Friday, 17 July 2015

Spill (aka Virus)

SPILL (aka VIRUS) (1996)

Directed by: Allan A. Goldstein
Screenplay: Les Standiford
Starring: Brian Bosworth, Leah Pinset, Chuck Shamata & Eric Peterson

After the mega awesome (that’s right: mega awesome!) Stone Cold and a couple of decent actioners, one time NFL star Brian “The Boz” Bozworth trundled on for a while longer trying to carve out an action star career. Spill (or Virus depending on where you live!) tries to mix things up for The Boz by adding a disaster thriller element and, as you may expect, makes for a hokey but action packed 85 minutes. Part Outbreak and part generic mid 90s action movie, Spill is a mish-mash of genres that gets by on The Boz’s charisma and surfeit of ridiculous action.

He plays ace presidential security man Ken Fairchild, who is so good at his job he seemingly runs his protection details like American football plays (his character also being a former football player just like The Boz in real life: nice), as seen in the opening scenes where he saves the President’s life from being, err, egged! Some important dudes in suits are so impressed by this, they ask Fairchild to go ahead and scout out a location for the Presidents next speech. However, the National Park where said upcoming speech will take place is infected with a lethal virus when a tanker carrying top secret biological weapons crashes into it. Damnit! Now stuck in the park’s (oddly) vast wilderness, battling a virus and with a lovely local lady vet in tow, Fairchild much rush to safety, warn the President and get into a surprising amount of fights and gun battles.

While Spill is nowhere near as fun as the likes of other Boz vehicles Stone Cold, Midnight Heat or even (the greatly titled) One Tough Bastard, it’s still entertaining on its own low budget terms. Sure it doesn’t all quite hang together, the disaster/conspiracy element not really gelling with the Uzi blasting action element. One minute the film tries to be serious, then funny (as admittedly The Boz is quite humorous and likeable in this, showing a flare for comedy), then it’s full on fisticuffs in the forest or cars playing chicken while firing shotguns at one another (which, admittedly, is cool!). So yeah, it’s all over the joint not least in a crazy over-the-top character in the form of the pill popping tanker driver: seriously, this guy seems to have walked in from some other delirious movie and is perhaps one of the films more enjoyable, albeit unintentional, comedy highlights.

Factor in some impressive high fall stunts (and the cool bit where they actually drop a truck cab off the side of a cliff in spectacular fashion), an amusing subplot featuring a nosy reporter who resembles Columbo (!) and Spill is some undemanding and low rent folks-running-around-in-hazmat-suits action silliness. 

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