Despite an intriguing premise that involves a virus that could wipe out the entire world, JERICHO FEVER is astonishingly dull.
South of the U.S.-Mexico border, mercenaries led by Klaus Bausen (Alan Scarfe) and Bettina Fuentes (Elyssa Davalos) blow up a vehicle transporting emissaries to a Palestinian-Israeli peace conference. While Israeli secret police scramble to pinpoint the location of the soldiers of fortune, head
terrorist Klaus contracts a strange disease. At Jericho, New Mexico, the saboteurs bump off a sick comrade, ambush a border guard, and slay their Mexican guide. What cold-blooded Klaus and the clinic workers who treat him don't realize is that they're at the epicenter of a plague that kills within
days of infection. While Doctor Michael Whitney (Perry King) studies the hemorrhagic fever at quarantined Las Cruces hospital, his wife Bonnie (Stephanie Zimbalist) plays virus detective in the field, starting with the Jericho Clinic where the first case was charted.
Although Klaus miraculously recovers, no one else survives. As the assassins elude the Israeli agents and travel toward a safe house, another comrade comes down with the bug. Meanwhile, Bonnie forms an alliance with FBI officer Elgin Sweetroot (Branscombe Richmond), who's as eager to nab the
border guard's killers as she is to track the fever. Unbeknownst to Bonnie, Michael accidentally sticks himself with an infected needle; this method of transmission accelerates the progress of the pneumonia-like malady in his bloodstream.
As the race for the cure quickens, ailing terrorist Freddie (Don Harvey) escapes a mercy killing by Klaus and Colin (Kario Salem) and cuts a deal that will lead Elgin and Bonnie to the extremists' hideout. Despite interference from the radical Israelis, Bonnie and Elgin reach the ranch where Ali
Assad (Andrew Brye) is now delirious with fever. In the climax, Elgin drowns Colin and corners the mercenaries but can't prevent the Jewish patriots from shooting Klaus. As he dies, a distraught Bonnie manages to extract the vaccine ingredients necessary to save mankind, starting with her husband
JERICHO FEVER lifts its plot from the standard virus-on-the-loose mold (PANIC IN THE STREETS, THE CRAZIES, THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN) but hedges its bets, pads its running time, and uses dated dramatic contrivances. Further flawed by direction that suggests the value of mounting a camera on a tripod
and little else, this generic medical alert film has no sense of when to spotlight a particular pool of protagonists and for how long. Jettisoning most of the Israeli secret police footage might have resulted in a tauter thriller. What basically keeps this celluloid patient alive and kicking is
the ironic interaction of the terrorists, whose company is a lot more entertaining that that of the scientific heroes. (Graphic violence, profanity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: Despite an intriguing premise that involves a virus that could wipe out the entire world, JERICHO FEVER is astonishingly dull. South of the U.S.-Mexico border, mercenaries led by Klaus Bausen (Alan Scarfe) and Bettina Fuentes (Elyssa Davalos) blow up a… (more)