Film / Virus
Nothing depicted on this poster actually happens.

"Who are you?"
"We mean you no harm."
"What species?"

Virus 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 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. There's also the fact that she had survived for a whole week in the ship fighting against the machines.
  • Artificial Zombie: The virus creates several of these, from Alexi, Squeaky, Woods, and Everton.
  • The Assimilator: Even though the aliens claim mankind is the virus, there's a reason we call them that.
  • 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.
  • Evil Smells Bad: The cyborgs are said to smell "like dog shit".
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The virus has a very deep Machine Monotone.
  • 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?
  • Face-Revealing Turn: Cyborg!Squeaky.
  • Giant Spider: The climactic machine.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Richie freaks out after hearing from the virus exactly what it wants.
  • Hell Is That Noise: the piggish, electronic screech the cyborgs make.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Nadya sacrifices her life by trying to blow up the remaining robot.
    • Averted when Foster forbids Steve from doing it, and ensures that they both leve with the rocket chair.
  • 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.
  • Human Resources: The virus rejiggers the machine shops into cyborg factories.
  • 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". To the alien entity, we are a virus.
  • 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 Request: "Steve... kill that fucking thing."
  • Nail 'Em: Woods gets shot in the clavicle by a nailgun-wielding gatherer. He spends the next 10 or so minutes whining about it.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Vladislav Nikolayevich Volkov, after whom the Russian ship is named after, 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."
  • Nightmare Face: "Alexi" (the first cyborg the crew encounters) has four metal limbs pop out of it's mouth, which leaves a bloody skull with a cluster of Spider Limbs flailing around it.
  • 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. Averted in the film since it's implied that he retained his full faculties.
  • 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.
  • Taking You with Me: Partially averted by Richie's plan. The nice man planned on taking the OTHERS with the virus, not himself. But 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.
  • Tinman Typist: The Avatar Cyborg in Machine Shop 14 is seen typing on a computer.
  • Title Drop: "YOU ARE VIRUS".
  • Too Dumb to Live: Don't take a job on a boat sailing through international waters if you can't swim.
  • Unwilling Roboticisation: All the people killed and/or captured by the machines has this happening to them. Except for Everton.
    • Interestingly, in the novel adaptation, he 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: It's made from electricity, and it's from space.