A Virus Has No Morals

  • 1986
  • 1 HR 22 MIN
  • NR
  • Comedy

It would be hard to imagine anyone making a comedy about a deadly serious subject like AIDS, but that is exactly what camp filmmaker and gay spokesman Rosa von Praunheim has successfully accomplished in A VIRUS HAS NO MORALS. Not only is this an extremely funny movie, it also presents a provocative perusal of AIDS-related topics such as treatment, prevention,...read more

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It would be hard to imagine anyone making a comedy about a deadly serious subject like AIDS, but that is exactly what camp filmmaker and gay spokesman Rosa von Praunheim has successfully accomplished in A VIRUS HAS NO MORALS. Not only is this an extremely funny movie, it also presents a

provocative perusal of AIDS-related topics such as treatment, prevention, government policies, media misrepresentation, research, and life styles of AIDS victims. Using nonprofessional actors, von Praunheim presents cartoon caricatures in fantastic sketches. The director himself has a role as the

owner of a gay sauna who is concerned only with the effects the AIDS epidemic will have on his business. He contracts the disease and finds the repercussions on his hedonistic existence an impossible irritation. His live-in lover, a singer in a church choir, also becomes infected. An AIDS

researcher referred to as Dr. Blut travels to Africa to discover the disease's source. She becomes infected after a gorilla rapes her. An opportunistic journalist, whose son has AIDS, busily creates erroneous rumors just for the sake of scandal. A nurse at the treatment center sleeps with bisexual

men hoping to catch the disease so she can spread it throughout the entire population. There is also a gay terrorist group continously popping into the film. Their approach is a combative, aggressive one, demanding that AIDS victims and the gay population fight both the disease and the popularized

mythology surrounding it. The government's solution to the epidemic is to put all AIDS victims into camps much like leper colonies; and this is where we see all the characters at the film's close.

A VIRUS HAS NO MORALS was shot with a gritty garishness, abstract camera angles, and is sloppily edited. This is just von Praunheim's camp style, which surrealistically heightens the humor of situations. The use of nonprofessionals allows the actors to obsessively indulge in their caricatured

roles in a way image-conscious professionals could not. Though von Praunheim does not present any solutions, he does show that the AIDS epidemic is not hopeless. His criticism of present approaches, specifically an inattentive and uncaring government, is thought-provoking, but, if nothing else, A

VIRUS HAS NO MORALS may prove that laughter is the best medicine. (In German; English subtitles.)

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  • Released: 1986
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: It would be hard to imagine anyone making a comedy about a deadly serious subject like AIDS, but that is exactly what camp filmmaker and gay spokesman Rosa von Praunheim has successfully accomplished in A VIRUS HAS NO MORALS. Not only is this an extremely… (more)

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