From The Andromeda Strain to 28 Days Later – We look at the best and worst movie viruses.
Movie Viruses This week, Steven Soderberg’s virus movie Contagion, has the Movies.ie team going through hand sanitiser like there is no tomorrow. This got us thinking about other movie viruses, so without further ado, we present five of the best and most scary movie viruses to grace our screens. We are off to wash our hands… Again. The Andromeda Strain (1971)
A military satellite returns to Earth, bringing with it a deadly extra-terrestrial virus. All inhabitants of the closest town to the satellite landing site die of abnormal blood clotting, except two people; a baby and an elderly man who is addicted to chemical fuel. The team of scientists soon activate operation Wildfire to try and counter the disease. As the scientists observe, the Andromeda virus mutates in order to endure and the team must race against time to discover why two people survived, and find an antidote to Andromeda; the ultimate biological weapon. The Andromeda Strain is based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name.
I Am Legend (2007)
I Am Legend is loosely based on Richard Matheson’s novel of the same name and tells the story of one of the last men on earth. Virologist Robert Neville (Will Smith) is immune to a vicious man made virus, which was originally created to cure cancer, but mutated into a lethal strain that killed 90% of the world’s inhabitants. Neville is working on a cure for the virus that has turned humanity into aggressive, hairless beings who hide from daylight due to intolerance to UV radiation. These ‘Darkseekers’ are also consumed with overwhelming hunger, causing them to revert to cannibalism. When Neville meets an uninfected woman and child, it is only a matter of time before the Darkseekers find them.
28 Days Later (2002)
A highly contagious virus – which causes rage and psychosis in the infected – is accidentally released into the world when an animal activist is bitten by a monkey she was trying to free. 28 days later, Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up in a deserted London hospital, with no idea what has happened to the city outside. Jim meets three other survivors, and they journey to a military blockade outside Manchester, which is rumoured to have the ‘answer to infection’.
A deadly virus, named Motaba – which causes haemorrhaging and eventually, death – emerges in Zaire, 30 years after it was originally discovered. A host monkey is illegally brought into the US, causing an outbreak of the virus in Cedar Creek, California. The virus mutates into a new strain, which is capable of spreading like flu, and it is not long before Cedar Creek is quarantined under martial law with the threat of a military operation to bomb the town and destroy the virus being discussed at the White House.
In the late 1990s Earth was attacked by a virus so deadly that the surviving population was forced to live underground. In the not to distant future, James Cole (Bruce Willis) is sent back through time to collect information on the virus, and perhaps prevent it’s spread. However, when Cole finally tracks down the scientist responsible for the virus, it may be too late. 12 Monkeys is inspired by the 1962 short film, La Jetée.
Special mentions to: George A. Romero’s The Crazies, 28 Weeks Later, Perfect Sense, The Children of Men, Zombieland