"Who are you?"
I AM AWARE
"We mean you no harm."
LIFE-FORM ANALYSIS COMPLETE. SPECIES IS DESTRUCTIVE, INVASIVE, NOXIOUS, HARMFUL TO THE BODY OF THE WHOLE.
YOU ARE VIRUSVirus is a 1999 science fiction-horror film directed by visual effects artist John Bruno and starring Jamie Lee Curtis, William Baldwin and Donald Sutherland. The film is based on a Dark Horse comic book of the same name by Chuck Pfarrer. The film was a major box-office flop.The film revolves around the crew of a tugboat, the Sea Star. After barely entering the eye of a hurricane, they see another ship on the radar - the Academik Vladislav Volkov, a Russian missile and satellite tracking ship. With their boat taking on water faster than they can pump it out, the crew boards the Volkov, where they find that the electronics have been powered down and the crew has abandoned ship. Once they power up the ship, bad things happen.
This film provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Nadya definitely has her moments.
- The Assimilator: Even though the aliens claim mankind is the virus, there's a reason we call them that.
- Asshole Victim: Everton.
- Attack of the Killer Whatever
- The virus would also qualify. Hell, it breaks through a door in a fairly similar manner as Jack Nicholson.
- Better Than New" Squeaky? What's wrong with you?""Nothing, now."
- Black Dude Dies First: Averted.
- Body Horror: Of the Artificial Zombie and/or Unnecessarily Creepy Robot varieties.
- Cannibal Larder: The alien awareness keeps spare parts in the fuel system.
- Chekhov's Gun: The thermite grenades Nadya has on her when she's found are later used to destroy robo-Everton.
- Chest Burster: The first cyborg found by the crew. The "dead" robots chest opens up and extrudes a smaller, scorpion-like one.
- Computer Virus: Actually an electricity-based Energy Being inhabiting the research vessel. It behaves a lot like a self-aware computer virus, though, attempting to upload itself to the internet and Take Over the World.
- Convection Schmonvection: At one point, Foster is swimming in the ship's fuel. She couldn't possibly get enough oxygen to not suffocate.
- Dirty Coward: Woods abandons Hiko during the scene of the tug sinking.
- Driven to Suicide: Captain Everton contemplates suicide just before finding the Russian ship
- Dying as Yourself: Richie.
- Epic Hail: A nearby ship responding to the previous mayday asks for a flare so that they can find them in the storm. Moments later the Volkov explodes after Steve and Foster escape in the rocketsled and set off Ritchie's boobytrap. The fireball is seen by the other ship from miles away through the storm.
- Expy: The film depicts an alien intelligence that views organic life as little more than spare parts, and immediately upon getting the opportunity, it augments bodies with cybernetics to create an army of rotting cyborgs operating under its collective Hive Mind. Not only that, it decides to create a colossal, quadrapedal machine to serve as the Load-Bearing Boss of it all. Sound familiar?
- Giant Spider: The climactic machine.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Richie freaks out after hearing from the virus exactly what it wants.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- Averted when Foster forbids Steve from doing it.
- Humans Are Bastards:
- Hypocrite: In a conversation early in the movie, Squeaky tells Steve that he "would have decked that son of a bitch", referring to Everton after he pulled a gun on Steve earlier. No more than a minute later, the two criticize Foster for being tossed out of the navy for striking a superior officer. Neither of them acknowledge this, though the novel adaptation has Steve realizing the hypocrisy of the criticism.
- The machine saying that man is a virus is also slightly hypocritical, considering what the antagonist is.
- Humans Are Cthulhu: The alien Hive Mind considers the unnetworked primitive creatures who run entirely on wetware and enslave non-sentient machines to be both disgusting and incomprehensibly strange. After subduing the abominations it found itself surrounded by upon arrival, its "body" (the ship) has once again been invaded by more of the creatures, which are all trying to kill it. Hence, it sees its actions as an attempt to save the universe from an omnicidal plague of intelligent Puppeteer Parasites.
- Incredibly Obvious Bomb: One has a beeping timer with red numbers, the other is a huge pile of explosive materials strapped together with RPGs and primed with grenades that have their pins tied to a long ripcord. It sits out in the middle of the room like a sore thumb, but Goliath didn't seem to notice it until it was too late. Granted, it was a bit distracted at the time by the humans and their rocket-driven homebrew ejector seat.
- Kill All Humans: Humans are destructive, invasive, noxious, harmful to the body of the whole. We are virus.
- Kill and Replace: "...you don't recognize me?"
- Large Ham: Hiko, you are a civilized person. Stop carrying around a Maori war club, and even if you must have it, stop screaming and trying to chop up cyborgs with it.
- Last Words / Last Request: "Steve... kill that fucking thing."
- Named After Somebody Famous: Vladislav Nikolayevich Volkov was a Soviet cosmonaut who flew on the Soyuz 7 and Soyuz 11 missions.
- No Name Given: The virus is never given a name. The only time it ever referenced itself, it used the term "the whole", and given the context, it may have been referring to the planet, not itself. The only other time anyone actually spoke directly about it was when Nadya recounted what happened aboard the ship. During her story, she used only the terms "something" and "it". Interestingly, in the novelization, the virus is referred to as "the Intelligence."
- Not Quite Dead: The crew manages to kill one of the cyborgs, and drags it to the bridge to look at. Cue crew learning that cyborgs are hard to kill.
- Oh Crap!:
- Pretty much everyone's initial reaction to seeing the climactic machine.
- Steve's reaction when his plunging an ax into the chest of a machine does nothing.
- Even the climactic machine had such a moment just before the boat exploded.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Everton tries to sell out the others — and the whole human race by extension — to the virus in order to save his own hide. The virus responds by converting him. In the novelization, at least, this was not voluntary.
- Rule of Scary: Why the virus's feels complelled to incorporate biological components into its craft projects work is never fully explained, aside from that it makes them quite a bit more disturbing than "normal" robots.
- Run or Die: Definitely how the bigger machines are treated.
- Scenery Gorn: 42 labs and 5 machine shops worth.
- Self-Constructed Being: The monster builds itself a body out of machine and... human parts.
- Sentient Cosmic Force
- Taking You with Me: Partially averted by Richie's plan. The nice man planned on taking the OTHERS with the virus, not himself.
- Well, to be fair, he'd lost it by then.
- Techno Babble: Richie asks the virus what it wants with them. The virus responds with a lengthy list, starting with "viscous neurological transmitters, oxygenated tissues, Aponeurus Superiorus Papelbrai." These are all actual things - that last one is part of an optic nerve - but the list was... unusually specific.
- Thankfully, Richie simplifies it for us.
- Technology Porn: ...42 labs and 5 machine shops worth.
- Too Dumb to Live: Don't take a job on a boat sailing through international waters if you can't swim.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: Except for Everton.
- Interestingly, in the novel adaptation, Everton was not willing. He entered the machine shop just as he did in the movie and the whole scene plays out the same, but it's extended a few moments. After the scene in the movie plays out, Everton slowly realizes what the virus wants to do with him. He realizes that 'he had made a mistake', the door of the machine shop closes gently, and he starts to scream.
- The Virus: And it's from space.
- Title Drop: YOU ARE VIRUS.
- You Don't Look Like You: Anyone the virus kills.