Posts Tagged ‘Hellboy’

Now that Dark Horse Comics is again gearing up to co- produce and produce a fair amount of movie adaptation ( Jonas Akerland directed Polar is on Netflix as we speak with Hellboy reboot now in post- production) it’s as good time as any to look back at some of their early and lesser known adaptations.

     Hope they do an animated Usagi Yojimbo next!

That means we’ll skip the usual suspects like Time Cop featuring Jean Claude Van Damme (a personal favorite of mine) and even the Barbwire with Pamela Anderson. No, I’m talking about one that seemingly erased from everyone’s collective memory but at the time hailed as start of a potential franchise, Virus (1999) featuring Jamie Lee Curtis!

Now, what’s a Virus, you may ask? Well, you’re in for a treat.

 

Story starts with a Russian science vessel in the middle of the ocean having performing some kind of a reading from a newly launched satellite. Unfortunately things get tough when some kind of a solar storm ( real Fantastic Four kind-of-shit) hits the satellite and it somehow transmits a weird purple lightning all the way to the ship. That can’t be good.

(slika munje ili nesto)

We jump forward in time and we’re with a motley crew of sailors chasing a lost ship that has a nice bounty on it’s sail. Unfortunately a typhoon has another plans for them. Losing a bounty, the almost lose their lives too but by a shear coincidents they end up on a abandoned Russian high-tech ship (that promises an even greater bounty).

That makes Captain (Donald Sutherland) very, very happy. Considering he was ready to blow his head off just minutes ago that’s an improvement. Now, there’s a catch- they can’t claim the vessel unless there’s no survivors so they go out to investigate (having no idea a small spider- robot is watching them). As we always know, that never ends well.

 

In fact a bizarre accident almost cripples a Maori crew member Hiko and brave Foster (Jamie Lee Curtis) runs like hell to save him. Baker (William Boldwin) suspect there’s someone else on board, who’s guilty of sinking the tug. He turns out to be right when a gas- mask wearing Russian attacks them. After they detain “him” it turns out to be a cute redhead scientist from the beginning. So say goodbye to all those millions, right Captain?

Russian tries to run away but Curtis goes after her and cornered she tells her everything. She killed all electricity on the ship because machines were accessing everything and using the knowledge from the computers to hunt and destroy humans. And that was all before the times of the readily available Wi-fi Internet? (I somehow think that if they accesed the internet they would realize that we are all doomed and they would just leave us to self- destruct on our own).

In the meantime a couple of crew members are exploring the ship and they have a first real run- in with the machines but are still in denial of what’s really happening. They barely escape with their lives.

Do need feed the mechanical- spiders!

Now, on the other hand they find the ship’s original Captain Alexie, who’s been transformed into some kind of cybernetic monstrosity. Sutherland still refuses to believe in Aliens and tries to ignore everything. And then to make things even worse another storm hits as hard as the first one that got them here. To top it off a robotic skull attackes them at the same time!

(slika skull attack ili snimak)

They go down to the lower deck and they run into their colleague Sqeak, already transformed into a cyborg, with an even bigger robot right on his heels. Those that manage to escape try to make a contact with the Alien entity via the computer and explain themselves, but in a shocking twist it turns out they consider us a VIRUS, and we must be eradicated (can’t argue with that).

Captain Everton completely looses it and Curtis relieves him of his duties (by punching him square in the face). He seems confused and bewildered by that and being left behind decides to betray all of his crew. He types in that he is superior life- form and offers his services to his new Robot overlords.

Crew decides that the only course of actions is to stop the ship before they hit a British Coast and spread the robot plague. Their plan was to flood the part of the ship with fuel and blow everything up but before they can get going a (newly) Cyborg Sutherland shows up!

Cyborg Sutherland- gone too soon!

Curtis gets into a Ripley from Alien mode but still barely survives. Russian girl gets caught and ends up sacrificing herself by shooting the gas bottles. Baker (Baldwin) and Curtis are only ones left alive but remaining robot is still after them. Trough all the fire they find an ejecting seat and finally escape while the rest of the ship explodes in a giant hail of fire.

Verdict: This movie  had the bad luck to come out in ’99, the same year as The Matrix , movie that dealt with the evil machines much more elegantly.

But still, the highlight is unexplainable acting of Donald Suterland who isn’t doing the usual stuff like phoning it in or even overacting. No, his decisions are so off the wall that it will have you going “WTF?!” again and again and make you questing what the hell are you watching. And Cyborg Sutherland really deserves some kind of an award- I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again!

Trivia: Different than most of the movies on our blog, Virus actually had a fair bit of merchandising and tie- in content like a line of action figures, the Virus Collector Series and (Europe exclusive) Video Game -the Virus: It’s Aware for PlayStation 1.

 

 

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