Doom asylum is one of those dime-a-dozen eighties horror comedies. The concept of the movie is that someone gets into a car accident, is wrongfully pronounced dead, and starts killing people for no real reason. The plot has the depth of a bottle cap, the characters are as fleshed out as cuttlebone, and the jokes are reported in Akkadian cuneiform clay tablets as having once been funny. But it’s the acting that kills it.1
Is there any redeeming factor? Well, there is a chess scene. You see, some of the fodder for the killer are a group of post-punk electrical trash rocking women,2 and two of them wile away the time they should be practising at the chessboard.
Reconstructing the position was complicated by the weirdly rotund pieces they’re using, but there is a very nice and clear shot of the board. I am therefore fairly confident in this reconstruction:3
They’re playing on, blissfully unaware of the fact that the board has been set up wrongly and that a white pawn has crept all the way up to the eighth rank. Black, the less annoying of the two characters — and, sadly, the first to die –, takes on b4 and announces check.
Tina: Good move. [here she takes the rook on f3] So there!
I don’t know about the post-punk, electrical, or rocking, but this is a certain sign of a trash woman. It’s bad enough that you get yourself in a position like this, but to just ignore an obvious and announced check? That’s horrid. And when her opponent takes the king and calls it checkmate,4 she starts hissing. and knocks over the pieces.
Tina: I hate to lose.
Presumably, she prefers Bordeaux.
Realism: 0/5 The pieces are going the wrong way. Possibly on a one-way track. Seems like they should be getting somewhere. Somehow they’re neither here nor there.
Probable winner: Black, mainly because white ran away.
1. [With the BFG.] ↩
2. [I’m not sure that this particular adjectives pile-up corresponds to an actual genre, but if it didn’t when I started this sentence, it probably does by now.] ↩
3. [Let me bang this diagram editor‘s drum.] ↩
4. [That’s horrid, too. But perhaps, she just saying “check, mate” and the taking of the king is a not-so-subtle reminder of the check? With a bit of thought, you can justify anything.] ↩