Schlocktoberfest X – Day 27: Plague

Plague (1979)


*Spoilers Throughout*

What’s This About:
 Something about a plague or very dangerous pandemic happens. Scientists scramble to find a cure. You know typical pandemic things. You know what this movie doesn’t have though: A raving inept lunatic in charge of the nation giving the absolute worst advice and making the pandemic exponentially worse.

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • How fucking slow is this disclaimer’s title crawl!? I could take a very long piss and still not miss the actual movie.
  • So glad it told us what DNA stands for.
  • We are 4 paragraphs in people. And its been over a minute.
  • “It is a period of civil war. The rebel alliance”….sorry.
  • That introductory subtitle crawl lasted for one minute and 33 seconds.
  • Is that sperm?
  • Picketers outside the laboratory with signs that say “We will not be cloned!” Do they mean them personally or all/any humans in general?
  • The film made a point in showing the scientist adjusting her leg brace. I’m sure that will come up later on.
  • I’m proud to say that after a decade or more of watching schlock that I can identify a Canadian production within minutes of characters speaking.
  • A scientist in the background of the hallway collapses and it looks like he spilled a whole can of peanuts. But don’t be alarmed it’s just epilepsy. I’m sure this will mean something later on.

Gagged and bound was the only way for me to watch this whole movie.

  • Are these two young sexy scientists going to fuck later on? If they don’t, I’ll be somewhat disappointed. Their chemistry is great.
  • For some reason we cut to the male scientist at home with his wife and young daughter. Nothing of note. But then ominous music plays and the film dissolves into the sperm/plague images from earlier. Not sure what the point of all that was.
  • I kinda miss chemistry. I liked that high school class. Mostly because I had an incredibly sexy chem partner.
  • It didn’t work out between the two of us though. We lacked the chemistry.
  • It looks like the female scientist is brewing up hot Pepto Bismal and pouring it on a houseplant.
  • The lady scientist returns from a short nap (I’m assuming) and finds the plant has grown a few inches more!
  • Also all the rats are dead. Eh, win some, lose some.
  • Hahahaha. The male scientist asks the lady: “What rats?” How did he not know there were lab rats? Did she smuggle in lab rats just this very morning? Were they hidden in her leg brace?
  • Random kids find a dead bird in the snow. Now they’re arguing if birds go to heaven.
  • Female scientist ain’t feeling so good. Could be a seizure. Those are going around apparently.
  • Bill, the male scientist, is casually talking on the phone to some authority figure while Celia the female scientist is probably dead in the lab. Some lab partner he is.
  • One of the kids with the dead bird also has a seizure! See! It’s contagious!
  • Guys in HAZMAT suits are by the bird grave the kids made but they’re using fire extinguishers to decontaminate the area.
  • Bill calls his wife and tells her to take herself and their daughter on the first flight to London. The wife asks “London, England?” No, London, Wisconsin.
  • But why London? What’s in England that the wife and daughter can do to be safe? Do they know anyone there?
  • Yeah, how did the plague escape the lab? I’m a bit mystified about that too. Then again, I’m still mystified that 40% of the country is voting for Trump.
  • There was an older gentleman who also helped a bird somewhere and of course he’s also on the same flight to England with Bill’s family.
  • The other mother of the dead kids (yeah her other one died in this hospital) with the bird just seduced a guard and managed to run away from him and out of the facility. Now she’s on a subway and contaminating the whole damn city!
  • Man, this flick is dull.
  • The director of the lab, Dave, is complaining to another doctor, Jessica and she tells this joke: Once there was a tailor who took 6 days to make a suit. The customer asks him why does it take him 6 days to make a suit when it took god only 6 days to make the world. The tailor replies, take a look at my suit. Now take a look at the world.
  • Not sure what that joke meant in context.

Hey big boy, wanna buy me a hoagie?

  • Aw shit. The infected escapee mother is now buying a sandwich!
  • “It looks as if the body burned itself up using its own electrical energy.”
  • “Hard to believe.”
  • Sure is.
  • Not sure of this escapee mother’s plan here. Why is wandering the streets? She lost two kids to some unexplained illness, defied her quarantine and fled the hospital and apparently has nothing to do now.
  • So Bill is being defiant in not leaving the lab so he can produce a virus to kill the other virus. The higher-ups ask him if he can do it. Bill says he can. A few scenes earlier he didn’t even know the lab had rats there.
  • Local porno theatre is showing “Superchick”, “Sexual Freedom in Germany” and “Chain Gang Women.” Actually, I’m not 100% sure those are pornos.

Can I switch to watching any of those other features?

