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30 Most Gruesome Movie Diseases

Venereal Disease Shivers (1975)

The Disease: Spread by a parasite, this unnamed venereal disease causes the infected to act out in a typically violent manner.

Worse, the disease can be spread during any form of sexual contact, making it just about the worst STI you could ever get.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: Big, bulging boils that pulse with a life all their own. Mmm, sexy.

How Long You’d Last: Depends how devout you are.

Keep it in your pants, and you’ve got a pretty good chance.

Krippin Virus - I Am Legend (2007)

The Disease: Never mess with diseases. That’s what Dr. Alice Krippin (Emma Thompson) did when she genetically engineered a variant of measles as a cure for cancer, which then turned into a lethal virus of epic proportions.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: The Krippin Virus killed 90% of the Earth’s population.

Those it didn’t kill, it transformed into ‘Darkseekers’, vampiric monsters that hunt and kill humans.

How Long You’d Last:
If the Krippin Virus killed you, count yourself lucky – you wouldn’t want to go up against a Darkseeker.

Even Will Smith couldn’t handle them.

Virulent Bacteria Warning Sign (1985)

The Disease: Created in a top secret military lab, this virulent strain of bacteria was intended as a biological weapon.

Except then it got out into the rest of the building, infecting and eventually killing innocent workers.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: The infected suffer not only from the kind of bad skin usually reserved for hormonal teens, but glowy eyes that would be perfect for raving with.

How Long You’d Last:
This thing was meant as a weapon, and boy is it good at its job. Don’t except to see another sunrise.

Bloody Skin Carriers (2009)

The Disease: A virus that’s gone global, the bloody skin disease in Carriers does exactly what it says on the tin – it opens up gory sores in your skin so that you sort of resemble somebody who’s been on the sunbed a bit too long.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: The icky-looking skin sores – small wonder Brian (Chris Pine) abandons his infected girlfriend.

How Long You’d Last:
Not long. You’ll be able to hide it for a while (like Bobby), but in the end, the bruises and rashes will give the game away. Gross.

Bug Virus - The Thaw (2009)

The Disease: A creeping infection that takes control of the body.

The origin of that infection? Bugs that have been hibernating in the frozen carcass of a woolly mammoth.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: Gross ulcers that gradually creep up the body.

Amputation doesn’t help – when Bart’s infected arm is removed, it doesn’t stop the infection’s covetous spread…

How Long You’d Last:
A matter of days.

Mad Zombie Disease Zombieland (2009)

The Disease : Remember when there was that massive Mad Cow Disease scare?

Well, in Zombieland , that virus mutated into Mad Person Disease before finally becoming Mad Zombie Disease.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: You basically look like a rotting corpse.

Which is pretty much what you are.

How Long You’d Last: If you follow Columbus’ (Jesse Eisenberg) rules, there’s a good chance you won’t get infected at all.

Vampire plague Daybreakers (2009)

The Disease: A plague propagated by a vampire bat transforms much of the human race into vamps – so much so that neck-chewers are now the norm, and humans are the minority.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: Even if a vampire attempts to retain some of its humanity by abstaining from drinking blood, that just makes things worse.

Fail to sate your bloody appetite and you’ll turn into a ‘subsider’, a horrific bat-like monster that’s as far away from human as it’s possible to get.

How Long You’d Last:
If you’re one of the few unaffected by the vampire plague, it’s likely you’ll get gobbled up pretty sharpish.

If you’re now a vampire, you’re laughing all the way to the blood bank.

Language Pontypool (2008)

The Disease: A virus that has managed to infect the human language, the unnamed disease in Pontypool can only infect you if you say certain words or phrases.

Most Gruesome Symptoms: As the infection spirals out of control, causing erratic behaviour, it sends its victims to the grave in super-gore-soaked fashion by causing them to vomit a fountain of blood before succumbing to death.

How Long You’d Last:
Laurel-Ann (Georgina Reilly) succumbs in mere hours, but this one probably depends on how well you use the English language…

Reaper Virus Doomsday (2008)

The Disease: Breaking out in Scotland, the Reaper virus “spread across Scotland like a common cold” according to the film’s doom-laden opening narration.

And apparently, “there was no stopping it”…

Most Gruesome Symptoms: You’ve seen The Elephant Man , right?

Now imagine him with what looks like puss-filled burn wounds and you’re pretty much there.

How Long You’d Last: Considering it spreads through the rest of Britain pretty sharpish, not long by our estimations.

Possession Disease - [REC] (2007)

The Disease: Completely unbiased when it comes to infecting humans and animals, the Possession Disease is a contagious virus that causes demonic possession.

Anybody got a number for a good bio-exorcist?

Most Gruesome Symptoms:
You basically end up looking like chopped liver and running around with an insatiable lust for blood.

How Long You’d Last: A fair while, so long as you can find a dark room to inhabit and a few humans to snack on.