HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
Astronaut
Peanut Butter Falcon, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
   
 
  Virus The End
Year: 1980
Director: Kinji Fukasaku
Stars: Masao Kusakari, Bo Svenson, Olivia Hussey, Chuck Connors, George Kennedy, Glenn Ford, Robert Vaughn, Edward James Olmos, Henry Silva, Stephanie Faulkner, Isao Natsuyagi, Stuart Gillard, Cec Linder, Sonny Chiba, Ken Ogata, Yumi Takagawa, Ken Pogue
Genre: Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: A British submarine sails into Tokyo Bay, and the crew allow the only Japanese man on board, Yoshizumi (Masao Kusakari), a last look at the city through the periscope. The captain, McCloud (Chuck Connors) sends up a probe to take video of the area, but all that is to be seen are empty streets and buildings littered with skeletal corpses. What has happened to create this calamity? Go back in time to 1981 and the beginning of the whole sorry business where, in East Germany, a scientist hands over an illegal virus that has been manufactured with germ warfare in mind to a group of shady criminals posing as the front for a Swiss scientist. However, the virus, named MM88, is released when the plane they are travelling in crashes into the Alps - it is dormant in below freezing temperatures, but this is winter time and summer is a few short months away...

Virus, or Fukkatsu No Hi as it was known in Japan, was Japanese publishing businessman Haruki Kadokawa's idea for a world-conquering science fiction epic, complete with an international cast to appeal to the broadest number of people. Alas, his plans did not work out and the film was a disaster movie in more ways than one, with the American version cut down to two thirds of the length of the two and a half hour long original - with all the Japanese bits hitting the floor - and eventually released to cable TV. It seems he had overestimated audiences' patience for watching the end of the world at extensive duration, even though the film closely resembled the Hollywood adaptation of On the Beach which had been a hit a couple of decades before, complete with submarine searching the seas and an outpost of survivors nervously awaiting their impending doom.

Maybe what they needed was Gregory Peck, but what they got was a collection of not exactly big names for 1980, with, for example, Glenn Ford as the American President, Robert Vaughn as a rival politician and a laughing Henry Silva as a General who is just itching to set off some nuclear weapons for reasons best known to himself. The killer bug, referred to as "Italian Flu" because that's where the first cases were recorded, obviously has echoes of Spanish Flu and also Stephen King's novel The Stand, but this was based on a Japanese novel by Sakyo Komatsu and adapted by Kôji Takada, Gregory Knapp and director Kinji Fukasaku. In its favour, the international flavour is well handled, with shots of and scenes in many places around the world, not just the U.S.A. and Japan, filling out the sense of a truly global catastrophe; but it's mostly the U.S.A. and Japan that we see before Antarctica becomes the main location, it must be said.

The researchers left on that continent end up as the last surviving human beings, along with the submarine crew who escaped the carnage. The virus cannot thrive there in the cold and now the eight and a half hundred men and, erm, eight women must see about continuing the human race. The writers have obviously considered the ramifications of the disaster, as along with developments like that we're told they only have enough food for two years, and the scientists carry on their search for an antidote so they can return to warmer climes. However, they apparently thought that wasn't quite exciting enough as Yoshizumi works out that an earthquake is about to hit Washington D.C. which will set off the nuclear arsenal of the U.S.A. and then all the other atomic bombs around the world as well. So the race is on to reach Washington and disable the potential chain reaction, but I'll say this for this determinedly miserable film, it doesn't do anything by halves, making the last line after all that death and devastation unintentionally funny. Music by Kentaro Haneda and Teo Macero, with a theme song by Janis Ian.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4793 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Kinji Fukasaku  (1930 - 2003)

Japanese director whose long career took in science fiction such as The Green Slime, Message From Space and Virus and gangster movies such as Yakuza Graveyard, Street Mobster and Graveyard of Honour. He also co-directed Tora! Tora! Tora! In 2000 scored a big international hit with the savage satire Battle Royale. Died whilst making a sequel, which was completed by his son Kenta.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: