cast: Gabrielle Anwar, Rutger Hauer, Craig Sheffer, David Naughton, and Jason Brooks
writer and director: Jeff Hare
95 minutes (15) 2001
Mosaic DVD Region 2 retail
reviewed by Donald Morefield
Nosy TV reporter Ann (Gabrielle Anwar) suspects there’s a top story to uncover at an oil company base in the Amazon rainforest. What she finds out is that a covert government bio-weapons project has created hybrid killer bees carrying a deadly virus. The unscrupulous Dr North (talented actor David Naughton, capable and deserving of much better than this, whose career has taken a nosedive since he co-starred in An American Werewolf In London, 20 years ago) steals a samples case of these insects and jets off to New York. Meanwhile, a band of mercenaries led by heavyweight trouble-shooter Ezekial (Rutger Hauer, so laidback here you’d think he was on holiday in Norfolk) are dealing out death via helicopter gunships to rebellious and territorial Brazilian warrior tribe, the shadow people, when they hear that North’s plane is threatened by the escaped “demons from the sky” of the title…
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This is a cack-handed mixture of The Emerald Forest (1985), Medicine Man (1992) and Outbreak (1995), made without sufficient budget to do any of its story elements justice. Chronic ineptitude at every level of the production means that Flying Virus succeeds only as a so-bad-it’s-good type of B-movie. The cheaply produced digital animation visuals really would not pass muster by last century’s PlayStation standards and, of the main cast, Craig Sheffer overacts risibly as the pathetic airborne ‘hero’ Martin. At least Anwar looks just as adorable as ever, and Hauer’s abruptly contrivied death scene is somewhat amusing.
DVD extras: cast biographies, photo gallery in slideshow format, plus a trailer that’s much better edited than the movie itself.