Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Blow in the New Year: Virus

You just have to love a film that its own Star thinks is shit!  Today's film is Virus, a 1999 film Starring Jamie Lee Curtis.  It's gotten a bit of notoriety thanks to Curtis talking about how she brought it to a party for Rob Reiner.  The guests were asked to bring embarassing/funny moments from their career.  She chose this one.  Out of all of the stuff she's been involved with- including Halloween: Resurrection, Christmas with the Cranks and My Girl 2-, she chose this film.  Ouch.  Can it be that bad?  The film came out in 1999, but didn't exactly make a major impact.  I vaguely recall that my brother saw it in Theaters, but that's it.  The film is about some sort of alien virus that hits the Mir and then a ship.  When a ship comes across it Alien-style, all hell breaks loose.  The big Stars are Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Sutherland and William/Billy Baldwin.  Nothing says '1990s' like a film starring Billy Baldwin.  So is this film really a stinker or is Jamie Lee just biased against this more than Terror Train?  To find out, read on...
Some big glowing jellyfish thing- I guess it's a ship?- runs through the Mir Space Station (timely!) and causes shit to happen.
Said shit- mostly blue lightning and explosions- is shot down to a tracking ship owned by Russians.  Apparently, the space jellyfish ship-thing waited until it was about to transmit data to...um...attack, I guess.
We cut to 7 Days Later and see a tiny ship dragging cargo through a storm.  This is apparently a completely-inconceivable bit of physics according to some nautical expert who updated this movie's IMDB Page.  Sailors have alot of free time, I guess.

The Cargo- which apparently was uninsured and leveraged against all of the Captain's money- gets lost and the ship is damaged.  Look what they find.
The ship appears to be dead in the water and bereft of life.  However, someone or something is watching them.  It also wrecks their boat- which was sinking anyways- and kills a couple of them.
After many 'let's wander around the ship scenes' (including one where they blatantly set-up the finale's escape), we see a weird robot-human hybrid body brought in.  It was apparently the husband of the ship's lone survivor (aka the only notable Actor among them).

Well, at least it only happened to the Russians and not...
 Uh oh!  Someone tell Keifer.  Not it!
The Virus finally takes the form of this freaky robot thing that is almost worth 'the price of admission.'  Given that I basically paid $1.50 for this DVD, it was worth it for me.  Your mileage may vary.
Hey- remember that Rocket-Powered Escape Pod- which all ships have- that they showed earlier?  Shockingly, they use it to escape!  I didn't see that coming forty-five minutes ago.
Oh shit- one last creature!  What is she going to...
Oh, it was a dream.  Well, I guess if you were in Halloween, you have license to rip-off Friday the 13th.  Right?  The End.
Eh, I can kind of see it.  Virus is nowhere near the worst film I've seen in my life.  Hell, it is not even in the Top 50.  The worst thing you can really say about it is that it's pretty formulaic.  The set-up is Aliens, while the whole 'stuck on a ship with a monster' idea has been done 100 times (at least).  One thing that is important to note is that the film came out before The Matrix, so the robot design is NOT based on that film.  You could try to say that it is based on the Comic, but this film is based on a Comic of its own.  Sometimes this just happens.  As for how the film is put together, it does very little to stand out.  I don't think that it's necessarily 'rubbish' like Jamie Lee Curtis called it, but I can see why someone might think that.  The Characters are all written in broad strokes, the pacing is odd and the only real appeal is the creatures.  That said, I did practical effects and there are some neat ones.  I love that the DVD promotes the Stars like Curtis and the F/X Team, but not the Director or Writers.  As it turns out, the Director is an F/X guy with only two other Credits.  One of them is an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and that 3-D Stage show of Terminator 2 in Universal Orlando.  Is that thing still running?  I'd love to know if the war between man and machine is still going on with Linda Hamilton at the helm.  It would also be nice to see Edward Furlong before everything went to shit.  In fact, Nick Stahl (from Terminator 3) is not doing great either.  Is that role cursed?  Oh right- the movie.  In summary, it's better than its reputation, but worse than it could be.  Right, Model Ship?
Next up, let's begin the New Year right.  That's right- Japanese Idols fighting Zombies in 3-D (only 2-D for me though)!  Stay tuned...

***Bonus: Since fellow Blogger Craig Edwards worked on this film, here's his credit.***
I look forward to seeing your name in a good film's Credits one day, Craig.


  1. I worked on this one - did a bunch of stuff - credited as Virginia unit production assistant. The most interesting thing I did was some little robot puppeteering for Steve Johnson's crew - I'm puppeteering the little guy who drills Sherman Augustus in the arm, causing him to shotgun the whole room. It was a crazy shoot - ranging from sets in Wilmington NC to real boats in Norfolk VA. I don't think it's as bad as JLC says either.

    1. Amended the review to include your Credit, Craig. Good on ya.

  2. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.