Virus (1996)

Virus DVD CoverBrian “The Boz” Bosworth plays a former college football star turned Secret Service agent who gets infected with a lethal biowarfare germ and has to outwit the evil chemical company whose hitmen are after him! To make matters worse, rogue elements of the United States government are in on it and want everything covered up! But that’s not the most terrible part of it all!

The national park where the killer bug has been loosed is right where an environmental summit is going to be held! And the President is going to be standing right under a geyser that will spew its poison water all over him!

The really nightmarish part of this whole situation is that the Boz is saddled with a lady veterinarian who is also a Nebraska Cornhusker fan! You just know that the Boz would rather die a million times over from the most painful virus in the universe than to have to hang out with a Husker! Hell, any of us would!

There was a lot about Virus that was amazing. For instance, the Boz manages to crash the same truck, not once, but twice! If I was one of the guys he was rescuing, I probably would have waited for the next action hero to come along or at least volunteered to drive!

The most suspenseful moment in the movie was when the Boz stole a motorcycle, put the vet on the back of the bike, and then starting popping wheelies and racing straight at a bad guy who was shooting at them! Was there any way that the Boz wouldn’t end up laying that baby down and decorating that pretty lady vet’s face with a little road rash?

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Other standout moments from the Boz’s third feature film include the Boz tromping around the park, checking out geysers and other geothermal doodads and getting stuck in a bunch of mud. He gets rescued by the vet when she lassos him, pulls him out and all the Boz can think about is the expensive shoes he lost!

The Boz also thwarts an attempt by a guy trying to throw an egg at the President and embarrasses real Secret Service agents everywhere when he smashes the egg in the guy’s face, pulls out his gun and then wonders aloud whether he should shoot the dope! I’m not sure if geologists were embarrassed more though when the Boz announced he was a geology major in college and proceeded to talk about the need to boil an underground river in an effort to save the world from certain plague-ridden doom!

By far though, the most startling aspect of Virus is that it is based on a true story! Because the Boz really was a college football star! When he complains about the vet being a Nebraska Cornhusker fan, it’s entirely believable because the Boz played at Oklahoma! As you might expect, things are a bit fictionalized for the film what with the Boz describing how he was famous for stopping “The Rocket” on a big play in the “big game.”

In reality, Raghib “Rocket” Ismael was a star at Notre Dame a few years after the Boz left Oklahoma. Also, in real life, the Boz’s biggest play in his final college game was standing on the sidelines of the 1987 Orange Bowl wearing a shirt that said “National Communists Against Athletes,” a dig at the NCAA who had suspended him for steroid use. The Boz left college football shortly thereafter. And by “left” I mean he was booted off the team.

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Like any good story though, the Boz’s tale had a happy ending as he wrote a book that revealed drug use and gunplay among team members and then went on to make millions during a pro career chiefly remembered for the Boz getting humiliated by Bo Jackson on a Monday night game.

But there would be no humiliating the Boz in this movie! He spends much of the movie running around the park in a race against time, rappelling down a cliff, beating up bad guys and dodging explosions in slow motion before being able to detonate the dynamite he dropped into the underground river he was trying boil all the germs out of!

Wait a minute though! Wasn’t the Boz and his lady friend infected with the deadly plague? Sure, but since they had colds, their immune systems were already working and thus the plague couldn’t kill them! How do we know that? Because the vet said so!

But they could still be carriers, right? Nope! How do we know that? All the tests show them as totally normal once the movie ends! Why? Because it’s time for the movie to end, you moron!

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It would be easy (and entirely accurate) to criticize Virus for how cheap it is (it’s about an hour of just the Boz running around in the woods) and how badly realized the last parts of the film are what with the babble about politics necessitating a cover up and the Boz losing faith in the President before finally deciding to do the right thing. This results in a series of newspaper headlines that describe what ultimately happened (Boz Testifies! Presidential Aid Fired! Impeachment Considered! Boz Appointed Secretary of Awesome!).

We were supposed to be in suspense about what the Boz would do, but the same incriminating information he had was also mailed to a lawyer and a newspaper reporter, so it wasn’t like the story was going to get hushed up even if the Boz decided just to attend the Sooners’ homecoming game instead.

Still, even during its horrible final moments, the Boz shows us why he’s the Boz and we aren’t as he jumps his bike through the air right into the middle of the presidential press conference while screaming about how everyone needs to get away from the poison geyser! It’s Boztacular! And the knowledge that he and director Allan A. Goldstein team up again for Black Out is positively Bozalicious!

© 2013 MonsterHunter

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