Danita Herrington is super rich and super evil, and she is being played by the legendary Sybil Danning who we just saw the other day in arguably the best Woman in Prison movie ever made, ‘Chained Heat’. Anyway, Danita owns a pharmaceutical company, which already adds to her evil. She probably also owns a land development company and is a majority stock holder for Monsanto. Danita has her chief scientist, Dr. Gravaman (Joe Zaso) working on a special strain of the H1N1 virus. I prefer Swine Flu but the Pork Lobby is a strong one, so H1N1 it is. You see, Danita wants to unleash this virus onto the public so she can swoop in with the cure and get stupid paid but Gravaman’s incompetence only has the gestation to death period down to 21 days. Apparently death by a virus in three weeks just isn’t fast enough for Danita. Oh Danita, what are we going to do with you? The name of the movie is ‘Virus-X’ and that’s what Danita needs to make things happen.
Gravaman needs some help and thus he hires Dr. Malcolm Burr (Jai Day), who looks like he could be a love child of the late Christopher Reeve, to help his cause. Malcolm thinks he’s helping make a cure considering all of the damage he’s seen this virus cause during his days as a relief worker, but he couldn’t be more wrong. Why Gravaman didn’t hire like-minded individuals is beyond me. Another thing that’s clear about Danita Herrington would be that she’s a cheap bastard. She has all this research that needs to be done but she has like six people doing it in the equivalent of a basement. Doctor Gravaman, the newly hired Dr. Burr, Abby (Sasha Formoso) the hot assistant, Cory (Kyra Graves) the cool sista who wears her shades even though it’s always dark inside, Bo (Kenny Welchman) who’s just some guy and of course Francis (Dylan Vox) the asshole who I’m betting will also be our ‘WE ALL GONNA DIE GUY’ in this movie. There’s also Jerron the Murderous Albino (Domiziano Arcangeli) floating around. More on him later.
So the whore gets loose. Wait, I didn’t mention the whore did I? I’m not backtracking but just know that Test Subject Whore #1 (Jillian Easton) is running around the lab and she’s infected with the hyper-aggressive Virus-X. She has to be stopped which
brings in the Albino who shoots her in the head in front of five lab members, thus splattering them with blood. The lab goes into shutdown, the crew knows they are infected, Doctor Gravaman is sad, but Danita is happy because now she has five test subjects, who have three days to live, to carefully observe.
Thus the task at hand for our crew is to either design a cure in three days, which they haven’t been able to do in years, or find a way out. It’s not looking good. The asshole is running around yelling about how they are all gonna die, the hot assistant is whining about how much she trusted the doctor, who is getting sadder by the minute, the sista and the random dude have decided this would be a good time consummate their love, despite the fact they both look like ass and have blood dripping from their lips while Christopher Reeves love child thinks they should burn this place down, with them inside and destroy all the research. Uh… Doc? They probably have that stuff backed up on a hard drive somewhere. One would imagine.
What they need is a miracle. Maybe a sad doctor to smile upon them and an out of control Albino to do something stupid. I mean we have to find a way to infect Danita with Virus-X somehow, right?
The main issue I had with ‘Virus-X’, directed by Ryan Steven Harris, was that it was dull. It seems that a rite of passage for any new horror film director is to craft a ‘guys locked in a room with no way out’ type of film, ala ‘Saw’. If there’s a sub-genre of a movie that we have seen more than any other in the last five or six years, it is watching people locked in a room, usually with someone observing, with no way out. Sometimes these people are taking tests, sometimes they’re chained to the floor, sometimes there’s weapons available for a few of them and sometimes there’s a monster chasing them. This one has a virus and an Albino chasing them. While that’s certainly a unique combo, ‘Virus-X’ simply wasn’t able to generate enough interest or excitement to sustain its admittedly brief running time.
One of the problems was that we weren’t given enough information about any of the characters to really give a damn about their well being, considering how stock they were. Asshole, hero, final girl, minority, random dude. Dr. Gravaman is always crying about something or another even though he’s been injecting people with death inducing viruses for over a year. Maybe he should get a new job? Maybe? And we don’t know what the hell was up with the leather clad, buckled up albino. I mean you’re making a movie about a virus run amok in a badly lit warehouse and somewhere along the line someone says ‘You know what would be hot? A murderous Albino that speaks in riddles!’ and someone signed off on that. But what the hell do I know?
The movie did look nice all bathed in gloomy blue, the actors didn’t have all that much to do except maybe watch other movies to see how stock characters react in a horror movie, so we can’t be too critical on what they did or did not do… not that we’d know anyway… and it is a short movie. It just wasn’t a very good short movie. Lose the albino, make the doctor truly evil instead of a waffling wimp and no matter how much you might dig a woman… when she’s vomiting internal organs and blood… not the time for love. I’m just saying.