Virus (復活の日, Fukkatsu no hi) (literal translation: Day of Resurrection) is a 1980 Japanese post-apocalyptic science fiction film directed by Kinji Fukasaku. Based on Sakyo Komatsu’s 1964 novel, the film stars an international ensemble cast featuring Masao Kusakari, Sonny Chiba, George Kennedy, Robert Vaughn, Chuck Connors, Olivia Hussey, Edward James Olmos, Glenn Ford, and Henry Silva.
On its release, the film was the most expensive Japanese film ever made.
In 1982, a shady transaction is occurring between an East German scientist, Dr. Krause, and a group of Americans involving a substance known as MM88. MM88 is a deadly virus, created accidentally by an American geneticist, that amplifies the potency of any other virus or bacterium it comes into contact with. The Americans recover the virus sample, which was stolen from a lab in the US the year before, but the virus is accidentally released after the plane transporting it crashes, creating a pandemic initially known as the “Italian Flu”.
Within seven months, virtually all the world’s population has died off. However, the virus is inactive at temperatures below -10 degrees Celsius, and the polar winter has spared the 855 men and eight women stationed in Antarctica. The British nuclear submarine HMS Nereid joins the scientists after sinking a Soviet submarine whose infected crew attempts to make landfall near Palmer Station.
Several years later, as the group is beginning to repopulate their new home, it is discovered that an earthquake will activate the Automated Reaction System (ARS) and launch the United States nuclear arsenal.
The Soviets have their own version of the ARS that will fire off their weapons in return, including one targeting Palmer Station. After all of the women and children and several hundred of the men are sent to safety aboard an icebreaker, Yoshizumi and Major Carter embark aboard the Nereid on a mission to shut down the ARS, protected from MM88 by an experimental vaccine.
The submarine arrives at Washington, D.C., and Yoshizumi and Carter make a rush for the ARS command bunker. However, they reach the room too late, and all but those aboard the icebreaker perish in the nuclear exchange. Over the course of years Yoshizumi walks back towards Antarctica. Upon reaching Tierra del Fuego in 1988, he finds some of the survivors from the icebreaker, immunized by a since-developed vaccine. They embrace, and Yoshizumi declares “Life is wonderful.”
Masao Kusakari as Dr. Shûzô Yoshizumi
Tsunehiko Watase as Yasuo Tatsuno
Sonny Chiba as Dr. Yamauchi
Kensaku Morita as Ryûji Sanazawa
Toshiyuki Nagashima as Akimasa Matsuo
Glenn Ford as President Richardson
George Kennedy as Admiral Conway
Robert Vaughn as Senator Barkley
Chuck Connors as Captain McCloud
Bo Svenson as Major Carter
Olivia Hussey as Marit
Henry Silva as General Garland
Isao Natsuyagi as Commander Nakanishi
Stephanie Faulkner as Sarah Baker
Stuart Gillard as Dr. Edward Meyer
Cec Linder as Dr. Latour
George Touliatos as Colonel Rankin
Chris Wiggins as Dr. Borodinov
Edward James Olmos as Captain Lopez
Colin Fox as Agent Z
Ken Pogue as Dr. Krause
Alberta Watson as Litha