Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackout

Mar 8, 2006 at 12:00 am

"Want to have an exciting summer? Go to Hell."

So stated the full-page ad that confronted computer magazine readers in the spring of 1993. "Coming soon" was a revolutionary new game from id Software so advanced that only a state-of-the-art 486DX2 machine would run it. Its name? "Doom: Evil Unleashed."

For those of us who had played the company's previous 3-D first-person shooter, Wolfenstein 3D, this new Doom was a quantum upgrade. And like millions of other Doom addicts, I spent many months playing a pirated copy of the full version until 4 in the morning.

So take it from me when I tell you that all those hoity-toity reviews panning the Doom movie are nothing but bunk. Now out on DVD in an extended edition from Universal Home Video, Doom the movie is infested with a number of Doom the game references so it helps to be in on the joke in order to get the joke — but there's no need to frag off if you've never been knee-deep in the dead 'cause you won't want to miss having every hoary suspense movie cliché in the book rocket-launched at you.

And although it still sticks in my slavering maw that this cross between Alien and The Thing has no rampaging Cyberdemon or resurrecting Archvile, there's no shortage of demon jabronies for the Rock, here playing his Academy Award-nominated role of Space Marine Sarge — Sgt. Rock, geddit? — to lay the BFG9000 smackdown on their hellspawn candy asses.

Oh, and don't miss the bonus special effects section on the DVD that finally explains how moviemakers manage to erase the Rock's ridiculously huge upper body tribal tattoo in all of his movies without the use of any digital technology.

Want to have an exciting evening? Go rent Doom.

Jeffrey Morgan is a freelance writer. Send comments to [email protected]