• WARNING: Spoilers

    A film that describes the development of a deadly Virus weapons system by the USA Military during the height of the Cold War epoch during the early 1980's. A small group of multinational scientists stuck in the Antarctic learn to survive after a human engineered virus knocks out most of earth's population. The film begins in East Germany where a scientist has been bribed by American agents to provide a sample of the deadly virus developed by the East German government for a reward of 50,000 pounds. Suddenly East German soldiers break into the clandestine meeting and shoot the German scientist but the CIA agents manage to escape in a plane. Unfortunately the plane crashes into the side of a mountain during a violent storm and the deadly virus, called CX114 which is contained in an air tight flask is released when the flask breaks against the side of the mountain. The Virus is highly potent and is spread atmospherically and soon the whole world is infected starting with Siberia, Tokyo, London, Rome and New York as the film shows staggering death tolls for each city. The action continues a few months later at an American Pathology Laboratory when Colonel Rankin of the US military asks one of the scientists that developed CX114 as to its properties. The scientist remarks to the Colonel that it is a terrifying doomsday weapon as its rate of reproduction the rate at which it multiples reaches astronomical proportions when above the tempertaure of about 5 degrees Celsius. The scientist accuses Colonel Rankin of making yet another Doomsday wepaon and screams, "How much is enough for you people! We already have enough nuclear weapons to turn the rubble into rubble!" Colonel Rankin storms out disgusted and has the scientist committed into a mental institution to prevent him from blowing the whistle to the US Senate Oversight Committee for Weapons Development and Research. The action shifts to the Oval Office where the President, [played by the late Glen Ford] and with a Senator [played by Robert Vaughn] are watching the cataclysmic events across the world as the Virus Spreads. It has been called the "Italian flu" by the media but it is really CX114. Suddenly General Garland bursts into the Oval Office. He is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the head of the USA military. He demands that the President activate the ARS. An abbreviation for the 'Automatic Reaction System' of the US Strategic Nuclear Triad that will respond to any Soviet Nuclear threat against the West even if the entire hierarchy is dead. Remember that this film was made in 1980 and the Cold War was very much in full swing. The President says he will think about it while the senator, played by Robert Vaughn, says it is madness and there is no need as the crisis is a medical one and not a military threat. However, General Garland insists when Colonel Rankin walks in already showing the signs of the Virus infection. The film continues as the President eventually finds out what Colonel Rankin did to the scientist, who, when released from the mental asylum, tells the President the real story of how the Virus has spread. The movie then turns mostly to the Japanese scientists and shows how a few Americans and a UK Nuclear Submarine captained by the late Chuck Connors, make it to Antartica, where due to the cold tempertarues the Virus cannot multiply and reap its destruction. Only about 800 people in the entire world survive as General Rankin activates the ARS which is set off by an earthquake in the capital Washington and not any Soviet attack, thus blasting the entire world with Nuclear Armaggedon as the Soviets respond with their nukes, finishing off what is left of the population that managed to survive the Virus. Overall a good action post-apocalyptic film with fine performances from Glen Ford and Robert Vaughan as well as Olivia Hussey, Chuck Connors and George Kennedy.