Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt in Terry Gilliam's 'Twelve Monkeys'

"A-choo!" Uh, oh, did you just sneeze? Get away from me, you might have a sci-fi virus! In Breck Eisner's remake The Crazies, due out tomorrow, a mysterious toxin poisons the water supply of a small town, leading to insanity and death. In George A. Romero's thrilling original, released in 1973, the culprit was a virus code-named "Trixie." Developed by the government, "Trixie" was unleashed upon an unsuspecting populace and wreaked bloodshed, panic, and havoc.

Governments often get the blame for world-threatening diseases, usually concocted by military scientists with no cure in sight. It's a favorite theme in science fiction movies, creating a natural framework for near-future extrapolation, authority mocking, righteous rebellion, and murderous mayhem. And, what do you know, those are all necessary ingredients for some of our favorite flicks! Here are the top ten sci-fi movies that feature viruses. Please add your own picks in the comments sections -- let us know what we missed, and why your selection belongs in the top ten.

1. Twelve Monkeys
Brilliant, maddening, and fascinating, Terry Gilliam's film follows Bruce Willis as he is sent back in time to try and uncover clues about a virus that has killed 99% of the Earth's population. He discovers, among other things, a very excitable Brad Pitt. We get to see both pre- and post-apocalyptic visions of a world devastated by disease, and it's difficult to say which is more frightening.

categories Sci-Fi