We’re all pretty much sick and tired of what’s happening right now in the world, but it’s human nature to delve into the darkest part of our fears and face them head on. Some of the top watched movies in March were virus and zombie apocalypse movies, such as Outbreak and Contagion. But we’ve all seen those many times. Here’s some out of the box pandemic and viral apocalypse movies you can watch this weekend.
This was a very interesting movie with excellent acting and an intriguing plot but it lost a star due to what I would consider an illogical story element. First, as with any “apocalyptic” movies, a suspension of disbelief is required in general.
In a nutshell, the movie follows a group of folks who fall victim to a blindness epidemic and get thrown into an abandoned facility by the military to be quarantined. One of the women, the always excellent Julianne Moore, who is immune to the blindness pretends to be blind so she can accompany her husband, Mark Ruffalo. The majority of the movie is a harrowing tale of how a growing population of confined blind prisoners with no care-taking whatsoever with the exception of rations being provided survive in an adult “Lord of the Flies” situation. -Mark Beckford.
A very different type of “zombie” movie, in the age of zombie movies. You rarely actually see the infected (presented as some sort of virus/rash that slowly takes over your sanity and makes you incredibly ill). There are no scores of undead – it actually seems people aren’t reanimated upon death. This is simply as a story about survival in a world where that has become a difficulty.
Cabin Fever (2003)
Released in 2003, “Cabin Fever” was Eli Roth’s film debut; he would go on to make the 2005 horror hit “Hostel.” “Cabin Fever” has become somewhat of a modern cult film due to its eccentricities and Roth’s later notoriety.
THE PLOT: Five college youths — 3 guys and 2 girls — take a cabin vacation in the sticks of NC where they are threatened by a serious disease where those infected spit out blood while their skin wastes away. They soon discover that the local reservoir is contaminated. Can they make it out alive?
This is a heavy ‘R’ picture; Roth was tired of what he called the “watered down PG-13” horror films of the studios, and refused to compromise on the violence, nudity and cussing, insisting they were essential ingredients to an ’80s-style horror film. Essential ingredients maybe, but such things can’t make up for overall ineffectiveness. I just don’t get what’s so great about “Cabin Fever.” The plot is good, as are other items, but the film leaves a lot to be desired, unless of course you’re not looking for much intelligence or authentic horror and just want a fun, quasi-horror experience. Or maybe you have to be a “true horror aficionado” to appreciate it, whatever that is.
12 Monkeys (1995)
Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis, who are more than fine in other films, both do pretty poor acting jobs here, with all these acting class mannerisms to show us how deranged or disoriented they are. It’s pretty distracting. In fairness, they have to deliver some pretty stupid lines from time to time, but I just couldn’t shake the thought that in the hands of better actors – or acted better suited to the roles – the movie would have gone down better.
The Andromeda Strain (1971)
Okay, I am more than a little tired of stories based on evil military/government plots going awry and unleashing havoc on the peace-loving population. It was a trope even in ’71. Sadly, a tired premise isn’t the only problem with this movie. Biological agents can do a lot of things, but turning blood into a sand-like substance is just not believable. Microbes eating synthetic rubber? Sure, I’ll buy that. F-4 Phantoms that turn into other jets upon impact? Nope. Using biblical dialog to demonstrate scientific ignorance? Highly unimaginative. Other than these annoyances and faux pas– and unnecessary nude and semi-nude scenes (a topless hippie girl sporting a peace sign necklace, really?)–the film was all right. The props and sets made the show worth enduring. The acting was so-so.
First, it’s no “The Walking Dead”. Second, I’ve seen much worse on Amazon Prime. Third, I like Rachol Nichols and some of the other actors/actresses. Fourth, the tactical gear stuff was not done well. Fifth, if you like First Perrson Shooters, or POV filming, you may like this more than I did. I found those scenes annoying, but luckily, they are only about 15% if the movie.
The Virus (2017)
The Virus (Wm McNamara) follows a group of film students who find a top secret test facility hidden in the wilderness. Unknown to them, the hospital was ground zero for a large-scale test of a truth serum based ten years earlier; a test that went disastrously wrong. Now infected with the deadly virus, the students fight against time, guards, each other and an inability to lie to find the truth.
This was an excellent movie with a great script, great cast and great message. I’m bothered by the number of people complaining about the lack of gore, body count and scare jumps. This is a movie based on a true story, this is real life not some make believe Hollywood script. It tells the story of the doctors and nurses who faced Ebola head-on in the first days of what could have been a horrific pandemic. It shows the very personal toll Ebola has on the living and the survivors. One reviewer noted, rather sarcastically, that according to the movie all you need are “peptalks” to survive Ebola. Yes, you need peptalks and a lot of supportive care. Surviving any disease is as much about the psychological state of the patients as it is their physical state. No, a peptalk won’t cure Ebola but it gives the patient hope and the energy to power through, to fight.
The Last Man on Earth (1964)
This adaptation of Richard Matheson’s book I Am Legend gave a very secluded and haunting look. Unlike the two other versions, Omega Man and I Am Legend, Last Man on Earth gave us a very detailed and sad look into this man’s life. This unlike the other two movies had Matheson himself write the screenplay but due to rewrites had his name changed in the credits. If you are a Vincent Price fan like myself then you too will love his portrayal of Robert Morgan, the Last Man on Earth..
Share your favorites in the comments below!