, romantic chemistry, any chemistry at all. They just seem to be together because that’s what the script calls for. They barely even seem to be friends. That’s odd. It also doesn’t help that Rennard seems to be really into her part and acts her ass off most of the time, while Dowhen seems to be in a daze most of the time. Anderson is supposed to be a sort of soft spoken, idealistic badass killer, but he’s actually one of the least believable post-apocalyptic warriors in post-apocalyptic movie history. I don’t believe for one second that Anderson is one of the best fighters in the wastelands or that he stood up to anyone, especially a guy like Slater. Dowhen is more like a guy that fit the costume and was cheap enough to hire so the producers hired him. That strategy isn’t going to work in a movie like this.

When it comes to the villains, it’s pretty much the same thing. Daniel Radell is one of the least convincing post-apocalyptic marauder gang leaders I’ve ever seen. Who the fuck would follow this guy? And Frank Garret, as henchman Purvis, is just horrible. It’s like they filmed his rehearsal footage on the set and then decided to just move on because they didn’t have enough time to actually film the scene. The villains do have a cool look, yes, and their vehicles are exactly what you expect to see in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but that’s about it. Slater is terrible, and Purvis is even worse.

And why is Orland in the movie? Orland is interesting, yes, and Akut Duz seems to be giving it his all, but there’s no reason for him to be in the movie. He does get to wield a flamethrower, but, hell, why not have Anderson do that? Shouldn’t one of the main heroes get to use a flamethrower in a movie like this?

Of course he should.

The movie also has this weird tendency to cut away from a gun muzzle flash, and there are moments where it seems like no one’s gun works but bodies drop anyway. What the hell is that about? It would be one thing if there was a “guns sometimes don’t work in the post-apocalypse because it’s the post-apocalypse, spare parts are scarce, and everyone is just doing the best they can with what they have available” motif throughout the movie, but that doesn’t happen. There are also occasional sound issues with the guns, too. Do guns typically make a noise before a round comes out of the barrel?

What works in the movie? The opening titles sequence is awesome (the movie title explodes onscreen). The soundtrack by Mark Governor is terrific, even when it’s incredibly inappropriate. And the look of the movie is pretty good. Land of Doom definitely looks like a post-apocalyptic movie. I just wish Deborah Rennard had a better movie to be in because her Harmony character, on her own, probably would have worked.

Land of Doom isn’t great. It has its moments, but it could have and should have been so much better. At best, Land of Doom is mediocre at best. And that’s a shame. Land of Doom had so much potential.

Only see Land of Doom if you absolutely have to. I have no idea why you would need to but, yeah, only see it if you feel the need to. Prepare to be disappointed.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: At least 40.

Explosions: Several, both big and small. The big ones are impressive.

Nudity?: I don’t think so, but then, considering where you would have likely seen it, it would have been awful.

Doobage: An ominous opening theme, exploding movie title, the blazing sun, weird spiders that apparently eat human flesh or something, a full scape raid chock full of violence, multiple rapes, things being set on fire at random, weirdo mutants. Multiple men on fire, a sort of tank flamethrower vehicle, rapists fighting over a rape victim, total destruction, public square bondage, snake shooting, an attack group convoy, a wacked out rapist, tree bondage, rock to the back and side of the head, some of the weakest looking rock hits in movie history, multiple cool looking motorcycles, multiple plague people, side of ribs to the face, off screen cannibalism, leg kicking, metal bowl to the face, more bondage, a human brain in a jar, more marauder attacks, chest stomping, multiple philosophical discussions, a second village attack, exploding walls, multiple kicks to the testicles, lame gut stabbing, mild homoerotic goofiness, multiple exploding motorcycles, dirt to the face, head grabbing, attempted fuel stealing, using a twig as a stick up weapon, killer snake attack, attempted dog attack, bicycle hooey, the heroes get captured, more bondage, a gang rape threat, flamethrower attack, a lame as fuck brawl, axe to the fingers, bloody finger removal, a machine gun that only occasionally has a muzzle flash, exploding evil lair, exploding oil barrels, vehicle stealing, falling rock attack, a creepy metal hand, and the threat of a sequel.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: Exploding movie title, constant rape, “You have a pretty name,” crossbow hooey, cannibalism, multiple philosophical discussions, a bad guy that wears a kind of leather mask, killer snakes, a guy that has a puppy for some reason, hooded mutant midgets that sort of resemble jawas but for legal reasons can’t be jawas, machine guns that only occasionally have muzzle flashes, the threat of a sequel, and a closing titles song that seems to be called “Land of Doom,” which makes sense since that’s the name of the movie.

