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Virus X

Year of Release: 2010
Genre:  Horror / Sci-Fi
IMDB Rating: 2.6 / 10
Level of Awful: High
Breast-O-Meter: 0 / 5

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

There’s nothing quite like a movie made to capitalise on the general populace’s fear in the face of a worldwide swine flu pandemic. There’s also nothing quite like a movie made to capitalise on the general populace’s fear in the face of a worldwide swine flu pandemic that fails miserably at its objective. A note to the director: in order to make this kind of movie, where the fate of humanity itself hangs in the balance and our future rests in the hands of a few brave scientists, there needs to be an atmosphere of tension. We need to care that humanity might be wiped out. We shouldn’t be bored to the point where the swine flu seems like the easier option than sitting through the remaining bit of the movie. Just a thought – use it, don’t use it.

I do creepy and I do it well!

It’s a well-known fact that women with enormous mansions, wild ambition and a bank balance greater than that of some third world countries often dream about world domination as a means of further increasing their social profile. Danita Herrington is no different, and she has one doozy of a plan up her sleeve. She’s hired Dr Gravamen, one of those dark and brooding doctors, and is paying him exorbitant amounts of money to develop a particularly strong strain of the H1N1 virus that she can release on the world. As the infection takes hold and people begin to panic she’ll miraculously come up with the cure and be hailed as a hero to all mankind whilst making a tidy little profit on the side. Not that she has delusions of grandeur or anything.

Typical woman! It's always 'I have a headache' or 'I'm dying of mutated swine flu'.

Danita’s not exactly thrilled with the good doctor’s work, however. With test subjects only dying in a period of 26 days or so she’s pushing him to come up with a much faster and crippling strain. To help shift the project along he hires Malcolm Burr, a blonde and studly doctor with a peculiar looking face. A brilliant man with a lot of field experience, Burr thinks he’s being brought on board to help develop vaccines against swine flu. His field experience exposed him to people dying deaths that look more like they contracted the Ebola virus than swine flu and he’s determined to do his best so that no one else should ever have to suffer a death like those he’s seen. He’s also the only person to question the good doctor’s methods of deliberately mutating H1N1 samples to create particularly virulent strains of the virus without concocting antidotes for them, something that the rest of the staff find nothing strange with.

Oh dear God, no! Not the tragic irony!

Of course this whole plan falls to shit when one of the human guinea pigs decides to make a break for it. As a hooker she’s experienced in taking on groups of men and easily overpowers the hired goons and the good doctor’s creepy assistant with the synthesized voice. After climbing through one of the air ducts and into the main lab where the staff are relaxing she’s shot in the head by the creepy assistant. As jets of blood shoot all over the room the various members of staff are exposed to the latest H1N1 strain, forcing the good doctor (who’s been watching everything through the lab’s hidden camera system) to put the facility on lockdown to prevent anyone with the virus from escaping. As the crew become more and more sick and the doctor uses this as one great opportunity to test of the strength of the new strain our poor, trapped Dr Burr must do what he can to either cure himself and his fellow captives or find a way to break the lockdown and escape.

LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:

  • There’s nothing like a nice bubble bath with champagne, strawberries, soft music and live video stream to a tortured human guinea pig to wind down after a long day.
  • Doctors must do what they are paid to do, even if it violently breaks the Hippocratic Oath.
  • The best way to stop aggressive viral mutations is to beat nature to it and mutate the virus yourself.
  • A single door really isn’t enough security to keep a prisoner with a deadly virus safely contained.
  • There’s no real rush to make vaccines for the horrible viral mutations you produce.
  • The ‘ladies first’ rule can only be ignored when climbing through air ducts.
  • It is necessary for every doctor to have a very creepy, white-haired lackey.
  • Doctors and their creepy, white-haired lackeys should always have a strongly homoerotic relationship.

VIRUS X TRAILER

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Flu Birds

Year of Release: 2008
Genre: Horror
IMDB Rating: 3.1 / 10
Level of Awful: Requires Post-Film Lobotomy

WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

After my two recent reviews featuring the kind of good but not quite great Vanishing on 7th Street and Plague Town I felt that I needed to go all-out with this one and watch something really bad to bring this blog back to its main purpose: to review and critique the worst horror movies out there. Obviously intended to capitalise on the fear and uncertainty during the recent swine flu outbreak, this fails on virtually every level. The acting is horrible (!!!) and so wooden you could build a log cabin out of it. The characters are nothing original and at most points actually grate against your nerves like nails running down a chalk board. But I’m not just going to moan about this movie, not at all. I’m going to tell you what went on in it, some of the brave among you may even decide to watch it, and you can decide for yourself after that 🙂

"Really? You want to discuss this with me right now?"

Deep, deep in the woods where the SyFy Channel makes all of its movies a group of juvenile delinquents is on a little court-ordered retreat to try and get them to do stupid group exercises in an attempt to get them to function like normal members of society. How blindfolding someone and making them walk through a forest will achieve this is anyone’s guess, but that seems to be the plan. In this group we have your usual stock characters: hooker, girl who did what she had to do to survive her abusive father, blonde guy, fat guy, douche bag and wigger. Surprisingly the rest of the group isn’t taking the fat guy’s walk in the forest very seriously so, eventually giving up, the camp councilor goes after him to bring him back to camp while the others are told to make food and set up tents. Before you can even try to get over all the cringing you’ve been doing at the dialogue and the initial setting the group is attacked by enormous, carnivorous, fugly birds that more closely resemble a pterodactyl than anything you usually see in the sky. What do you do in this kind of situation? Run into the woods of course!

Hai! We wants noms!

Now, in addition to being irritating, our little group of miniature criminals is rather useless when it comes to survival tactics. Not only do they constantly bicker with one another but, in making their escape, they manage to run into an old abandoned fort that was built on a gas deposit. While inside they manage to break the seal that would have kept most of the gas stored and then successfully set fire to blonde guy. To their credit they do manage to formulate a rudimentary democracy whereby they vote on everything they do. Unfortunately this system is flawed in that those that are about to be used as bird bait (fat guy – bitten during the initial attack and now looking rather ill from whatever it is that mutated the birds) are not allowed to vote for fear that it might sway the group’s decision. Can’t imagine why.

Here's beak in your eye!

While the kids are trying to survive things aren’t going very well at the forest’s local hospital either. A hunter that was attacked by one of the birds is getting very, VERY sick, leading to his ward being quarantined. When it turns out that the virus is a mutated form of the H1N1 Avian Flu virus the government is called in to completely quarantine the hospital to stop the infection from spreading. A separate wing is brought in to help take out the birds before they migrate to the nearest town in search of a new food source. When girl who did what she had to do to survive her abusive father manages to get her hands on a child’s walkie talkie it falls to our heroic park ranger and his doctor ex-wife to find the remaining juvenile delinquents before the birds manage to turn them into their next meal.

My honest opinion? I think the kids are actual juvenile delinquents and ‘starring’ in this movie was their punishment.

LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:

  • If you can hack into a school’s computer you’re only a step away from being able to hack into the Pentagon.
  • People don’t scream when they’re on fire.
  • Bird flu spreads because chicken farmers in Laos insist on having sex with their poultry.
  • A ‘nobody enters, nobody leaves’ policy is really awkward for people stuck standing in the parking lot.
  • Kissing should involve swallowing half of the other person’s face.
  • A child’s walkie talkie is very useful for when you want to get in touch with your local park ranger.

FLU BIRDS TRAILER


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