When we feel under the weather, we take some medicine. We like to make some herbal tea, prehaps wrap up and not leave our beds for a while. But a mutant virus only has room for a lifetime of being cosy in your body.
These movies make you want to cleanse yourself thoroughly and stay in a spacesuit for all eternity because no one wants to ‘get it’ . Brace yourself for some body horror creatures that I’ve enjoyed watching..from a distance ofcourse.
Credits: Directed by John Carpenter (Based on the novel Who Goes There? By John W. Campbell). Music By Ennio Morricone.
The Thing (1982) is one of my favourite virus movies I’ve come across. In the Antarctic a helicopter opens the scene trying to shoot a dog running for its life until he eventually fails. The very same dog that comes on board with MacReady (Kurt Russel) and his scientific team when they come back with it and a disfigured corpse with two faces.
Whilst the research team work in the cold isolated station with some whisky and a game of chess against the computer, the dog mutates into some..thing..” I don’t know what the hell is in there, but it’s weird and pissed off”. and is quickly burned.
An autopsy reveals the creature is able to imitate other organisms, so perfectly that you wouldn’t even know you were standing next to one.
It’s not long before suspicion arouses amongst the team and everyone suspects each other of being ‘the thing’. It just needs you alone and alive.
There is a great iconic scene where everyone is tied to a chair and one by one, MacReady tests their blood with a heated copper wire to expose the creature from its hiding as it reacts to high heat. The tension runs so high that no music is even needed to set the dreaded feeling of “we’re going to find out who’s who”.
MacReady contemplates his fate as he sits down at his tape recorder ” nobody trusts anyone and we’re all very tired”.
A creature so clever it can hide well for years undetected. Better get that blowtorch MacReady.
Credits: Directed by Eli Roth. Music By Angelo Badalamenti and Nathan Barr.
Never has a skin rash been so severe than a group of teenagers taking a trip to a weird isolated cabin with the inhabitants of a weird town. Before the horror can even begin, there is the racist shop keeper where the teenagers make a stop to pick up some groceries.
You have a strange kid sitting outside who likes to shout pancakes! And bites people (Well.. he is normal as far as infections go at least), with a sign reading Do not sit next to Dennis. Not to mention a cop who is far more interested in weed and parties than a cry for help.
It all starts with a rotting dead dog who infects his owner, who later drops by the cabin in need of help. Fearing for their lives as he vomits blood continuously all over the place, they accidentally burn him alive when he ignores their warning to “stay the hell back.”
When sexy time turns into a hot mess, with one of the girls being infected, they isolate her in the shed in hope they will not ‘get it’. How the heck did she get it?! You begin to wonder what’s feeding them the infection. “There’s some sick shit going around and that hermits spreading it around” . Talk about a bad skin day.
Credits: Directed by Bruce McDonald. (Based on the novel Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess). Music by Claude Foisy.
Never have I been more terrified to speak the English language when you realise you can get infected just from speaking.
Grant, Sydney and Laurel-Ann work at a radio station when they get a lot of disturbance on air from their callers. A horde of people start to surround the place, Grant can only think that this is some form of a demonstration. “I don’t know if this is a way of terrorising people”.
One caller in particular; Ken, is trapped in a place where he recalls in horror ” some are naked, their pulling two people apart, carrying them in their mouths on the ground..biting them like piranhas”, it is one of the most terrifying scenes, as we do not get to witness what he saw, instead the noises alone are enough to scare us.
A French over speaker translated, tells them not to speak to any family members and not to use words of endearment (such as I love you, ), or the English language as the virus spreads through constructed sentences.
It’s a unique twist on the virus movies and one that is wonderfully weird. On that note I guess I hate you.
Credits: Directed by Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza.
“Good evening, this is Angela Vidal speaking” she says to us in front of the camera as we embark on a distress call about a woman screaming in a trapped apartment. With a crew of firefighters they take flight to help this woman.
Standing in the hallway in the shadows, we see a woman in her nightie, covered in blood and almost growling, she becomes aggressive and bites the neck of an officer and in turn infecting him now.
The dialogue (in subtitles) is what makes this movie so interesting and a fresh take on the zombie franchise. When interviewing people, one lady states ” I knew something like this would happen, I don’t get Why people just fall from the building and bleed everywhere. I’m definitely going to sue”.
Another man whispers ” it’s the Chinese. They eat raw. It smells. If they were the nice kind who do feng shui but no”. And then asks Angela when they are ready to start rolling when he was already being filmed and laughs wearily.
It is those small witty remarks that make a big impact for the movie to stand out. Not only that, Rec has a lot to offer in its storyline with twists and turns that you wouldn’t expect.
Rec 2 is also worth watching by the same director as it ties in nicely with the first movie. Then there is rec 3 genesis which I disliked and rec 4 which I haven’t seen.
Rec is a clever found footage style, with well framed movements that expose more than a shaky camera. Night vision on. Check. Press record..check.
Credits: Directed by Francis Lawrence (2007). (based on the novel by Richard Matheson).
A genetically engineered virus initially created to cure cancer fails to work and wipes out the majority of the population and those remaining patients turned into a monsterous form (almost like a vampire) that hide from sunlight. That is but one man and his dog Sam, roaming the isolated New York City amongst some wildlife that seem unaffected.
With three years gone by without civilization, Neville goes on with his daily routine of checking his watch for when the sun sets ( when the creatures come out to play), stocking up on food, listening to Bob Marley, experimenting on some live rats, excersising and talking to his mannequin friends who have names.
His desperate lonliness is portrayed so clearly as he struggles to keep himself going whilst ‘role-playing’, as he walks up to a lady doll to finally say hello. “please say hello to me “. However a mishap disrupts his order of doing things at a timely fashion and Neville is about to realise he isn’t so alone.
Other movies to get under your skin..