Virus [1999] Movie Virus 1999 Movie Jamie Lee Curtis, William Baldwin, Joanna Pacula and Cliff Curtis

Virus [1999]

The very obscure and strange atmosphere surrounding this movie was something that I realized only after watching it. With the current IMDb rating of 4.6 and only 9% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Virus is a movie that sounds like something that should be avoided. Even the star of the movie Jamie Lee Curtis said that it’s the worst piece of shit that she ever did (her words, not mine). A budget of 75 million dollars resulted in a box office revenues of just over 30 million, making it a financial failure.

Panned by critics and the science fiction community, mostly because it lacked originality, Virus is now an obscure movie that no one ever heard of, even if they like science fiction. I would like to tell you that these things are untrue, but unfortunately, they are. The Thing meets Predator, but on the starship Enterprise with the Alien lurking in the dark (I’m pretty sure that the Terminator was on board as well) is the closest definition of this flick. Find out why it’s here after the break. 

Virus 1999 Poster

A Russian science vessel, in charge of the communication with the space station MIR, suffers the same fate as the station when a cloud of strange energy passes through it. All this happens in the midst of a typhoon, with a small American tugboat trying to get to the eye of the storm while managing to hold on to the ship it’s tugging. When they finally made it to the eye and into the calm sea, they decide to board the Russian vessel in hopes of finding a way out of this mess alive. They didn’t know that this particular ship has already been boarded…

When we speak of original ideas and “borrowing” certain aspects of the story, I think that this is the movie that can hardly be surpassed. But somehow the monster is alive, IT”S ALIVE! I don’t know why I was surprised by the great performances of almost all the actors with the exception of Jamie, but only because she did her job routinely, the rest gave a 100%. You don’t see many sea movies nowadays too, but back then they were pretty common, especially the ones with the supernatural vibe (GhostshipDeep Rising, The Abyss…) so this is your chance to start movies set on sea marathon.

As always, cramped spaces on an “abandoned” ship mean intense atmosphere, and the child in me was thrilled with the opportunity to see the exploration of an abandoned Russian top-secret ship with a tone of fancy equipment. Phenomenal shootouts, a lot of action, and carefully designed “guests” are only some of the things that you will see in this movie, so check it out and give it a chance. Especially if you’re a sucker for the nineties and would like to see something entertaining from that period.

Virus 1999 Movie Jamie Lee Curtis, William Baldwin, Sherman Augustus and Cliff Curtis looking at the russian ship scene

Director: John Bruno

Writer:  Chuck Pfarrer

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, William Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, Joanna Pacula, Marshall Bell, Cliff Curtis

Fun Facts: Because of the ship being mothballed in the James River Reserve Fleet, on the border of Isle of Wight County and city of Newport News, the ship was covered in rust and disrepair when the filming started. For the movie, one side of the ship was painted and dressed up, leaving the other half in poor condition. Hence, only one side of the ship was ever filmed on camera for the movie.


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