Virus (1980)

VIRUS (1980)
aka Fukkatsu no hi
Article 3456 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-22-2010
Posting Date: 1-30-2011
Directed by Kinji Fukasaku
Featuring Glenn Ford, Chuck Connors, Olivia Hussey
Country: Japan
What it is: Ambitious end of the world epic

A deadly biological weapon is unleashed that decimates the world. Soon, only a small group isolated in Antarctica is left alive to find a cure.

I’ve heard tell that the full version, which runs 156 minutes, is much better than the abbreviated 103 minute version I have. I’m willing to buy that; my version has a somewhat unfocused, rushed and confusing feel that could easily be the result of large chunks of footage having been cut. Still, the end result isn’t disastrous, and at about the halfway point a new development (involving an earthquake and an automatic missile launching system) gives the movie some much needed focus just when it needs it. I do like the international flavor of it; though it was a Japanese production, it uses actors of many countries and has a number of familiar faces; outside of those listed above, you’ll also see Henry Silva, Robert Vaughn, Sonny Chiba, Bo Svenson and Arthur Kennedy, just to name a few. Still, the movie proved to be a major flop, and given the ending, I’m not really surprised.

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