Film (1981; vt Virus). Haruki Kadokawa Films. Directed by Kinji Fukasaku, starring Masao Kusakari, Chuck Connors, Glenn Ford, Olivia Hussey, George Kennedy, Henry Silva, Robert Vaughn. Screenplay Koji Takada, Gregory Knapp, Fukasaku, from Fukkatsu No Hi (1964) by Sakyō Komatsu. 155 minutes, cut to 108 minutes. Colour.
It is difficult to judge this reputedly expensive Japanese Disaster film, which was very successful in Japan, because the export version was severely cut – but one cannot believe it was ever very good. A germ-warfare virus is stolen and accidentally released; only those in very cold areas survive. Then the crazed US Chief of Staff (Silva) sets off a nuclear strike. In the Antarctic, 864 shivering male survivors share eight women. The story is told as flashback, with a Japanese (Kusakari) looking like a bearded scarecrow about to walk, implausibly, from Washington, District of Columbia, to the Antarctic. (In the Japanese version he makes it.) The characters are appallingly stereotyped. This is a simplistic melodrama with nothing serious to say. [PN]
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