YouTube Saturday – Come on, get down with the sickness

Yep, it's THAT time of the week again!

I’m ill. So this week I will share with you all, for your viewing pleasure, trailers for five films that feature disease as one of the main driving devices behind their plots. These aren’t necessarily the best films in the world, but a couple of them are true classics. Also, monkeys are truly evil – see if you can spot the three films where monkeys play a huge part.

Now please excuse me whilst I continue to cough up my lungs.

The Omega Man (1971), is based on the 1954 novel I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Technically there’s been at least three film adaptations of the novel, with a story that sees most of humanity killed off by a deadly disease – the most recent being the Will Smith adaptation – but The Omega Man is one that has stuck with me… probably because it sees Charlton Heston at his most crass.

28 Days Later (2002), reinvigorated interpretations of disease based apocalypses. Dealing with the personal alongside the spectacle of a bloody apocalypse – it certainly helped filmmakers to think again about what they could do with the zombie genre. Personally, I found the 2007 sequel somewhat lackluster, unable to capitalize on the original’s shocks and personal interactions.

Outbreak (1995), is a classic disaster movie, posing the most realistic “what if” scenario of all the films I’m looking at in this post. While the virus mentioned in the film isn’t real, it’s based off of the characteristics of the Ebola genus – and that genus of viruses is pretty damn nasty. The real lesson of the film is that hygiene is important and that you can’t trust anyone who doesn’t wash their hands or cover their mouth and nose when they sneeze.

Pontypool (2008), is the most “original” zombie film to have hit our screens over the last few years. Apart from the truly claustrophobic setting, it’s a film that likes to build up the suspense and keep you on tender hooks throughout. I’m not saying anymore than the above as this one of those films that you really don’t want to spoil for others. It is based on the novel Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess.

Twelve Monkeys (1995), is a different kettle of fish to its 1995 brethren Outbreak. Where Outbreak is the stereotypical smash and grab Hollywood blockbuster, Twelve Monkeys is the kind of film that you’ll have to watch several times in order to understand all of its nuances. As well as offering food for thought, due to having Terry Gilliam as its director the film is also visually stunning.


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