Best lines: “I don’t know how the final war began. It doesn’t matter. All that matters now is survival,” “I’m wounded. Please help me,” “I travel alone. I don’t need a cripple to slow me down,” “One of these days I’m gonna cut his balls off and feed it to the dogs,” “Don’t touch me! Don’t you ever touch me!,” “You try one more dumb thing like that, cunt, it’ll be your end. Got it?,” “You and me are going to have a good time tonight. Slut,” “You got me into this. I should have known better,” “Ugh, this looks like real meat stew. What’s in it?,” “You creeps! You creeps! I’ll get you!,” “That’s not funny! I could have killed you!,” “We’ll get it someday, won’t we? What? The plague,” “Why is it like this?,” “Sonofabitch it’s that fucking Anderson!,” “What the hell are you doing? I tried to go up there and I fell,” “You dirty bitch,” “Pity. I had such nice plans for you,” “It’s been a long time since someone cared for me,” “I’m gonna have you skinned alive!,” “What door?,” “Get to the bikes! Get to the bikes!,” “I’m glad they’re on our side. Me, too,” and “Oh, shit, here we go again.”

Rating: 5.0/10.0


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Elvira: Mistress of the Dark: This is the classic horror comedy starring the legendary horror host Elvia, her only movie where she’s the star, which seems insane. This movie is a hoot from start to finish; it’s funny, it’s ridiculous, and it’s fun. The fine folks at Arrow Films are behind this Blu-ray release and it’s filled with all sorts of cool special features. The movie has been available on home video for years, in various formats/editions, but I would suspect, even without seeing it yet, that this is going to be the definitive home video release of this movie. I mean, probably. Who knows what home video will look like in a few years? It may not even exist.


Shatter: The fine folks at Shout! Factory are behind this Blu-ray, so, as I always say when it comes to Shout! Factory, even if there aren’t that many special features on the disc its visual presentation will be phenomenal. This Blu-ray has some nifty sounding special features on it, including an audio commentary track with uncredited co-director Monte Hellman and star Stuart Whitman, so that will be cool. I’ve never heard of this movie, but, according to what I’ve read about it, it’s a co-production between Hammer Films and the Shaw Brothers from Hong Kong, it’s some sort of action flick about a deadly assassin/hitman, and it’s the last movie Peter Cushing made for Hammer, so before even seeing it it has coolness written all over it. And how can you go wrong with a title like Shatter? Definitely want to see this.


Infection: This is apparently some new low budget zombie flick from Venezuela, a country you don’t see many zombie movies from. Based solely on the trailer, it doesn’t really look like anything new, as, shit, how many low budget zombie movies have there been in the last five years? Still, the fact that it’s from Venezuela is a draw because, again, how many movies do we get to see from Venezuela? How many zombie movies do we see from Venezuela? Definitely worth a rental.


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Well, I think that’ll be about it for now. Don’t forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

B-movies rule. Always remember that.

Land of Doom

Deborah Rennard– Harmony
Garrick Dowhen– Anderson
Daniel Radell– Slater
Frank Garret– Purvis
Richard Allen– Halsey
Akut Duz– Orland

(check out the rest of the cast here

Directed by Peter Maris
Screenplay by Craig Rand, based on a novel by Peter Kotis

Distributed by Lightning Video, Avid Home Entertainment, MGM, and Scorpion Releasing

Runtime– 87 minutes

Buy it here