As recently as last week, the CDC assured us there was only a remote chance that Ebola would ever come to the United States. Well, guess what, kids? It’s heeeerrreeee!
It seems a Liberian national arrived in Dallas, Texas, a few weeks ago and, prior to leaving Africa, he failed to note that he’d recently come into contact with an Ebola infectee. Later, when he showed up at a Dallas hospital with extreme flu-like symptoms, no one bothered to check his travel history. Now he’s coughing up chunks of lung and has blood exploding from his eyeballs while space-suited doctors working a pressurized tank struggle to keep a giant alien worm from bursting from his chest or some such thing.
Those of us who spend far too much time parked in front of TV and movie screens are all too familiar with how poorly government officials are able to keep exotic diseases from running amok and wiping out large portions of the human race. (And far too often turning its victims into mutants or zombies.)
To prepare yourself for the coming Ebola Apocalypse, Friday Fun Facts offers these top 10 Plague Movies.
1. Contagion (2011).
The disease: Swine flu. The source: Bat droppings that make their way into an upscale Chinese restaurant. The government’s response: Herding victims into concentration camps. Effectiveness: Gwyneth Paltrow dies in the first 10 minutes.
2. World War Z (2013).
The disease: Zombie-ism, which makes people swarm like ants. The source: Originally, Chinese poultry. To keep from being banned in China, refilmed to implicate South Korea. The government’s response: Brad Pitt! Effectiveness: Had to reshoot an entirely new third act, too.
3. I Am Legend (2007).
The disease: Light-fearing zombie-ism. The source: Cancer cure run amok. The government’s response: Get everyone the hell out of Dodge! Effectiveness: The dog dies. (Ooops. Spoiler alert!)
4. Outbreak. (1995).
The disease: Montaba…which is basically airborne Ebola. The source: The cute monkey from Season 1 of “Friends.” The government’s response: Isolate the small town where the disease is found…and then nuke the town. Effectiveness: The plan fails, but Dustin Hoffman finds a cure.
5. The Andromeda Strain. (1971)
The disease: The eponymous Andromeda Strain, which turns blood into sand. The source: An alien germ brought to earth by a crashed satellite. The government’s response: Investigate the mystery organism in an isolated lab and pray to God it doesn’t escape and kill everybody on the freakin’ planet. Effectiveness: The bug escapes — but quickly mutates into a benign organism. Hooray for Evolution!
6. Omega Man (1971).
The disease: A bio-weapon that turns into survivors into light-fearing mutants. (Note: Drawn from the same 1950s Richard Matheson novel as “I Am Legend.”) The source: A government bio-weapons program run amok. The government’s response: Charleton Heston. Effectiveness: Moses dies before entering the Promised Land.
7. 28 Days Later (2002).
The disease: “Rage” — which turns its victims into rabid, high-speed killing machines. The source: British experimental lab animals set free by PETA. (Damn liberals!) The government’s response: Who knows? The hero sleeps through the whole thing. Effectiveness: No more lines to get on the London Eye!
8. The Stand (CBS Mini-Series) (1994).
The disease: Super-Flu, aka, “Captain Tripps.” The source: A U.S. bio-warfare lab experiment run amok. The government’s response: Send in the Marines…until they start sneezing, too. Effectiveness: The Devil Himself takes over Las Vegas. Oh, Stephen King, you’re such a card!
9. The Crazies (2010).
The disease: A contagion that makes its victims homicidal killers. The source: The U.S. bio-weapon that accidentally spills into a small Texas town’s water supply. The government’s response: Quarantine the town…and then nuke it. Effectiveness: The plot fails…and the survivors head for Dallas. Ooops.
10. Children of Men (2006).
The disease: Sterility. The source: A new strain of flu. The government’s response: Shut down elementary schools. And keep the damned immigrants out of the U.K.! Effectiveness: Society falls to pieces. Without young people, who’s going to finance Social Security?
Have a great weekend. And, for the love of God, don’t forget to wash your hands!!!