I’ve gotten a little sick. It just seems like a cold, but these days even the slightest sickness fells one with dread that it is the feared lurgy that is currently stalking the land. It most likely isn’t, but you can’t think it.
From my last entry you might be thinking I have been doing nothing but watching old TV, but that’s not true. I’ve been watching new TV too. Plus movies.
At the start of lockdown, I began watching things somehow inspired by the pandemic. These have been mostly disaster and apocalyptic disease movies. Here have been some highlights...
- The Last Man on Earth (1964) Engaging (but slow) post-apocalyptic plague/zombie movie with Vincent Price.
- The Omega Man (1971) Remake of The Last Man on Earth but with Charlton Heston. Less claustrophobic because of the big cityscapes, but the focus is more on the deteriorating mental state of the central character. The death cult are much more culty and cartoony; and there are no zombies. Tenser , darker, very 1970s. It was remade again as I Am Legend, which I have yet to see.
- The Swarm (1978) Enjoyably terrible killer bee disaster movie. If you ever find yourself writing dialogue like "I appreciate that, Doctor, but, let me ask you. In all your fail-safe techniques, is there a provision for an attack by killer bees?" delete everything, walk away, save the studio millions.
- Outbreak (1995) Biochemist (with relationship problems) investigates seemingly new virus. With added layer of US military top-brass interference/cover up). Semi nonsense, but enjoyable, big-name, well-directed nonsense. One of the last movies where a virus didn't turn people into zombies.
- 28 Days Later (2002) British post-virus zombie movie. Tense and claustrophobic as you’d expect it to be. Starts the same way as The Walking Dead and Day of the Triffids.
- 2012 (2009 (2006 (2003 (2000)))) Huge budget, over the top, big name end of the world nonsense. It’s proof that even with big names, and no doubt plenty of people paid as consultants, there can still be major plot holes and the core science can still be ludicrous “Neutrinos coming from the sun have mutated into a new kind of nuclear particle. They're heating up the earth's core and suddenly act like microwaves.”
- Pandemic (2016) Flu-like infection causes smart, fast, super-angry zombies. Pretty well done. Suitably downbeat and atmospheric. Some video game references for the modern audience.