If it feels like the movie industry has gone "plague crazy" in the past few years, it's because it has. With the appearance of SARS, bird-flu outbreaks, and the whole H1N1 scare, filmmakers have turned to the concept of the "global pandemic" in order to scare the bejesus out of all of us with frightening regularity. However, not every plague film scheduled to hit theaters is set in modern times or about some crazy new virus threatening to wipe us all out. Instead, some filmmakers are going back to the granddaddy of all marauding diseases, the Bubonic plague. There are currently two films set in the dark days of the Black Death scheduled for release in the not too distant future, the Nic Cage vehicle Season of the Witch and Christopher Smith's Black Death. A new trailer debuted for the latter film yesterday.
In Smith's newest release, Sean Bean plays a knight named Ulrich who's dispatched (along with a band of mercenaries) to a remote village that seems to be immune to the effects of the plague. They're tasked with tracking down a necromancer -- a powerful sorcerer who can bring the dead back to life. It's due in theaters in the UK on May 28th.
Naturally, all this pandemic talk inspired me to start thinking of some of my favorite plague films. There are plenty of worthy contenders -- everything from Outbreak to Bergman's The Seventh Seal (which features the plague as a backdrop, but still counts). With that in mind, hit the jump to check out the new Black Death trailer and three of my favorite movies featuring potentially world-destroying epidemics.