Drab and distasteful, TERMINAL VIRUS has only a tongue-in-cheek performance by James Brolin in its favor.
It has been 23 since a world war during which combatants unleashed a lab-created virus that has made life no fun at all: a fatal plague activates when males and females have sex. Thus, civilization has broken down into forcibly celibate, warring male and female tribes. Any co-mingling, even rape,
is punished by both sides with summary execution, for victim and perpetrator alike. Calloway (Richard Lynch), a paramilitary fanatic on a vague religious mission, leads his gunmen to massacre a peaceful scientific community where men and women committed the blasphemy of co-ed habitation. In fact,
the settlers had synthesized a cure, and its result, youthful Joe Knight (Bryan Genesse), the only human born in a generation, is the lone survivor left to administer it to the world. He recruits McCabe (James Brolin), an old cohort of Calloway, who opted out of the fighting and, crucially, still
remembers the facts of life. They capture a girl warrior, Shara (Kehli O'Byrne), and Rieger (Craig Judd), a Calloway disciple, immunize them, and try to make them mate. Rieger instead wounds Shara and escapes to warn Calloway. Joe Knight ends up Shara's lover, while McCabe pairs with a woman of
his own. When Calloway next attacks, he's met by a superior force--Knight, McCabe, their booby-traps, and the entire female faction, who have eagerly embraced the virus cure. When Calloway refuses to surrender, a group of women kills him in payback for all those years of sexual frustration.
Director Dan Golden earlier directed NAKED OBSESSION (1992), a strip-club thriller that boasted a real sense of sleazy fun. Only James Brolin rises to the same gonzo spirit here, doing a self-deprecating act as a post-apocalyptic layabout who chaperones the "date" between hostile Shara and hateful
Rieger, with porno films for instructing the two unfriendly virgins, and flickering Bunsen burners for romantic ambiance (homosexuality is never addressed in this nightmare). The remaining cast members play their parts straight, as though nobody let them in on the gag. Then again, it is a pretty
dismal gag: sci-fi sexploitation with an emphasis on female nudity, repetitive action scenes, arid Philippine wastelands, and vehicles and artillery left over from scores of third-world MAD MAX (1979) ripoffs. Like most of that ilk, TERMINAL VIRUS went straight-to-video in the USA. (Violence,extensive nudity, adult situations, subtance abuse, profanity.)
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- Released: 1996
- Rating: R
- Review: Drab and distasteful, TERMINAL VIRUS has only a tongue-in-cheek performance by James Brolin in its favor. It has been 23 since a world war during which combatants unleashed a lab-created virus that has made life no fun at all: a fatal plague activates whe… (more)