Epidemic Cinema Databank


The following copyright Epidemic Cinema Databank supports the research for my essay, “See the Predictability in the Chaos of Pandemics,” from Joan Ferrante and Chris Caldeira, eds.  (Sage, 2020), and my book-in-progress, Playing Chess with Death: Epidemic Films to Die For (A Memoir of the Covid-19 Plague Year).


The ADS Epidemic (1987)—HIV/AIDS

And the Band Played On (1993)—HIV/AIDS

The Andromeda Strain (1971)—mutating alien crystalline “virus”

The Andromeda Strain (2008)—mutating alien crystalline “virus”

Arrowsmith (1931)—bacteria: Clostridium chauvoei, blackleg in cattle, and Yersinia pestis, bubonic plague

Awakenings (1979)—unknown vector for encephalitis lethargica 

Awakenings (1990)—unknown vector for encephalitis lethargica 

Between (2015-16)—unknown virus

Bigger Than Life (1956)–cortisone

Black Death (2010)—bubonic plague

Blindness (2008)—unknown disease vector

Bob Geldorf on AIDS (1987)—HIV/AIDS

Body Snatchers: The Invasion Continues (1994)—alien seed pods

Buddies (1985)—HIV-AIDS

Cargo (2017)—unknown zombie vector

The Cassandra Crossing (1976)—unspecified plague virus

Chasing Heroin (2016)–heroin

Children of Men (2006)—infertility (male) virus

The Citadel (1939)—Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB)

The Coming Pandemic (2005)– avian virus H5N1

Contagion (2011)—mutating fictional virus MEV-1

Containment (2016)—unknown virus

Cooked: Survival by Zipcode (2019)—extremely high heat

Corona (2020)–Covid-19

Corona: End of the World (2020)—Covid-19


Coronavirus Capitalism—And How to Beat It (2020)—Covid-19

Coronavirus Explained (2020)—Covid-19

Coronavirus Pandemic (2020)—Covid-19

The Cured (2018)—fictitional Maze virus

The Day of the Dead (1985)—blood-based infection

Day of the Triffids (1963)—pollen on meteorites

Deranged (2012)—mutant parasitic horsehair worms

District 9 (2009)—alien spaceship fuel

Do No Harm: The Opioid Epidemic (2019)—OxyContin, heroin, fentanyl

Doomsday Book (2012)—unknown zombie virus

Dr. Bull (1933)—typhus and unknown paralytic vector

Dr. Erhlich’s Magic Bullet (1940)—syphilis; diptheria

An Early Frost (1985)—HIV/AIDS

Ebola Virus Exposed: The Terrifying Modern Plague (2014)—Ebola virus

80,000 Suspects (1963)—small pox virus

11th Hour (2006)—HGT: hybrid smallpox (variola virus)-tanapox virus (riverine smallpox)

11th Hour (2008-9)—smallpox (variola virus)

Epidemic (1987)—unknown meta plague (caused by breath? sight?)

The Evening Hour (2020)–OxyContin

The Faculty (1998)—larval mesozoan parasites

Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America (2006)—avian virus H5N1

Fatal Attraction (1987)—unsafe sex

Fatal Error (1999)—fictional computer virus

Fields of Gold (2002)—transgenic bacteria (Vancomycin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus)

The Final Inch (2009)—polio virus

Flu (2013)—H5N1 virus

The Fly (1986)—HGT (Horizontal Gene Transfer): human/fly

From Flint: Voices from a Poisoned City (2015)–lead in city water supply

The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)—fungal pathogen; HGT: human/fungus

Helix (2014-15)—fictional Vecter virus

The Hot Zone (1994)—Ebola virus

The Hot Zone (2019)—Ebola virus

How to Survive a Plague (2012)—polio virus

Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria (2013)— Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia; bacteria with New metallo β-lactamase NDM-1 resistance gene

I Am Legend (2007)—fictional Krippin virus

Impulse (1984)—toxic waste water

Infection (2004)—mental telepathy and/or gree

Inside Italy’s Covid War (2020)—Covid-19

Intimate Agony (1983)–herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2)

Intimate Contact (1987)—HIV/AIDS

Interrupted Melody (1955)—polio virus

The Invasion (2007)—alien virus

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)—alien seed pods

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)—alien seed pods

Isle of the Dead (1945)—septicemic (bacterial) plague; fictional undead (vorvolakas)

