3 Badass Sci Fi Pandemic Movies to Watch While Under Quarantine


First off, good health to all. Stay safe, make informed decisions, and for the love of all that is good in the world, be excellent to each other.

But if you’re gonna hole up and ride this out, you might as well put something truly apocalyptic on the tube to make you feel better. Things can always be worse.

12 Monkeys (1995)

Terry Gilliam (Monty Python, Time Bandits, Brazil) directed this film, inspired by Chris Marker’s 1962 short film La Jetée.

Forty years after a deadly virus is released in 1996, the remnants of humanity live underground. Cole (Bruce Willis), a prisoner in a subterranean jail under Philadelphia, is sent back in time to find the virus so the future scientists can develop a cure.

In 1996, Cole encounters Jeffrey Goins (Brad Pitt), a mental patient and founder of the resistance group the Army of the Twelve Monkeys. This group is suspected of releasing the virus by the future CHUDs.

It’s a brilliant movie from a brilliant director. Watch it for Brad Pitt’s performance.

The Andromeda Strain (1971)

This 1971 movie, directed by Robert Wise (Star Trek: The Motion Picture, West Side Story, editor on Citizen Kane), is notable for being the first movie adaptation of a Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, Westworld, Congo) novel.

It centers around a government satellite crashing near a rural town carrying a highly virulent alien organism code named Andromeda.

The source material also contains one of my favorite quotes, one I always used in my lessons while teaching biology.

“The mathematics of uncontrolled growth are frightening. A single cell of the bacterium E. coli would, under ideal circumstances, divide every twenty minutes. That is not particularly disturbing until you think about it, but the fact is that bacteria multiply geometrically: one becomes two, two become four, four become eight, and so on. In this way it can be shown that in a single day, one cell of E. coli could produce a super-colony equal in size and weight to the entire planet Earth.”

Michael Crichton (1969) The Andromeda Strain, Dell, N.Y. p247


The trailer is hilarious.

War of the Worlds (1953)

Yes, the 1953 version, directed by Byron Haskin (Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe on Mars) and produced by George Pal (The Time Machine, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao).

This is the first movie I remember scaring the crap out of me. From the sounds of the spaceship lasers, to the creepy hand, to the vintage holiday rotating color wheel lookin’ aliens. That’s nightmare stuff right there.

Why is this included? Because this time, it’s the aliens being destroyed by the microorganisms. It’s either the most poetic ending in sci fi movie history, or the biggest cop-out. I have mixed feelings.

There you have it. Y’all take care, and until next time, don’t bother me, I’m making pancakes.

By the way, Cabin Fever (2002), directed by Eli Roth, is also appropriate for this list.

True story; I got that kid’s (Matthew Helms) autograph in a convenience store about a year after the movie came out. He currently dances with the Boulder Ballet.

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