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A review of Virus
by Joel Mack

What do you get when you cross "Short Circuit" and "Aliens"? Apparently you get "Virus". Based on a Dark Horse comic, "Virus" is the story of an alien intelligence in the form of electricity that destroys the Mir spacestation, thereby saving the Russians the trouble of doing it themselves, and taking over a Russian science ship during a transmission. After concluding that man is nothing more than the flu bug, the alien decides to make like a big can of Lysol and eradicate the human race.

Director: John Bruno

Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, William Baldwin, Donald Sutherland, Joanna Pacula

Rating: R

Release: 01-15-1999

Time: 100 minutes

Buy Movie at Enter our intrepid heroes, the motley crew of a slavage tug captained by Donald Sutherland with Jamie Lee Curtis as the navigator and Billy Baldwin as the chief engineer. The rest of tug is populated by people you've never heard of, and should probably have just donned the red Star Trek security tunics, since you can bet they're not long for this world.

After a mishap caused mostly by crazy Cap'n Don, the tug finds itself in dire straits in the eye of a typhoon. With the typhoon closing on them, and the tug taking on water, the crew discovers the dead hulk of the Russian vessel adrift in the eye with them. Apparently abandoned, Cap'n Don surmises that the ship is worth millions in salvage value, provided there are no survivors on board. This is where the fun begins, as we soon discover that besides the beautiful Joanna Pacula (3.5 out of 5 on the MM Babe-o-meter) there are plenty of "survivors", in one form or another.

What follows is your standard kill-the-monster-before-it-kills-you movie that was done much better in something like "Aliens" (another movie by producer Gale Ann Hurd) or "Deep Rising". While story ranges from non-existant to predictable, there are some good points. The creature effects fairly convincing with only a few exceptions. Nothing beats watching someone dig their fingers around in someone else's brain. Donald Sutherland seems to be having a pretty good time, chewing the scenery with vigor and injecting a fairly good dose of pirate into his Captain Everton. The aformentioned Pacula and Curtis are nice to look at, but neither shows the kind of skin it would take to make this more than a mediocre Manly Man Movie.