It Follows (2015)—supernatural STD

It Comes at Night (2017)—unknown virus

It Stains the Sands Red (2016)—unknown zombie vector

La Jetee or The Observation Deck (1962)—unknown virus

Jezebel (1938)—yellow fever flavivirus

The Killer that Stalked New York (1950)—smallpox virus

Land of the Dead  (2005)—blood-based infection

The Last Days (2013)—agoraphobic pathogen

The Last Man on Earth (1924)—masculitis (male sterility) virus

The Last Man on Earth (1964)—bacterial vampire plague

The Last Ship (2014-18)—fictional Red Flu

The Lazarus Effect (2010)—HIV/AIDS

The Lazarus Effect (2015)—fictional serum for prolonging comas

The Leakers (2018)–Zika virus

Life After People (2008)—no vectors

Lifeforce (1985)–alien sexual contact

Little Joe (2019)–pollen

Longtime Companion (1990)—HIV/AIDS

Madame Curie (1943)–radioactivity

Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)—fictional Chimera virus

The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988)–Black Plague

93 Days (2013)—Ebola virus

No Sad Songs for Me (1950)–cancer

The Omega Man (1971)—albino-genic mutant virus

The Origins of AIDS (2004)—HIV/AIDS

Outbreak (1998)—fictional Motuba virus

Outbreak: Anatomy of a Plague (2010): smallpox virus (Red Plague)

The Painted Veil (1934)–cholera bacteria

The Painted Veil (2006)—cholera bacteria

Pandemic (2007)—plague virus

Pandemic (2009)—plague virus

Pandemic (2016)—plague virus

Pandemic (2020)—plague virus

Panic in the Streets (1950)—bacteria (pneumonic plague)

A Paralyzing Fear: The Story of Polio in America (1998): polio virus

Parting Glances (1986)—HIV/AIDS

The Passage (2019)—vampiric virus

Peninsula (2020)—unknown zombie vector

Perfect Sense (2011)—fictional SOS (Sensory Olfactory Syndrome) virus

La Peste (1979)—unknown plague vector

Pestilent City (1965)—urban anomie

Phase IV (1974)—mutating gene in ants

Philadelphia (1993)—HIV/AIDS

The Plague (1979)—fictional bacteria M3: The Gemini Strain

Plandemic (2020)—Covid-19

The Polio Crusade (2009)—polio virus

Pontypool (2008)—spoken English words

Pripyat (1999)—radioactivity

The Quiet Killer (1992)—bubonic plague

Radioactivity (2020)– radioactivity

Rain (2011)—flower-based virus

ReGenesis ( 2004-08)—numerous disease vectors; HGT

Remember Me (1955)—polio virus

Resident Evil (2002)—fictional T-virus

Rumor of Blue Sky (2009)— smog with poisonous gases

Safe (1995)—multiple chemical sensitivity

Screen Talk (2014-20)—fictional airborne respiratory virus

Sea Fever (2020)—marine parasites

The Seventh Seal (1957)—bubonic plague virus

The Seventh Sin (1957)–cholera bacteria

76 Days (2020)—Covid-19

Shaun of the Dead (2004)—unknown zombie vector

Shivers (1975)—fecal parasites

Smallpox (2002)—smallpox virus

Splice (2009)—human/animal HGT

The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)–Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) and  Rabies (Rabies lyssavirus)

The Strain (2014-15)—fictional parasitic (vampiric) worms; undead strigoi

Screen-Talk (2014-20)—fictional respiratory virus



Sweet as You Are (1988)—HIV/AIDS

Totally Under Control (2020)—Covid-19

Train to Busan (2016)—unknown zombie vector

Training Ground (2006)—unknown virus

12 Monkeys (1995)—unknown virus

28 Days Later (2002)—fictional “rage” virus

28 Weeks Later (2007)—fictional “rage” virus

Under the Skin—alien sexual contact

Utopia (2013-14)—fictional Deel’s Syndrome and Russian flu

Utopia (2020-21)—fictional Diel’s Syndrome and Peruvian flu plus a sterility vector

Village of the Damned (1960)—alien pregnancies

The Virus: What Went Wrong? (2020)—Covid-19

Virus (1980)—fictional virus MM88

Virus (1995)—plague

Virus (1999)—alien cyber Intelligence: “Humans are the virus”

Virus (2019)–Nipah virus

Warm Bodies (2013)—zombie bite

We Heard the Bells: The Influenza of 1918 (2010)–virus

World War Z (2013)—zombie sound-sensitive virus

One Response to “Epidemic Cinema Databank”

  1. […] teaching and research led me to create a databank of 170 films (a work-in-progress) that includes films with traditional pathogenic causes, such as COVID-19, […]

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