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Virus
Directed by John Bruno
Produced by Gale Anne Hurd
Written by Chuck Pfarrer
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis
Donald Sutherland
William Baldwin
Joanna Pacula
Marshall Bell
Sherman Augustus
Cliff Curtis
Julio Oscar Mechoso
Music by Joel McNeely
Cinematography David Eggby
Editing by Scott Smith
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) January 15, 1999 (theatrical); July 20, 1999 (USA)
Running time 100 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $75,000,000

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 was a major box-office flop.

Contents

Plot

The film opens with the Russian space station Mir being struck by a powerful electrical surge, which is then transmitted to the large Russian research ship Akademik Vladislav Volkov. The ship is disabled and all on board apparently abandon ship.

Later, in a storm, the tugboat Sea Star, captained by Robert Everton (Donald Sutherland), loses its uninsured cargo, which was the captain's last chance to get out of debt. The tugboat crew happens upon the derelict and decide the ship, loaded with valuable electronics, would be worth a small fortune in salvage.

The crew finds all the transmission equipment totaled, and decide to restore power so they can move the ship. As they restore power, the ship's anchor inexplicably drops onto the tug boat, destroying it and injuring Hiko, the Polynesian deckhand. Meanwhile, a strange robotic creature lures Squeaky to his death in the engine room. Afterward, as Foster treats Hiko's injured leg, a figure in a gas mask bursts out of one of the medical cabinets and fires a AKS-74U at the crew. Steve Baker (William Baldwin) subdues the figure and removes the gas mask to reveal Chief Science Officer Nadia Vinogradiya (Joanna Pacula), the sole survivor of the Russian ship's crew. Soon after, the rest of the crew begin finding strange robots crawling through the ship. Stranger still, they encounter more former crew-members, converted into cyborgs in a robot-run manufacturing complex in the lower levels. Realizing that there is an intelligence behind this and that it is electrical in nature, the crew manages to work together an interface to speak to the alien intelligence. After a brief conversation about what it desires, the alien identifies various human organs and other such cell structures; it has concluded that humans are, based on their biological imperatives to propagate and spread, classified as a virus--good for little else than spare parts. Some of the crew members get killed, one by one, throughout the movie. Kelly Foster (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her crew-mates reason that the ship must be destroyed. Richie Mason (Sherman Augustus) loses his sanity and locks himself in the weapons room. Everton, unwilling to give up his salvage, bargains with the alien, willingly submitting himself to be converted into a cyborg.

Cyborg Everton attacks Foster and Steve, but is killed by them. However, the alien intelligence, inhabiting a large robotic construct, the Goliath Machine, begins to pursue them. Nadia sacrifices herself in an attempt to destroy the robot, but fails. It pursues Foster and Steve to another deck, where they encounter Mason. Fatally wounded during the ensuing battle against the machine, Mason stays behind to detonate a bomb in a failed attempt to destroy the Goliath Machine. As the alien machine is about to catch Foster and Steve, they escape on a rocket sled Mason had constructed in the missile room. As Foster and Steve escape the ship, it triggers an explosion which destroys and sinks the ship. The escape sled parachutes them into the water.

The film ends with Foster clinging to a piece of floating debris. She spots Hiko floating nearby, lifelessly, head hanging down. She swims over, and lifts up his head, only to see his face is nearly torn-off. She turns away, only for Hiko's supposedly lifeless corpse to reach out and attack her. Foster wakes up screaming, and realizes she was merely dreaming, as she is safe on a rescue helicopter with Steve.

The Ship

The ship used as the Akademik Vladislav Volkov was the retired Missile Range Instrumentation Ship USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg (T-AGM-10). One of the ship's satellite dish antennas was intentionally damaged for the movie's final scene where the ship was destroyed. Some of the Cyrillic lettering applied for the film was still visible on the hull before it was sunk on May 27, 2009.

Cast

Actor Character
Jamie Lee Curtis Kelly "Kit" Foster
William Baldwin Steve Baker
Donald Sutherland Captain Robert Everton
Joanna Pacula Nadia Vinogradova
Marshall Bell J.W. Woods Jr.
Sherman Augustus Richie Mason
Cliff Curtis Hiko
Julio Oscar Mechoso Squeaky

External links

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