30 Most Gruesome Movie Diseases

Stricklers Mimic (1997)

The Disease: Spread by your common variety cockroach, Strickler’s Disease affects the children of Manhattan in Guillermo del Toro’s monster flick.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: Well, it only affects children, which is pretty freakin’ nasty. For the lucky ones who survive it, they can look forward to a lifetime in leg braces.

For the others, it’s a slow, panting, sweaty death that looks pretty damn uncomfortable.

How Long You’d Last: Well, it’s not so much Strickler’s that you should be worried about.

The real question is, how long would you survive the human-imitating mutated Judas Breed?

They’re created by entomologist Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) to kill the cockroaches, but pose a far greater problem than the disease.

Plague Panic In The Streets (1950)

The Disease: Pneumonic plague, which is first discovered in Kochak (Lewis Charles) after he’s killed by a gangster and dumped in the docks of New Orleans.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: You basically contract a really bad fever that ends up killing you.

That’s after you’ve spent hours ranting like a lunatic.

How Long You’d Last:
Couple of days, tops.

Andromeda The Andromeda Strain (1971)

The Disease: An alien germ unleashed in the USA when a satellite crashes in Piedmont, New Mexico.

Branded ‘Andromeda’, the virus quickly adapts to Earth’s atmosphere, figuring out how to burn through containers and spread.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: Blood clotting, which happens really rather quickly and is, understandably, fatal as a vampire’s kiss.

How Long You’d Last: “Most of them died instantly. A few had time to go quietly nuts,” says Dr Hall (James Olson).

Not long, then.

Captain Trips The Stand (1994)

The Disease: A super flu created as a weaponised version of influenza, this disease’s codename was Project Blue, but it’s better known as Captain Trips.

In The Stand , the virus kills 99% of the Earth’s population.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: It’s basically a hyper-brutal version of the flu that turns people into scabby, wan-looking corpses.

How Long You’d Last: It works so quickly that you’ll probably die at your desk.

Zombie Virus Rabid (1977)

The Disease: Rose (Marilyn Chambers) develops a strange orifice (equipped with a dodgy-looking stinger) under one of her armpits after a life-saving operation.

Filled with an insatiable thirst for blood, Rose uses the phallic stinger to feed on people – the fall-out of which is that those she feeds on are infected with a virus that turns them into zombies.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: The infected zombies aren’t exactly shy about their conquests – they’ll grab and bite without a moment’s hesitation.

Bloody. Very bloody.

How Long You’d Last: You know the drill; the zombie’s bite transform its victims into zombies.

So just try not to get bitten, eh?

MEV-1 Contagion (2011)

The Disease: Meningoencephalitis Virus One, or MEV-1, which begins with flu-like symptoms, but quickly turns into something far, far deadlier.

It’s a weird biological mix of viruses usually found in pigs and bats. And has something to do with deforestation.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: Just look at poor Gwynnie.

As the virus cripples the body, it turns you into a shivering wreck.

How Long You’d Last: If you’re lucky like Mitch (Matt Damon), there’s a chance you could be immune to it.

If not, there’s a chance you’ll be dead in less than a week.

Vampire Virus The Last Man On Earth (1964)

The Disease: A strange plague that has transformed much of the population into vampires.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: Just like the vampires of Bram Stoker’s writings, these neck-chewers hate garlic and sunlight, but just love the red stuff.

How Long You’d Last: Dr. Robert Morgan (Vincent Price) managed to avoid infection after he was bitten by a vampire bat in Panama, meaning he’d built up an immunity to the plague.

It’s worth giving that a shot, if you’re ever concerned about turning into a bloodsucker.

The Plague Black Death (2010)

The Disease: One of the worst pandemics in the history of the human race, the Plague broke out in 1348 and quickly put Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia in a death grip.

It devoured 30-60% of Europe’s population.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: Just about every disgusting, humiliating thing you can imagine, from pussy abscesses in the neck, armpit and groin to fever and vomiting.

(Even more horrendous when you remember this actually happened.)

How Long You’d Last:
Well, four out of five people succumbed to the disease within eight days of infection.

We don’t like them odds.

Pie Rabies - I Drink Your Blood (1970)

The Disease: Rabies, basically, but with a mouth-watering pastry twist.

In a bid to take down unruly, Satanic hippies, Pete (Riley Mills) takes blood from a rabid dog and injects it into meat pies that the hippies chow down on.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: General feral madness – including an appetite for murder.

How Long You’d Last: The infection is pretty instantaneous, so not very.

Motaba Outbreak (1995)

The Disease: A viral hemorrhagic fever named after the Motaba River.

The Motaba virus is discovered in Zaire, then transferred to the United States by an infected capuchin monkey.

Ladies and gentleman, we have an outbreak.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: While it starts out producing flu-like symptoms, it’s not long before the Motaba virus causes all-out haemorrhaging from various orifices.

How Long You’d Last:
A matter of days, tops; this stuff spreads like wildfire.