Fictional Horror Pandemics from Films and Books!

Fictional Horror Pandemics from Films and Books!

by | Mar 20, 2020

As of the date I write this, the world has not yet collapsed. The post man has just delivered a bunch of letters and bills, an amazon deliver driver just dropped the latest release for the Nintendo Switch and the local council continue to dig up something or other at the end of the road. Earlier I just went out to pick up some supplies from my local chain store, and despite a rag tag selection of meat and loo roll, there is still plenty of stock to pick from.  People seemed to be going about their daily business much as they always do. A  stark contrast to the reports I’d been hearing about bare bones stores, empty streets and people singing to each other through their windows (which sounds torturous)!

We are facing a global catastrophe unlike anything we have seen before, but I can’t help but think how worse it would be if we were in the midst of one of the many fictional Pandemics that we have read and watched over the many years. Yes, we may have a lack of loo role, but no, you do not have a mad blood spewing zombie chomping at your heels. Here are a bunch of Fictional Horror Pandemics from Films and Books that would be way worse if they were real!




28 Days Later (2002)

28 Days Later (2002) - Fictional Horror Pandemics from Films and Books

28 Days later depicts the breakdown of society following the accidental release of a highly contagious virus, which sounds remarkable like the release of a Chris Brown album. The film focuses upon the struggle of four survivors in a world of rage infected zombies. Not only are these zombies hungry for human flesh, they are faster than a toilet stop in rattle snake country.

How it Started?

A group of animal liberation activists attempt to free chimpanzees from an animal research laboratory in Cambridge, no doubt hoping to release the little beasties into their natural habitat of hoity-toity universities and expensive coffee bars run by junior chess champions.  Instead of freeing a bunch of apes, they unwittingly unleash a rage-induce pathogen into the populace. According to extended material, the lab was attempting to develop an inhibitor which can be used to control aggressive impulses in humans, so why they were experimenting on apes instead of Aston Villa fans is completely beyond us. It is a genetically engineered version of the Ebola virus, hence the bloody haemorrhaging.

How it spread?

Viruses are microscopic bundle of genetic material (DNA or RNA) encased in either a protein or fatty lipid coating, much like Kim Kardashian. In order to survive, they need a host to which to multiply, surviving within the hosts cells and turning them into a factory for the virus.  In 28 days later, the infected become angry blood spewing vectors of contagion.

Like many other virus, “Rage” spreads through bodily fluid exchange. Saliva, blood, feces and vomit, amongst other bodily fluids, are highly contagious and so bites and scratches can be easily spread the disease. One of the pathogens unique qualities is it’s speed of infection. Those exposed will shows signs of infection within lesser time than it takes to eat one of those mini tubs of Pringles, turning a terrifying virus into one that devastated in seconds.

How it Kills?

Whilst it may look like a zombie infection, the rage virus dose not outright kill it’s victim. Instead, the infected die of thirst and hunger as they are no longer able to shop at Aldi, phone in Chinese takeaways or order from Uber Eats.

How it ends?

28 days later after the spread of the infection, the UK is devestaed by the growing rage attacks, but the infected begin to die of starvation. 28 Weeks Later, NATO forces take control of Britain and start the repatriation of British refugees. However,  asymptomatic carriers of the rage virus spread the pathogen across the globe.


The Omega Man (1971)

The Omega Man (1971) - Fictional Horror Pandemics from Films and Books

In 1975, a Sino-Soviet border conflict escalates into worldwide biological warfare, which kills most of the world’s population. Whilst it might be a bummer for humanity, its pay day for the cloak makers and tanning lotion companies, as humanity is reduced to a bunch of nocturnal albino mutants with a penchant for medieval robes. This cult like group of ex-humans Family seeks to destroy all technology and science, which they blame for humanity’s downfall.


World War Z (2006)

World War Z (2006) - Fictional Horror Pandemics from Films and Books

The 2006 zombie apocalyptic horror novel written by American author Max Brooks perfectly illustrates how a pandemic can spread globally, just the like the Baby Shark viral video. The books  accounts are all taken at ground level, by the people who survived the zombie apocalypse. How they manged to turn this into a movie where Brad Pitt travels across the globe, survives and a plane crash and saves humanity, is anyone’s guess.

How it Started?

Patient zero for the zombie apocalypse was a young boy living in a small village on the outskirts of Chongqing, China. Whilst diving in a dam reservoir, he was bitten by an unknown animal, which caused him to die and resurrect. Due to a misunderstanding of what was happening, several other people become infected, and the infection rapidly spread across china.

How it spread?

In order to justify its massive military mobilizations, China told the world that the army was preparing to defend the country from an invasion from Taiwan. With the world still in the dark about the zombie infection, China’s lack of transparency led to infection stretching across the globe, as people fled the increasingly oppressed country. Whilst the heavy handed military control had a huge impact on people leaving the country, the global impact was due to human trafficking, refugees and the organ trade. Yes, hearts and lungs were aplenty at the start of the zombie apocalypse. The world was led to believe that a new strain of rabies was to blame for the many deaths, but they would have been better of convincing everyone that the eighth series of the Bachelor was to blame for the increased amount of foaming mouths.

How it Kills?

The infection can enter into the body via any open wounds such as cuts or bites. Once it is in the blood stream, it attaches itself to the brains’ frontal lobe for replication. This process destroys the brain cells and kills the patient due to organ failure. However, the brains functionality remains, but all trace of personality, individuality and mercy are irreversibly lost. Perfect for cast members of The Only Way Is Essex.

How it ends?

