I've been working with kids for several years now. Helping mold young minds gives me great joy. There's nothing quite like seeing a child "get it" when you're teaching them something. Like with anything else, however, there is a downside. It seems like once a month, bunches of them will be sick at the same time. Not sick enough to stay home, mind you, at least according to their parents. They're just sick enough where they are all sniffling, sneezing, and coughing. And they're touching things. Occasionally, they're touching each other. Sometimes, without warning or permission, they touch you. Sure, you load up on vitamin C, and lather yourself in hand sanitizer every chance you get, but the inevitable happens. Whatever bug is biting them, bites you. When it does, you raid the local pharmacy for your drug of choice and move on. Eventually, you get better...until it happens again. But, what if you never got better? What if no one ever got better? That's pretty much the premise behind the topic for this week's Thursday Movie Picks. We're talking movies about epidemics, pandemics, and/or outbreaks.
Oh, to answer the question about what happens if no one ever gets better, we end up here:
The Last Man on Earth (1964)
The Omega Man (1971)
I Am Legend (2007)Here is where it seems all of humanity has killed each other off as a result of a plague that turns people into vampire-like creatures, save for one man, Robert Neville (Heston in The Omega Man, Will Smith in I Am Legend). For some strange reason, it's Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) in The Last Man on Earth. Anyhoo, we meet him long after the plague has done its damage and he's been living a solitary life and trying to avoid the freaks that come out at night. He's also working on a cure. All three movies are based on the same novel, I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. I've read the book, watched all three movies, and wrote a post comparing and contrasting all of it. Check it out here. Before an epidemic gets that far, it has to start somewhere, right?
(2002)Maybe, it could start here. We hang out with some college kids who have taken weekend refuge at a cabin in the woods for a little fun in the sun. It's a typical slasher flick set up, but there is a twist. One of the local yokels has contracted, and now passing around, a flesh-eating virus. Let's just say things get pretty nasty. Surprisingly, things are morbidly funny, too. Funniest, and most disturbing of all is the film's final scene. No, I haven't seen the 2016 remake. I won't go into the hows and whys of a remake of a movie younger than all my kids other than to say Eli Roth. Anyhoo, between the beginning of an epidemic and the end, it spreads.
(2011)And man, does it spread in this movie. In this case, Elizabeth (Gwyneth Paltrow) appears to be victim number one of a highly contagious virus that causes people to die shortly after contracting it. The CDC swoops into action as the death toll skyrockets and we watch the whole world fall apart. There are no jump scares, no ghosts, no ravenous undead, no masked psychos, nor nihilistic aliens. That's precisely why it's so damn scary. Click here for my full review.