In anticipation of today’s VOD release of Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (also, in theaters August 1), Bloody-Disgusting asked me to write my top five infection movies. But I’ve always been a bit of an over achiever and couldn’t stop at just five. Buckle up for my TEN most favorite infection movies, in no particular order. Try not to debate me in the comment section below if The Fly is or isn’t an infection movie. It’s MY list. Go make your own! (Seriously, I’m going to read the comments and would love to know what I forgot to include.) Right after you check out Cabin Fever: Patient Zero of course. Did I mention the US VOD release is June 26th? Just to make sure, let me personally invite you to check out the VOD release of Cabin Fever: Patient Zero on June 26th. SPOILER ALERT: Sean Astin may or may not be… Patient Zero.
The Ruins: “Infected by plants”. While the iffy CG effects threatened to ruin this movie for me, man, this is clean crisp filmmaking. All beautifully shot by Darius Khondi—an amazing looking film that stars one of my screen crushes Jena Malone. And perhaps THE most amazing thing about it is that this was executive produced by Ben Stiller. Yes… THAT Ben Stiller. Strange for a studio horror film to be so gory. But also great.
The Evil Dead: “Infected by demons”. While I had watched Evil Dead II at maybe 12 years old, I didn’t end up watching this film until I was 17, drinking beers in my friend’s basement. I must have been expecting something a little campier because of that fact. But even though this film is quirky, it’s actually pretty horrifying. Watching Ash’s girlfriend oscillate between the woman he loves and the demon that’s trying to kill him just plain freaked me out. This was part of a one-two punch movie night we had paired up with The Exorcist.
The Exorcist: “Infected by Satan”. A master class in verite filmmaking. The Exorcist is amazing. I’m sure you’ve all seen this one. And if not—what the hell is wrong with you? (See what I did there?) While a few of the special effects gags have become dated, it’s the image of a little girl plunging a crucifix into herself that will be forever burned into my brain. I wasn’t raised Catholic but can only imagine the same experience if I was.
The Thing: “Infected by aliens”. And one of my favorite films on the planet! Directed to perfection, badass leads and the most mind-bending special effects of its time by Rob Bottin. What’s really weird is that this movie was considered such a disaster in its day that it almost destroyed John Carpenter’s career– but has now become a true classic. What movie did it open against? Blade Runner, believe it or not. A movie that suffered the same weird fate. And another one of my favorites. We can all blame Spielberg’s E.T.
Rabid: “Infected by plastic surgery”. This is some classic Canadian cult filmmaking by David Cronenberg. Do yourself a favor and find this one. Produced by Ivan Reitman (who directed Ghostbusters!) and starring porn starlet of the moment, Marilyn Chambers (Reitman’ idea). This is a rather zany film about cutting edge plastic surgery that unleashes the strangest sort of epidemic. Spoiler Alert: Everyone dies. There are some really amazing ideas hidden in this movie. It doesn’t always work but when it does, it really is a unique film. I love watching early work like this and seeing how an artist can grow. I actually read a script for a remake of Rabid a few years ago that was floating around. It will be interesting to see if that ever happens. A fairly unknown Cronenberg classic.
The Fly: “Infected by one bug”. A Cronenberg two-peat. As the fly genome slowly overwrites Jeff Goldblum’s biology we see body-horror at its finest. A truly terrifying movie that explores hubris, intellect and sexuality. In other words: pure Cronenberg. While Rabid was an early effort, this is a polished gem. Does anyone else remember the buttered piece of toast that sticks to Goldblum’s bottom as he is romping and rolling around with a naked Geena Davis? Did that actually happen or just a strange fantasy of mine. This is also the movie that made me fall in love with Geena Davis. The buttered toast may or may not have had a part of that. There is an amazing DVD of this film stacked with features. Well worth the pick up.
Slither: “Infected by, err… aliens”. I will always have a soft spot for Slither. Directed by the very friendly, rugged and handsome James Gunn. A man who has the craziest hair this side of Mickey Rourke. I can’t wait to see what James has gotten himself into with Guardians Of The Galaxy. This is actually a funny-strange crossover but another handsome (well not as handsome), funny and rugged pal of mine, Skottie Young is writing and drawing Rocket Raccoon, of “Guardians” fame, this summer for Marvel Comics. Pick it up. You can find it on the shelf right beside “Iron Fist: The Living Weapon,” written and drawn the handsomest of all.
Bug: “Infected by many bugs”. How did Billy Friedkin make this list twice? Because he’s just that good. This film, based on a stage play, is just pure creep. Relive General Zod’s early days as an “unhinged war veteran” who falls for Ashley Judd. Tell me which one of these two is dating above his station? No wonder Superman snapped his neck. It was to restore order and balance in the Cosmos. Cue inspiring speech by Neil Degrasse Tyson flying around in his space machine. If anything, this list is probably some kind of clue to how my mind works. In bits and bobbles of unrelated madness.
The Stuff: “Infected by yogurt”. When I saw this movie I was young enough to find it terrifying. I watched it again recently and was surprised at how campy this killer yogurt movie was. (Did I really just type that?) But I hold onto my childhood memory of my experience dearly. It was also the first time my young mind learned that you could become a corporate spy. I’ve always felt this movie could be remade deadly serious. I would be first in line to see it.
Dawn Of The Dead: “Infected by dead people”. O Romero, Romero! Wherefor art thou Romero? Right here bitches. And I just changed the face of horror for decades. ‘Nuff said.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my list and did as many “click-throughs” as possible. I’ve always been a fan of Bloody-Disgusting. A great place to start your horror surfing day. A great place to finish being wherever you can order your viewing of Cabin Fever: Patient Zero, coming to VOD on June 26th!
Article by Kaare Andrews