  • But of course escapee mother is going to see one of them in her sickly spare time.
  • Now she’s getting a rental car. I guess the point in showing her going to the cinema was that she’s now responsible for infecting a ton of people now. Still doesn’t make much sense.
  • Great the sandwich guy is dead!
  • Now she’s hitch-hiking? What happened to the rental?
  • Jessica is telling Dave that her daughter is getting married this Saturday and that nothing is more important than her wedding day. Suffice to say it is not a socially distanced wedding.
  • Who are these armed men? No seriously, I don’t even know who these guys are?! And the fact that they fooled about 2 dozen army soldiers to all run at another exit by saying someone else was escaping the place at another exit is hilarious.
  • Anyway, they died trying to drive out. The army killed them. Still don’t know who they were.
  • Quarantined mother asks the driver that picked her up if he was hungry. He said sure, and suggested a good submarine sandwich place. What’s with the sub shops in this flick.
  • HAHAHAHAHA. The sandwich shop is called Mr. Submarine!
  • Ugh. I’m only halfway through with this dull flick. This movie is like a plague of filmmaking.
  • If they’re going to have a science/microscopic organisms/laboratory montage at the very least have better music!
  • I’m very perplexed as to why we were shown that the driver went in the sub shop to buy sandwiches while quarantine mom stayed in the car and now they’re driving again and he’s eating said sub sandwich and she’s not. 
  • Is she seducing the old man driver now?! WHY?! He’s already driving her someplace and is totally non-threatening. So why is she tricking him and stealing his car?!
  • HAHAHAHA. As she skids away the old man yells: “I’m calling the cops on you!”
  • Where exactly is quarantine mom off to anyway and in such a hurry?!
  • Bless this flick’s heart in attempting to make a car chase exciting. But, yeah, no.
  • I guess Bill’s “miracle cure” was a bust. Back to the ol’ drawing board.
  • I’ve totally tuned out Bill’s idea and presentation. I sure hope this won’t be on the final exam.
  • I think Quarantine mom just died. Bummer.
  • No wait. That was some other random woman who was driving somewhere.
  • No wait. NOW she’s dead when she drives off a cliff on purpose. Bummer.
  • This movie feels longer than an actual COVID quarantine period of 14 days.
  • Must be easy for the army to quarantine the city when it’s completely empty!
  • If I had to guess, I’m thinking that the townsfolk are pissed about not being able to leave town and that’s why they are having a shoot-out with the army. But again, it’s just a guess. Maybe they’re the Wolverine Watchmen.
  • Nice stock footage of army helicopters shooting missiles at the townsfolk’s cars.
  • This movie’s span of time is just this one day, maybe 2 and already the town is killing the military in a quarantine. And here we are thinking those anti-maskers in Wal-Mart are bad.
  • AW SHIT! The director dude, Dave, is eating a sandwich! A plague sandwich on rye with cheese!!!!

If the $5 footlong don’t kill ya, nothing will.

  • Dave’s so worried that if this thing continues that there won’t be much human life left on Earth that he’s barely eating his sandwich.
  • So Bill is waiting for some enzyme to aid in his research but the military jet that was supposed to quickly get it to him has trouble and the enzyme has to be transferred to another jet. The plot is thickening!
  • Bill states they “had such high hopes.” Easy for him to say but I never had high hopes for this movie.
  • Dave’s dead. Jessica will be dead soon too. My joy died 45 minutes ago.
  • I’m beginning to think that this won’t have a happy ending. And I’m just not talking about the movie.
  • One test that doesn’t fail and Bill is already celebrating that it’s the cure.
  • Bill is dreaming. Was this whole movie a dream?!
  • HA! Because Bill (and Jessica) used the experimental treatment that Bill created in his lab, they are indefinitely quarantined because they are the only two exposed to the new toxin.


Was it Entertaining:

Watching this movie felt like watching an old high school health class educational film on chemistry lab safety.

Any Good Gore: No. I mean, I don’t recall any. Hard to say. I really don’t care.

Any Nudity: Nada.

Now’s not the time to be drawing boobs, Bill!

Best Quote: The joke about the tailor and god creating the earth was notable. Although I still don’t know exactly the context.

Best Scene: I really don’t care, do you?

Worst Scene: Any scene will drive you bonkers with boredom but the scene of the runaway quarantined woman asking if the driver who picked her up was hungry and then he goes to pick up a hoagie is up there as utterly pointless.

How Pandemicky Was It?: This movie predates Outbreak and Contagion as probably the first worldwide pandemic horror-thriller. It tried to balance out the scares by showing the tension in the lab as well as the panic in the streets. A large portion of the plot concerned how important it is to quarantine and the dangers of contract spreading. It also showed social unrest and dissent by stupid citizens who refuse to abide by quarantine rules and martial law to contain the threat. While a very boring flick with lifeless acting performances, it was very on brand for 2020.

Final Thoughts: Avoid this like the Plague!

Score: 2 Plague Hoagies (out of ten)

One thought on “Schlocktoberfest X – Day 27: Plague

  1. Pingback: Schlocktoberfest X: The Final Recap | Hard Ticket to Home Video

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