Tuesday, November 23, 2010

H1N1: Virus X (2010)

Fear 2/5
Gore 2/5
Entertainment 2/5
Creepiness 1/5

I've been wanting to check this one out after watching the trailer for it a few months back. I'm a sucker for viral outbreak/post apocalyptic types of films. In addition, all of this mass hysteria around a piggy virus was at a fever pitch. Flash forward to a couple of weeks ago when I was given the opportunity to obtain a screener copy. What I received and watched was a film that starts off as a taut and serious thriller, but quickly devolves into utter camp with the appearance and dialogue of one character in particular. I could have overlooked that had it not been for the 'shocking' twist that it is employed. Ultimately, its what does this film in.

Our story begins with a bunch of researchers holed up in a heavily secured facility. They've taken to injecting test subjects with a highly aggressive strain of the H1N1 virus. Initially, we are lead to believe that this handful of researchers are looking for the perfect antidote to the virus. Taking up the cause, is another researcher who has seen the deadly effects of the virus first hand.

Things become a bit suspect when a mysterious woman calls the head of the facility, being all too demanding in her request for creating a more hyper strain of the virus not curable by conventional means. Furthering our suspicions, is the late night ventures of her gothic-y looking henchman who picks up people on the streets and brings them back to the facility for testing. After being taken back to the facility and injected with a super duper strain, our latest experimentee wrestles away, biting a researcher in her attempt to escape. Further complicating matters, she's shot in the head with blood being sprayed onto everyone within a five foot radius. Guess who's in that radius? Whoops. The facility then goes on lockdown courtesy of our head researcher. And we soon learn it's only a matter of a couple days before the virus takes the lives of everyone trapped inside.

So now you are left with a group struggling to either get out of the compound or persist in finding a cure but knowing full well their chances of doing so are fat and slim. After the cure effort is ditched, they band together to force their way out and find the head researcher who's hiding somewhere within the facility. All the while, they're being stalked by the henchmen who spews 3rd rate bad guy lines with a heavy Euro accent. This is troubling considering that, for the most part, the acting of the other characters onscreen is solid. His dialogue and appearance is really that bad. Not too mention, he looks....

.... like the blond version of this guy:

Thankfully, our researchers off him and we get to the 'why' of the film. And really, it's not that hard to figure it out beforehand. Expensive research facility + a rich, evil-y intentioned lady + hyper virus + a cure for it (that no one else has) = X. Solve for X.

This film could have been so much more but as it stands, it's a complete dud. A shame considering the solid production values and (for the most part) acting.

Cortez the Killer

Editor's note: apparently, this film is being released by Lionsgate early next year. And the name of it has been abbreviated to simply Virus X.


Carl Manes said...

And Im officially not checking it out. Thanks for taking one for the team!

Cortez The Killer said...

Carl, its what I'm here for.