by Jason F. Koenigsberg
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Did you finish watching my top 5 Global Infection Movies? This Coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a screeching halt and with movie theaters closed along with many businesses, schools are shut down, and sports seasons have been postponed there is not much else to do besides work from home and stream videos. Here are five more global infection movies you should check out if you are so inclined, and once again no zombies.
Rabid (1977) directed by David Cronenberg
When you think of Canada you probably think of nice, friendly people, hockey, and free healthcare. But when you think of Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg you probably think of disturbing images and bodily mutations. Rabid is an early Cronenberg exploitation infection movie that gave adult film star Marilyn Chambers her first and only significant mainstream role. She plays a victim of a motorcycle crash that is the subject of experimental emergency surgery to save her life. The surgery results in turning her character into a bloodthirsty sexpot who craves the taste of human blood and turns her victims into rabid creatures creating a huge epidemic that spreads throughout Montreal and threatens the rest of Canada, and the world. A fun B-movie from the master of venereal horror.
Bird Box (2018) directed by Susanne Bier
This movie was mentioned in my previous article for just missing the cut and it did. Bird Box could also serve as an alien invasion movie depending on how the viewer interprets it but for the sake of our current situation Bird Box feels like an end of the world apocalypse picture about a disease that causes people to murder themselves if they look at the sky, or sunlight, or possibly anything they expose their eyes to in the atmosphere. Bird Box is a smarter than average thriller which took elements from The Happening (2008), Blindness (2008), and A Quiet Place (2018) but never felt redundant. Instead it actually improved on the aspects it borrowed from those films that came before it.
Doomsday (2008) directed by Neil Marshall
Neil Marshall’s follow up to his highly successful claustrophobic horror film The Descent (2006) was a futuristic action thriller about a group of people quarantined in Scotland trying to save the rest of the human race from an infection that could destroy us all. It is an ambitious apocalyptic thriller that was clearly influenced by John Carpenter’s Escape from New York (1981). Sadly Mr. Marshall’s career did not follow in the ways of John Carpenter but Doomsday has felt more prescient in recent months with the coronavirus pandemic plaguing the world with travel restrictions and quarantine’s becoming standard operating procedure. Whether we will have some of the Mad Max and fantasy elements of Doomsday has yet to be seen, but perhaps fashion trends and hairstyles in the upcoming months will dictate that.
Perfect Sense (2011) directed by David Mackenzie
A love story first and foremost about a couple struggling to maintain their sanity as the world collapses around them. Perfect Sense is the story of a chef and a scientist who fall in love in Great Britain during a global epidemic that robs people of their sensory perceptions. First comes smell and taste and the final one is sight. This is a beautiful and heartfelt film about normal people coming to terms with their mortality as the world around them disintegrates into chaos. The always reliable actors Ewan McGregor and Eva Green give two of their finest and most emotional performances. Not what one might expect from an end of the world movie and not enough people have discovered this underrated picture.
The Road (2009) directed by John Hillcoat
A post apocalyptic movie that is not necessarily an infection film since we never know what it is that brought about society in The Road to crumble into a constant battle for survival killing all living creatures. Based on the acclaimed novel by Cormac McCarthy, The Road is about a father protecting his son struggling to survive after an unknown catastrophic event. It feels like a long, well-acted episode of The Walking Dead, a zombie movie without the zombies. Viggo Mortensen gave a terrific understated performance and his weight loss for the role was admirable as his commitment to the part. Along with the fact they are outside most of the film and there is never a single animal or insect ever shown on screen to illustrate the dire circumstances that nothing else can grow or breed on the planet. The scene where he and his son stumble onto a basement filled with human cattle is quite jarring. Hopefully our future is not as bleak as the one painted in The Road.