Viruses never act realistic on television or in the movies — usually, they just kill their hosts way too quickly, probably with a brief fever and some well-spritzed movie sweats. But sometimes, fake viruses get way more insane.
What are the craziest viral symptoms ever seen on your screen? What's the worst that can happen if you pick up a viral infection in a movie or TV show? Find out below!
1. Makes You Its Minion
A nasty virus infects a few space travelers and eventually the Doctor himself in Doctor Who's "The Invisible Enemy." Once infected, the host is forced to do the virus' bidding. How can the Doctor save the infected minions? Simple, The Doctor shrinks a clone version of himself and injects his tiny clone self into his brain to destroy the prawn-shaped Virus Nucleus. As you do.
2. Turns You Into A Rat
The 2007 horror flick Mulberry Street introduced the rat virus. A disease spread through bites, and it turned the host into a human/rat creature hungry for flesh. They even grew little rat noses, rat ears, mangled teeth and claws.
3. Pisses You Off
The Rage Virus became extremely popular in the flick 28 Days Later and later on in the rebooted The Crazies. The difference between the Rage Virus and your regular run of the mill zombie plague is smarts and speed. Those infected with the rage are a wee bit smarter than the average shambling zombie, and sometimes they can even talk and attempt to reason with their victims.
4. Turns You Into A Zombie
The zombie virus has so many names. Walking Dead calls it the TS-19, Resident Evil dubs it the T-Virus. But oftentimes lately, zombies and viruses go hand in hand (although the virus so rarely gets an official name). What started out as a very supernatural happening, involving mummies and members of the dead crawling out of their graves, has swiftly turned into a science experiment gone horribly wrong.
5. Makes You Explode
Fringe has featured a collection of disgusting viruses, but the erupting vein blood spray explosion (from the episode "What Lies Below") has to be our very favorite. No one is safe from the exploding blood gasp!
6. Turns You Into A Vampire
Many a vampire movie, book or comic has tried to pin the transformation into fanged creatures of the night on a virus. The Forsaken stunts the infection with a pill cocktail and Near Dark actually gave one character a full blood transfusion (in a dirty barn) to get the infection out of their blood. But the best use of crappy vampire infection jargon has to be Blade. Not only does the half vampire/half human use some sort of wacky vaccine to "cure" Whistler of his vampire halfsies, but he does it again and again.
7. Makes You Drunk (and Horny)
Apparently the whole crew of the Enterprise is crazy hot for each other, or so the episode "The Naked Now" lead us all to believe. In this sequel to the original Trek's "The Naked Time," the Enterprise encounters a ship littered with naked frozen casualties, and the crew gets infected with the same virus. The disease made almost everyone it came in contact with behave like they were drunk (including Data). Set phasers to awkward post-coital weirdness!
8. Turns You Into A Caveman
Stargate SG-1's "The Broca Divide" introduced the world to the caveman virus, from planet P3X-797. This episode is probably most infamous for infecting Carter and turning her into a horny cavewoman who tries to mate with O'Neill in the locker room.
9. Attacks You!
Who can forget the Macrovirus from Star Trek: Voyager? Picked up on the Garan mining colony this virus grows and grows... and grows. Watch as Captain Janeway physically attacks the giant beasts with her trusty space knife.
10. Peels Off Your Skin
Inspired by the director Eli Roth's bout with a flesh eating disease, Cabin Fever showed off a particularly gruesome virus where the victims skin would become loose and rip off easily. It gets particularly gross when a dog starts nibbling on the lips of one poor infected girl. But nothing, NOTHING is as revolting as watching a beautiful girl unknowingly shave off her skin in the bath. (Be warned this is a slightly NSFW video)