The Domestics (2018)

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and every single surviving human has broken up in to fractions, mini-societies, and tribes that delight in murder of others, and survival of the fittest. “The Domestics” is “The Purge,” meets “Red Dawn,” meets “Mad Max,” meets “The Warriors,” with a dash of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” for good measure. Let’s face it, at the end of the day its pure blissful, loony post apocalyptic movie porn and hot damn if I didn’t love every single minute of it from beginning to end.

After an unexplained world shifting event involving a war and plague as struck America, those that survive have split in to various tribes and have descended in to various corners of the country. Young couple Mark and Nina has officially run out of supplies, and Mark is anxious to bring Nina back to her home town to visit her long lost father and check on his health. But with the word out about Nina, there are various clans filled with sex starved men who want Nina as one of their primary objects of sexual violence. Now with Mark and Nina scrambling to get home and avoid different clans, they have to keep their fading relationship in tact, and experience some grueling violence along the way. “The Domestics” keeps its tongue firmly planted in cheek, so while it’s a horror thriller about the end of the world, it’s also a celebration of post apocalyptic fiction that’s become so popular in the last eight years.

Everything about this new world is insane, but quirky in its own way. In one scene Mark and Nina meet a kind African American man who invites them on a double date with his wife while hiding from scavengers. And another scene finds Mark having to do battle with a giant man for the amusement of a maniacal blond man pointing a gun at the pair. There’s so much that doesn’t make sense in “The Domestics” but a lot of it asks you to kind of fill in the holes for yourself, and just go along for the ride. Director and Writer Mike P. Nelson is obviously world building throughout much of his film. He creates a new kind of America where everyone has found a way to survive, and is almost always covered in blood or brain matter.

There are some sub-plots I would have loved to see better realized, like the mute Asian girl who spends her time following Mark and Nina around takes an unusual fascination with them. So was she in love with Nina? Did she want to befriend them? Was she just infatuated with the pair? And what ever happened to Nathan and Steven? Also, beyond the one note gag in the finale, I wish we would have seen the mythical tribe that character Nathan’s son speaks of during the dinner scene. That said, while there are some unrealized ideas, “The Domestics” is a blast, with a fast pace, some surreal bits of action and drama, and great turns by Kate Bosworth and Tyler Hoechlin.

I hope we can see a follow up of some kind as I think there’s so much more than can be done with this world. I’d kill to write a novella or comic book miniseries set in this universe.

Now on VOD and in Limited Release from Orion Classics.