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Virus 1980

Started by Svengoolie 3, July 14, 2019, 04:04:42 AM

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Svengoolie 3

OK, to begin, there are like a few dozen movies titled "virus" so to be clear this is the one from japan made in 1980 with Chuck Conners. I hope there was only one movie from 1980 named virus with chuck conners made in japan. As many movies called virus as there are I can't be completely sure.

Speaking of japan,  I hear that country has an unreal suicide rate.  If Virus 1980 is typical of their film industry I can believe this assertion. It's hard to think of a movie more nihilistic, depressing, despair inducing and likely  to cause thought of suicide than this one. Well,  there is "Goke, body snatcher from hell",  another fine Japanese film. Yeah,  guys, I think I can see where your suicide problem might be coming from...

Also,  at the time of its release virus was the most expensive film made in japan. This might be from the "all star cast" approach it took which was popular at the time,  with Robert Vaughn, George Kennedy, Chuck Conners, Henry Silvia, Glenn ford,  etc.

Anyhoo, on to the review. Warning!  If you are already depressed, suffering despair or have thought of suicide, please stop reading now. Seriously, I don't  want to be responsible for any of the user  base here committing suicide. Even people who don't like me and are vociferous about it,  the board has too few uers as is. Also I'm writing this as flippantly and irreverently  as I can to lighten the pitch black nihilism and despair this movie radiates like fast neutrons and gamma rays coming out of the core of the fukishima reactor disaster.

OK if You're still here I wash my hands of all responsibility.

Basically it begins with a British nuclear sub coming up in Tokyo harbor in the then future world of 1983 and getting no radio contact, and seeing nothing but dead bodies in Tokyo thru it's periscope. It takes an air sample thru a secure bio warfare system and sets off to find out what happened.

Flashback!  An American (Jeez,  Japan, what's with Americans always being bad guys in your movies?  If you're  still steamed at us for Hiroshima you guys really did a lot to provoke that,  you know.) Scientist has invented a biological doomsday weapon called MM88. It's a sorta virus thingie that isn't deadly by itself,  it just latches onto all existing viruses and bacteria and makes them super deadly and unstoppable. Of course the blundering American created it by accident.

Instead of realizing the fact this was a monster and destroying it, the stupid american lets it get stolen and since the thieves were  incompetent (despite breaking into a high security fasciity. This place was stare of the art. I mean they had to blow open a set of doors and run into a room to steal it!) they slip up and the case carrying the MM88 is broken because obviously in 1980 the technology to build like steel cases to protect the world from a global deathademic was still under development.

MM88 gets released,  and becomes known as the Italian flu. I guess japan kinda blames Italy for the way things went in WW2. My grandfather used to say that Germany and japan could have won WW2 if Italy had been on the allies side.

Within like 7 months most of the world has died,  we see various images of this, a lot of it in the white house as the all star cast moans about how nothing can be done. Much crying and lamentation is done.  The president and some other actors wax about the beauty of life as they die from coughing and possible heart attacks.  "You were  my rival, never my enemy. " Glenn ford tells Robert Vaughn as they slip into (by this time)  the welcome embrace of prince Sirki and are carried out of this movie.  The requisite insane, warmongering American general who is certain "duh commeez" are behind it and wants to activate an automated nuclear retaliation device is ever present thru all this.  Waiting till the prez is dead or unconscious he asks permission to do so,  takes the dead silence for an affirmative response and proceeds to the underground command center.

MM88 doesn't do well in extreme cold so the hundreds of people in anartica are safe,  well except for no fuel or food coming in but don't worry about that. Well,  they're safe except for an outpost where the men all ended up committing suicide.  At this point the audience  not only understood but likely thought about joining them. A woman survived and is rescued,  taken back to the main base which is not  named McMurdo like in real life. McMurdo is a well known American base,  after all.

The British  sub,  ably captained by chuck Conners comes to Antarctica  just as a Russian sub filled with selfish,  desperate,  dying commies contaminated with Italian flu show up and and demand to be allowed to  enter the artic base. (Gotta slam the russkies too,  huh? Why did the British get a pass and were  portrayed so nobly?)

