Virus 復活の日 Fukkatsu no hi
July 3, 2012 4:20 PM   Subscribe

Virus (復活の日 Fukkatsu no hi, literally "Day of Resurrection") is a 1980 Japanese post-apocalyptic film about the release and spread of a deadly virus.

The movie is a Japanese production, but it's mostly in English. It features a young Edward James Olmos and a host of other American character actors.

Virus is also available in its entirety on
posted by jiawen (17 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Some of the plot is a bit hokey, and there's a fair bit of scenery-chewing, but it's got a lot of inventive ideas and characterization. Some of the plot is pretty disturbing, but perhaps that's just appropriate for the post-apocalyptic genre.
posted by jiawen at 4:21 PM on July 3, 2012

The version I saw ended with nuclear explosions. Glad there was a happy ending out there...
posted by Renoroc at 4:25 PM on July 3, 2012

Ooh. Right up my alley, an alley that runs behind WE'RE ALL DOOMED!!! Street.

Thank you.
posted by item at 4:26 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

It is worth mentioning the author of the original novel, Sakyo Komatsu. He was big in Japan.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:46 PM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

weirdly, your link "Edward James Olmos " links to this very thread... how'd you do that??!!?
posted by dash_slot- at 5:22 PM on July 3, 2012

dash_slot: The link has an empty URL, so it defaults to the page you're on. MYSTERY SOLVED.

I'm downloading the MKV as we speak. As long as it doesn't traumatize me like Threads, I think I'll be okay.

It won't traumatize me like Threads, right?
posted by chrominance at 5:25 PM on July 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

As long as it doesn't traumatize me like Threads, I think I'll be okay.

You're speaking to the choir, chrominance. My dad had me watch Threads when I was 7. SEVEN.
posted by hanoixan at 5:44 PM on July 3, 2012

TESTAMENT is way way better than Threads
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:44 PM on July 3, 2012


Made most of my high school have a nervous breakdown the day after it was shown...

posted by Skygazer at 6:06 PM on July 3, 2012

Anyhow, I watched about 20 mins of Virus, until I realized I wasn't understanding the Japanese part that came at that point and, looked like they were saying important stuff, and I should download the .mkv file, which has the English subtitles.

But great production values and a very eerie sci-fi vibe. It must've sucked to film in all those blizzards, but it looks fantastic.
posted by Skygazer at 6:11 PM on July 3, 2012

I downloaded and watched this a few months ago. There is once scene that managed to completely break my brain for a while, followed by an alarming attack of the LMAOs. In the first meeting of the Antarctic Federation representatives, Olmos is channeling Che as a lefty Chilean scientist, and of course (OF COURSE) he gets into a jingoist screaming, then punching, match with the Argentine representative: a navy officer so paradigmatic in his uniform, looks, obligatory moustache and unbearable snobbishness that I could actually feel timespace threatening to implode down here in the lands that have been the natural habitat for said species of '70s navy officer. What a thing to behold, and in a Japanese movie of all places. (For those not too familiar with the events of the period, the Argentine military dictatorship almost went to war with the Chilean military dictatorship in late '78).
posted by Iosephus at 6:33 PM on July 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Does anyone know why this is public domain? That's quite unusual for a 1980 film, and I don't see an explanation anywhere.
posted by 23 at 7:52 PM on July 3, 2012

I'm about 20 minutes into the movie now. SO MUCH SCENERY-CHEWING.
posted by chrominance at 7:57 PM on July 3, 2012

dash_slot-: "weirdly, your link 'Edward James Olmos' links to this very thread... how'd you do that??!!?"

Whoops. Should've been "Edward James Olmos". Mea culpa.
posted by jiawen at 10:23 PM on July 3, 2012

Chuck Conners was a master of scenery chewing, so I look forward to this.
That is all!

I hope to watch this tomorrow, and report back with a score on the misery it delivers on the Threads scale, or a Thread Count if you will.
posted by Mezentian at 6:42 AM on July 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

How likely Virus is to induce nightmares: on a scale of 0 to Threads, this easily ranks quite a bit below The Day After. You see a lot of dead bodies, but it's nothing you wouldn't see at your local haunted house. No pustules, no bloated corpses, no jump scares from the soldier with the burnt-off face (thanks for that, The Day After). You will almost certainly not have any nightmares about your imminent demise due to radiation sickness, violent looters, starvation, or any of the other horrors in the first half-hour of Threads.

As for the movie itself: I totally appreciate what this movie set out to do, and as the most expensive Japanese b-movie ever made it's fantastic, but I can't in good conscience recommend it to anyone who doesn't want to spend 2.5 hours of their life watching a fistful of plotholes and actors chewing enough scenery to fill every back lot in Hollywood (the Eddie James Olmos scene referenced above is a fine example). But if you're willing to deal with that just to see 99% of the Earth's population die (and I usually am!) then yes, Virus is worth a watch.
posted by chrominance at 5:12 PM on July 4, 2012

Yeah, that was a lot of time to invest in a movie. Fortunately I was watching it while doing other stuff on the computer.

I think some of the plot holes would have been filled (somewhat) if the Japanese segments near the beginning were subtitled. That would have explained a lot of what motivated Yoshizumi. And there was a big scene at the end that was subtitled in Japanese, that kind of tied the ending together, it was probably not apparent what was going on there because it was just narration of the thoughts in his head. I won't give a spoiler to that, just yet.

But overall, I had a hard time taking this movie as seriously as it took itself, especially after seeing the scene where the Dr. Strangelove polygamy lecture comes out of the mouth of a woman scientist. I suppose the screenwriter believed this would make it less offensive in the context of what was happening at that moment, but it just seemed ludicrous.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:57 PM on July 4, 2012

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