If you haven’t noticed there is a decidedly macabre side to my personality that comes out every so often. Today I’m compiling a list of the best pictures with a plague theme. Considering the subject matter, it’s a remarkably common one in motion pictures. In no particular order:
This neat, rather minimalist techno-thriller is based on the novel that put the late Michael Crichton on the map. Will the team of scientists find a cure for the alien virus before it can spread and destroy humanity?
Ingmar Berman’s remarkable fantasy is probably the best picture on this list.
This picture about the search for a guy who’s carrying bubonic plague has a fabulous cast including Richard Widmark, Paul Douglas, Jack Palance, and a rare pre-blacklist appearance by Zero Mostel.
This Roger Corman vehicle for Vincent Price based loosely on the Edgar Allan Poe short story is actually pretty awful but it’s certainly in the genre.
The original and best low budget flesh-eating zombies picture. If you’re only going to watch one virus-spread-flesh-eating-zombies picture, this is the one to watch.
This is the first film version of Richard Matheson’s brilliant novel about vampirism spread by a plague, I Am Legend. The Omega Man with Charlton Heston was a later incarnation of the same source material and they tell me that Will Smith’s recent version, I Am Legend, is better but the first version with Vincent Price is pretty darned spooky.
How extreme are the measures you’re willing to take to prevent the spread of an incurable plague?
There are quite a few other pictures that almost fit into the genre, for example Dr Erlich’s Magic Bullet (about the development of a cure for syphilis) or Sister Kenny (about the development of a treatment for polio before the vaccine was developed).
Any other suggestions?