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Cinema to consider while you ride out COVID-19

Greetings my fellow social distancing cinephiles of Winchester!

March Madness has a new meaning this year.

Trade in the beloved b-ball tournament and brackets for a game of Where’s Waldo for available hand sanitizer and toilet paper because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The media has helped stir the human hysteria pot in the world with its constant focus on the impending recession, establishment closures and 24/7 doom and gloom reports on the current situation.

With work, school and now cinemas closed, there is much time to spend time with loved ones or and catch up on some coronavirus quarantine cinema.

The following topical titles are just a few to enjoy during this health-infused hiatus from the daily norm.

“The Crazies” (1973) is a George “Night of the Living Dead” Romero flick which tells the tale of a biohazard blunder made by the military when they drop a manmade virus, “Codename Trixie,” onto a small Pennsylvania town which causes death and permanent insanity for the infected residents. Martial law is passed and curfews enforced.

“The Crazies” addresses the themes of social collapse among us when there is an emergency rather than people working together.

There is a lot of truth to the statements made in “The Crazies.” Just look at how we were ransacking stores for as many cleaning supplies as we can, selfishly buying up all supplies while not working together to ride out this current storm.

“The Crazies” (2010) was a remake that differs slightly from its predecessor in that an unusual toxic virus enters a quiet farming town in Iowa and the quarantined fight for their survival in a town that goes off the rails because of the infected running amok.

Another title of interest would be the Sci-Fi thriller, “The Andromeda Strain” (1971), which features a team of top scientists who work feverishly on a top-secret lab to do battle with a deadly contagion which has killed residents in a small town.

“The Last Man on Earth” (1964) is a Vincent “House on Haunted Hill” Price horror film focused on the last man on Earth who becomes a reluctant vampire hunter fighting to survive his lonely days after all of humanity have become infected turning into the living dead.

“Last Man” was adapted from the popular Richard Matheson 1954 novella, “I Am Legend,” which would also inspire “Night of the Living Dead” (1968), “The Omega Man” (1971), and the Will Smith’s “I Am Legend” (2007).

In the same vein of this popular story was the blockbuster “28 Days Later” (2002) which focuses on a small group of survivors looking for sanctuary four weeks after an incurable virus infects the United Kingdom.

“28 Weeks Later” (2007) follows up six months later after the virus inflicted the UK while the U.S. Army sets a small area for survivors to repopulate and start toward a return to normalcy in the country.

“Outbreak” (1995) is the bio-yarn following Army doctors as they battle a virus in a California town that was brought to America by an African monkey in hopes of a cure.

“The Satan Bug” (1965) is a solid crime thriller focused on a security officer who selflessly acts after a thief threatens to release a germ from a biological warfare lab which could destroy life on Earth.

Keep your wits about you in this time of confusion and sacrifice.

Take care of each other.

To paraphrase “Shaun of the Dead” (2004), “Go to Winchester, have a pint, and wait for all this to blow over.”

Wash your hands and have a film-tastic day.

Rick Baldwin is a writer, filmmaker and film/music historian. He is president of the Winchester-Clark County Film Society. Find more from Rick on Facebook. He is on Twitter @rickbaldwin79  and can be reached by email at rickbaldwiniii@hotmail.com.