A highly contagious, rapidly killing hemorrhagic mutation of bird flu slaughters people in Hongkong. Preventing its spread is virtually hopeless, as soon is proved in a US country village, which is strictly quarantined by the military. The White House prefers to 'prevent panic', even overrules zealous governor Mike Newsome and reneges earlier emergency plans. Written by
Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America: 3 out of 10: This movie is both funny and sad. The funny part is fairly obvious as this certainly isn't a sober look at a possible impending crisis. This is a modern version of The Swarm. And much like those killer bees (and the so called killer bee crisis that prompted them) Bird Flu has joined a pantheon of media inspired end of the world scenarios (SARS, Y2K, Global Warming) that simply refuse to actually come about.
The sad part is the blatant attempt of the filmmakers to inspire panic. Disease pandemics historically were fairly common after all people didn't all die in their forties from heart disease. Even recent pandemics such as AIDS mirrors the old fashioned VD crisis (Think syphilis) that used to kill more soldiers than bullets.
The flu pandemic of the early twenties was a nasty business killing millions but honestly life went on. I wonder if our over dramatic media and their power hungry government allies would allow life as normal today.
The movie itself swerves wildly from fairly competent scenes (Triage in grand Central Station) to the ridiculous (Rednecks try to ambush national guardsman in Manhattan).
The scenarios themselves are fairly useless as the filmmakers can't seem to decide exactly how contagious the bird flu is or for that matter whether the symptoms are an Ebola style crash or simply a long illness. Indeed one scene will show everyone in bio-hazard suits and the next will have nobody even wearing a mask.
The film also patently refuses to actually give any practical advice regarding what to do in a Bird Flu crisis. (Outside of wash your hands, what no duct tape?) The acting and directing are competent for a TV movie but the script is all over the map. Last the movie has a strangely non-exponential death total running on the bottom of the screen. Just like the Swarm did.
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