"You have to love its simplicity. It’s one billionth our size and it’s beating us."
After making Das Boot, Wolfgang Peterson came to Hollywood and began a new period in his life making big spectacle films, often action thrillers. Unfortunately, that meant when it came time to make his 1995 film Outbreak – stemmed from the world’s curiosity in the Ebola outbreak in Africa paired with the release of Richard Preston’s article “Crisis in the Hot Zone” and subsequent book – the powers that be felt that it too needed to be an action thriller. True, compared to something like The Andromeda Strain, a little more action could really help a story out, but they really seemed to go the wrong direction with this film, adding in an infuriating military conspiracy subplot to really kick things up a notch. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Disease Films series with Peterson’s ‘95 film Outbreak.
We talk about why the film fell short on this recent watch, even though it seemed to hold up relatively well when we first saw it in ‘95. We chat about how the project came to be and why the film version of Preston’s article and book never got made. We look at all the wonderful actors in this movie and debate whose characters are the weakest. We chat about the nature of Ebola and the various outbreaks the world has seen with it (including a recent record-breaking outbreak starting in ‘13). And we ponder Peterson’s Hollywood directing, wondering if he’s still got another Das Boot in him.
It’s a flawed film, albeit an entertaining one with a great cast. It’s fun to watch but also infuriating. And it’s really fun to talk about, so check it out then tune in this week!
- Watch this film: iTunes • Amazon
- Script Transcript
- Original theatrical trailer
- Original poster artwork
- Art of the Title
- Stranger Things Props