A British torpedo cures the dying Russian sub of its  selfishness. Turns out the sub went underwater before MM88 was released and is safe. The sub's nuclear reactor can power the base for a long time.

There's a lot of depressing talk abut the necessities of survival. Since woman are a tiny minority they are apparently raffles off to men for sex after a woman is raped the the rapist is not found.  I AM NOT KIDDING!  Horrible as it sounds it's apparently necessary for women to  submit to sex with men against their will to keep from being raped. There are like 8 women and 800 men.

Hey,  I didn't write this.

Well, a scientist exposes the sample of MM88 from the sub to radiation and viola,  creates an experimental vaccine for MM88! Hooray!  Happy ending time!


Another scientist predicts a massive earthquake will devastate america soon, possibly disturbing tens of millions of corpses. Well, that and triggering the american automated response system since the computers,  if active, will decide the earthquake was a nuclear attack,  despite the differences in nuclear blast shockwaves from an earthquake,  the lack or EMP,  radiation ,  etc. Hey,  come on,  the computers back then were only  8 bit after all! The thing is when Americas nukes auto fire at Russia, it will trigger the Russian system (probably still running on transistors and vacuum tubes)  to fire a retaliation, and wouldn't you know it? The Russians are such a bunch of pricks they have a nuke targeted on the strategically worthless antarctic base just because they're pricks . They know this because a Russian scientist tells them.

Oddly enough while most nuclear weapon sites and missiles require daily maintenance by trained personnel to keep functional, apparently if everyone dies a special self maintenance  system goes into effect that keeps them fully operational for years. Why this system only activates after everyone dies is uncertain, but I suspect labor contracts are involved.

Desperate plan time!  The sub will race to america so Bo Svenson and a Japanese computer expert (you just knew the hero was going to be from the land if the rising sun,  didn't'cha?) Can deactivate the automated response system while an icebreaker that used to supply Antarctica will carry the 8 pregnant women and the babies they'd already spat out who have all been innoculated to a warmer climate.

Well, Bo Svenson dies horribly and our hero gets to the control like 3 seconds too late to press the magic button. American computers launch,  Russian adding machine launches,  artic base goes bye bye, British sub goes bye bye when Washington is hit, but our plucky little Japanese hero somehow survives in the deep underground bunker, comes out like months later and wanders the world like an extra from "the road warrior",  talking to mummified corpses explainng how he survived.

Later he wanders into contact with the women from the base,  like all 8 of them, who tell him that the radiation from the massive nuclear exchange  has magically made MM88 disappear!

Yeah,  i'm right there groaning with you,  my hand sympathetically  on your shoulder. Hang on  sparky,  we're nearly  done.

The movie ends with too few humans left to maintain a valid gene pool on a world dripping radiation. Ouf exhausted hero mutters "life is wonderful" and collapses in the arms of his galpal from Antarctica.

Yeah,  i'm skimming this movie a lot, it was like 2 hours and 45 minutes originally, and I really didn't want to drive anyone  to suicide. Unlike the makers of the movie.

People who like marylin Manson,  that whole goth thing and  death metal will likely embrace the darkness and despair of this movie and its  endless nihilism. Those of us who aren't having our anus' darkened in order to have our very own personal pit of black despair as a permanent part of us  admit it was a competently made movie for the time,  try to forget seeing it and resist the urge to whip up a Kevorkian Cocktail before bedtime.

Maybe it's not as bleak as "on the beach" as there were  some survivors but likely not enough to keep the human race going unless there were  pockets of survivors in other cold climates. This wasn't implied. Or unless they saved sperm samples from the male population of Antarctica which again was not  implied. Plus the whole radiation from total nuclear exchange thing.

All in all this is a bummer of a movie and I can't really recommend it unless you've  been seriously considering suicide and just need a little something to push you over the edge.

The doctor that circumcised Trump threw away the wrong piece.