The fate of mankind lies in the hands of a group of scientists located in the barren, nether regions of Antarctica when a disastrous plane crash releases a genocidal virus engineered for chemical warfare by the military.
"I only gave this VIDEO one star, but I'd give the FILM 4 stars. I really like this film, in spite of some of the implausable ideas like a single person being able to arm our nuclear arsenal. However, this particular video being sold (which I bought and have just now viewed) is MASSACRED! It looks & sounds like someone set up a camcorder in their living room & taped the movie off their TV. The sound is TERRIBLE, the framing cuts off any captions & subtitles, and, to add insult to injury, they CUT OUT the last 10 minutes of the film showing the journey back to the survivors in Antartica -- it ends with the world being destroyed by the nuclear explosions! Shame on whoever did this! Now I have to go try to buy a used Beta machine on eBay so I can watch my old Beta tape of this movie!"
Beware -- This is NOT the 155 minute version!
Alan Hummel | The Seven Seas of Rhye | 12/09/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was thrilled to not only find this DVD listed here, but to find the uncut, 155 minute version. But unfortunately, even though it is listed on the package, and on this site, as 155 minutes, it isn't -- this is the 103 minute international cut of the film. Still, this is a great film, and includes the dialog with the corpses in the church that was cut from the television version. I just wish someone would release the Japanese cut on DVD in the U.S.The quality of this DVD isn't so great. The picture is grainy and the sound isn't very good. But it's not terrible, and again, I was happy just to get this film on DVD.If anyone knows where I can get the 155 minute version on Region 1 DVD, please let me know!"
Life IS wonderful - finally!
Neal Vincent | UK | 10/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Just to be clear, those 4 stars are for the FILM - not for this disc! Directed in 1980 by the late Kinji Fukasaku (Battle Royale) this apocalyptic film basically exists in two versions: the 'international' version (108 mins) and the full-length Japanese version (155 mins).
I discovered this film languishing on one of those 50-film DVD compilations and found it to be a real diamond in the rough. Despite the appalling quality of the pan & scan print, the film shone.
Intrigued enough to want to find a good-quality DVD of this film, I came across this disc, which was the only standalone version out there. Reviews said that the picture quality wasn't great, and the print was still pan & scan, but at least this disc included a few minutes of additional material missing from the version I'd seen. It was cheap, so I went for it. And, sure enough, there was a little bit of extra material in this version - but the picture quality was just as bad. Blurry, cropped, and horrible. Some scenes are even anamorphically squashed ... the sun is not normally an egg-shaped oval - but here it is! :(
In 2002 Japan received a superb 2-disc DVD release of this film containing both versions. Sadly this was a limited edition. Don't bother looking for it - chances are you won't find it, and, besides, the full-length Japanese version wasn't of much use to us Western viewers as (unsurprisingly) most of the additional scenes are in Japanese with no English subtitles available.
To cut to the chase, leave this disc be. Instead, scroll up to the search bar at the top of this page and type in 'Sonny Chiba Action Pack' :) There you'll find the full-length 155 minute Japanese version of 'Virus' on Region 1 DVD in a sparkling widescreen print, with excellent picture and sound quality, and (removable) English subtitles for the occasional Japanese-language scenes. Do yourself a favor, buy that instead and see this film as it was meant to be seen."
A Little Known Disaster Classic
William Shatner | Hollywood, CA USA | 05/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This little known classic was the most expensive Japanese film production of the early `80s, and one of the finest disaster movies ever made. Virus is massive in scale, with an epic, end-of-the-world plot that marries the best aspects of Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain with the desperate post-apocalyptic action of The Day After Tomorrow."
Robert Byrd | Minneapolis, MN United States | 02/23/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The film is a lot of fun, but the DVD is beyond terrible. It looks and sounds as if someone projected it onto a wall and shot that image off the wall for this DVD. Horrible, horrible quality!!! Not even worth the $.78 that it's selling for used. The producers of this garbage DVD should be ashamed of themselves. They're obviously trying to make a quick buck with no regard whatsoever for quality."