NOVEMBER 14, 2007
Well, I think it’s safe to say that I will never stretch the term “Horror” as much as I did for today’s movie, Virus (like everything else in existence, do not confuse it for the 1998 Jamie Lee Curtis movie set on a boat haunted by robotic spiders). While it certainly SOUNDS horror-y, in reality, other than the somewhat scary notion of the end of the world, this isn’t a horror movie at all. No, it’s more a sci-fi version of Fail Safe or something, with most of the film played out in rooms with lots and lots of cranky old men.
That said, it’s actually a pretty decent movie. We follow the stories of several different groups of characters, many of them played by old school genre faves like George Kennedy and Robert Vaughn. Hell, even Sonny Chiba shows up. True, they are mostly just standing around talking while the unknown/minor stars do all the action stuff, but hey, what are you gonna do?
What was surprising about the film was how much of a downer it is. President Pa Kent and his staff die like 20 min into the movie, and by the end just about everything and everyone else is dead too, giving the film TWO armageddons, so to speak. Also, it’s amazing what stats are given for the survivors: “855 men, and 8 women.” Of course, for the women, this means an incredibly varied selection from whom they can begin repopulating the world, but for the guys – that’s fucking HARSH.
Apparently, close to 50 min of the film has been removed for this version, most of it dealing with Japan. I would like to see the whole version of the film, not to mention in widescreen format, since the pan and scan job was atrocious at times (see below).
It’s far from a great film, but it’s certainly one of the more professional films in the set. Also, it’s pretty eerie that, in a montage of major cities and their death tolls (displayed onscreen with the lamest titles I’ve ever seen in a film), New York’s number is shown in a shot that begins with a closeup of the World Trade Center.
Favorite line of dialogue: “You gave me a goddamn PLACEBO?!?!?”, yelled by one of the film’s many crusty old guys. Man, I really am gonna miss the Chilling Classics set.
What say you?