Governments of the world ignore the infection, until a public outbreak occurs in a South African shantytown. This leads to Israel unifying with Palestine and closing its borders. In an attempt to calm the populace, the US government lied to the world, claiming it has cure called Phalanx, but attacks in suburban neighborhood force the US to call in its army.  Things fell apart when the army was humiliated live on TV, on a program that was not The Jerry Springer Show, as a “last stand” of military might was wiped out but a huge herd of zombies from New York.

Panic gripped the world as people fled from their infected countries via cars, boats and planes. Nuclear war broke out between Iran and Pakistan and most of the world government collapse. People flee to perceived ‘safe areas’ like arctic regions, islands and mountains, only to starve to death or resort to cannibalism or eating Pot Noodles!

After many months, regrouped and using special tactics, armies retook various continents and World War Z was finally over, leaving the world terrible scarred by the zombie plague.


12 Monkeys (1995)

12 Monkeys (1995) - Fictional Horror Pandemics from Films and Books

12 Monkeys is a neo-noir science fiction film directed by former Monty Python, Terry Gilliam, and tells the tale of a the scant remainder of humanity trying to cure a plague with time travel.

Living in squalid underground tunnels after having been driven from the surface by a viral pandemic, these last dregs of the human race use advanced technology to send people back to find early samples of the disease before it mutated and destroyed ninety-eight percent of the worlds population.

Although the nature of the virus is never explored, what is clear is that it originated in a Virology lab in the US and spread maliciously across the world. Nice!!


Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Night of the Living Dead (1968) - Fictional Horror Pandemics from Films and Books

George A. Romero created one of the most predominant creatures of the 21st centuries, with zombies appearing in all walks of media (walks…walkers…gettit?), including film, tv, books, comics and even commercials. His night of the living dead series ran for six films between 1968 and 2009, which is four times longer than the Beetles.

How it Started?

It is has never been established how the dead started to rise, but the there is plenty of speculating on possible causes, ranging from radiation from a NASA probe to a viral infection. Some even believe it to be the work of god, or some form of divine intervention. Being a primarily US film series, we never really hear from the rest of the world, but we assume that it spreads globally, wiping out most of humanity, including Narnia!

How it spread?

The infection started with the recently deceased, so hospitals, morgues and graveyards became the epicentres for the infections. Being bitten by a zombie is not a prerequisite for returning to life, but it certainly put a real damper on your future holiday plans, as it’s pretty much fatal. Any deceased human, regardless of exposure to a zombie bite, will rise from the grave, excluding those who died by massive brain trauma, had their brain incapacitated post-mortem, or anyone that sat through more than one episode of Eldorado. With major cities being hit quickly by the infection, the world governments barely had any time to fight back against the hungry bity undead people.

How it Kills?

Zombie bites are 100% fatal. Depending on the location and extent of the bite, an infection take’s hold, making the individual violently ill. Anyone bitten by a zombie will die within three days, that’s enough time to knit three cardigans.

How it ends?

Small pockets of people manage to survive, and larger communities even thrive in the apocalypse, but almost every community falls due to corruption and uprising. As the zombies start to grow in intelligence, it’s clear that humanity is doomed.


The Stand (1994)

The Stand (1994) - Fictional Horror Pandemics from Films and Books

Stephen king’s tale of an apocalyptic pandemic that wipes out humanity, is a chilling reminder of the fragile boundaries that hold society together.

How it Started?

Project Blue, is an experimental weaponized flu virus that escapes from a government research facility in California’s Mojave Desert. As the virus breaks quarantine, A faulty security gate allows a member of the military police to escape the facility, becoming patient zero and spreading the lethal strain of influenza across the continental United States.

How it spread?

As cases of the virus start to show across the states, U.S. Army and FBI argued over who is to deal with the problem, passing the load onto The Department of Scientific Intelligence. Whilst all branches of the government try to contain the virus, a huge amount of weight is thrown behind a propaganda machine that denies the existence, and later the severity, of the publicly named “Captain Trips”. In an effort to prevent Russia and China from fingering blame at the US, spies unwittingly release the super flu in those countries, fueling the quickly growing pandemic and dooming mankind.

How it Kills?

Captain trips is a constantly-shifting antigen virus that rapidly mutates within it’s host. Just as the bodies defense system fights back against the foreign body, it mutates into a new strain and once again overwhelms the human defenses. This characteristic can cause the infected to feel better, before rapidly becoming ill again. The virus starts out like a common cold, causing weariness, nasal congestion and sneezing. At this stage most people think they have the common cold. As the it progresses, Captain Trips causes increasingly-worse fever, headaches, crippling physical pain, swelling of the neck (giving it it’s other street name “Tube Neck”), and delirium. Death by suffocation and organ failure follows on within a week of infection. It’s 100% lethal.

How it ends?

Right up until the last days of civilization, the Government assure people that the Super Flu doesn’t exist and that a stronger than usual flu epidemic is causing sickness. The president of the United States appears on TV, visibly sick, to tell people to stay at home and take plenty of aspirin. Meanwhile, the government’s heavy arm against quarantine and looters starts to fall apart. Many soldiers die of the infection at their posts, but some resort to murdering their superiors and going AWOL. One group of renegade soldiers broadcasting mass killings on tv. Captain Trips wipes out the world within 14 days. 13th  June (1990) – June 27th  

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“Hello Horror Fans – WOW, these are some scary scenarios. I sure hope everyone is keeping safe and entertained? However, I have run out of toilet roll over here, so I’ve started reading more local newspapers, for…the sports of course! Keep safe, be well and never forget ol’ Morty over here at Horror Land! 

Keep Rotten”


“Morti” The Mortician



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