Well…despite my most valiant Prospero-esque efforts to close off and shield Castle Blogferatu from the cold and flu season, plague has, as it does in “The Masque Of The Red Death,” nonetheless gripped us. The good news is that our resident physician/mad scientist, Dr. Terror, has administered tests for The Covids which were negative.
Sadly, then, today’s post will not be quite up to the
haphazard incoherent ramblings exacting standards I typically strive for. Still, submitted for your approval and in keeping with the situation, I present my Top 10 Virus Movies.
#10 Contagion (2011)
This isn’t technically a horror movie I guess, but yeah, it is. What’s so terrifying about it is A) its verisimilitude and B) the fact that this movie seems more or less exactly how the current pandemic kinda rolled out in the first place. I don’t remember the exact details, but one of the people involved in writing and/or advising on Contagion was one of the folks they talked to in the Netflix documentary Pandemic. Speaking of which…
#9 Pandemic: How To Prevent An Outbreak (2020)
I love documentaries that bring a sense of terror to the viewer. Morgan Spurlock’s Rats does this well, as does this six-part series. It made me take a shower and never want to leave home or touch another human being ever again.
#8 The Crazies (1973)
I don’t love this movie, but I like it well enough to include it here. What I like most about is how it portrays the goverment’s efforts to deal with the outbreak as lame and ineffective. Plus it’s George Romero.
#7 Isle Of Dogs (2018)
Who says virus movies have to center on people? I love this movie mainly because it has 2 of my very most favoritest things in all the world: Wes Anderson and dogs. It’s funny. It’s quirky. And ultimately it’s very sweet, yet I still adore it which is weird for me. And yes, the idea of quarantining all dogs on an island to essentially fend for themselves is horrific enough for me to list it here.
#6 Cabin Fever (2002)
There are lotsa things I can sit through, but even for me, this movie is a tough watch. I can’t explain why because the effects aren’t exponentially better than anyone else’s with similar resources would be. There’s just something about the whole flesh-eating virus idea itself that makes my skin crawl, so watching a movie about it makes me pretty squirmy.
#5 28 Days Later (2002)
Another one of my all time faves. This movie never fucking lets up. I particularly love the beginning where the activists get viciously attacked basically for being completely goddamn stupid like, y’know, PETA, ALF, and whatever other eco-terrorists you care to name. Oh, and in terms of the supertired “debate” on whether or not 28 Days Later is a zombie movie, I will officially state for the record that this is one of the dumber cinematic arguments I’ve ever heard. I can’t care.
#4 Antiviral (2012)
Not really an outbreak movie, but still for sure a virus movie, and a weird as hell one at that. First off, it’s Brandon “the nut don’t fall far from the tree” Cronenberg. Second, it’s a pre-Get Out but no less icky and creepy Caleb Landry Jones. The premise is that there is a black market for pathogens and viruses harvested from celebrities who have become sick. Fans then have these injected so they can have this unique connection to their idols. The supergross part of this is the fact that in terms of fan behavior it’s not at all farfetched.
#3 Rabid (2019)
This is one of those rare occasions when I find the remake infinitely better than the original. This shouldn’t be all that surprising give that the remake was done by Jen and Sylvia Soska. In this case, the problem arises from an experimental stem-cell treatment on a woman who is disfigured in a catastrophic accident. Now, the original does showcase the fine acting skills of Marilyn Chambers, but the remake ups the ante spectacularly on the levels of psychology and gore.
#2 Infection (2004)
This is an oozy, drippy Japanese virus movie set in a run-down, understaffed hospital. There’s also a weird psychological angle that plays out nicely. I’m pretty sure that some time ago I read some place that this was part of a loose kinda trilogy, but now I can’t find any evidence of that or remember what the other two movies were. One discussion board suggests that this trilogy in fact became the 6-part J-Horror Theater series.
28 Weeks Later (2007), The Andromeda Strain (1971), Cabin Fever (2016), The Children (2008), The Crazies (2010), I Am Legend (2007), Mayhem (2017), The Omega Man (1971), Rabid (1977), REC (2007)
#1 I Drink Your Blood (1970)
What can I say? This movie is so atrocious that it towers over everything else on this list. If you want a movie that puts together stuff you never wanted put together, then this one has everything. You want homicidal hippies? We got ’em. You want a grandfather on an acid trip? We got ‘im. You want a kid injecting rabies-infected blood into the meat pies his mom sells? We got it. You want an outbreak of rabid, homicidal, zombie-like locals? We got them too.
And there you have it. Interesting that these are either from the 70s or from 2000-2020. I’m sure that points to something interesting about something. I know there’s also lotsa stuff missing, mainly because I haven’t seen them, so let me know what your favorite outbreak movies are. I beg you, however, in the name of all that is evil and unholy, please do not even come at me with It Follows.