DVD Title
International Title
DVD Length Original Length
108 Minutes 155 Minutes
Company Year of Manufacture
Diamond Entertainment 2003
Language Subtitles
English None
Region Number of Discs
1 1
Aspect Ratio Sound
1.33:1 5.1 Surround
. Menus (English)
. Chapters (13, 4 selectable from menu) 
. Cast Filmographies: Sonny Chiba, Chuck Conners, George Kennedy, Glenn Ford
. Photo Gallery (9)
. "Film Facts"
. "Facts and Trivia"

You have to wonder about DVDs that manage to slip under the radar of the general public and debut into the $5 bin. Such is the case with Diamond Entertainment's release of Virus. As expected with a bargain bin effort, Virus has wretched video quality, mediocre audio quality and some unenticing extras, although I suppose the company should be given credit for at least trying in that regard.


As one would expect, the video quality is poor by any standards, and all across the board here. The colors on this release are anything but vibrant, and appear very muted with a slight brown tint to them. The brightness level, though, is the disc's biggest blemish. It's turned far, far, too low on this DVD, which makes many details almost impossible to distinguish. In terms of digital inconsistencies, artifacting is noticeable on this release, with pixilation and a slightly blurred image being the result. As for the print used in the transfer, it's the international version of the film, which cuts a massive 47 minutes from the original Japanese print. The print itself isn't in great shape either, with some visible scratches apparent. As for noise, there is a noticeable layer of grain throughout, that is only slightly masked by the low brightness of the film. In regards to the aspect ratio, it's a cropped 1.33:1, full screen, presentation of the movie, another strike against the DVD.

Star Rating

The audio presentation of the film is a 5.1 surround presentation of the film's audio track, which is a combination of English and Japanese spoken dialogue, with the minimal Japanese dialogue featuring English subtitles. Surprisingly, there is some nice speaker distinction in this audio presentation that makes use of the surround format, although the compromise is that when the audio reaches a certain level it tends to sound scratchy. Furthermore, there is also a very faint static noise that can be heard throughout the movie.


The extras on this disc are extremely poor. The filmographies are decent, but the "Film Facts" and "Facts and Trivia" are generic and, for the most part, hardly concern Virus. Instead, they tend to focus on the achievements of the film's American costars. The "Film Facts", in particular, are a joke as they simply list the production crew behind the film and a word-for-word reiteration of the cheesy caption found on the back of the cover (can be seen here if anyone is interested). The "Photo Gallery" here is so poor, that it would have been better if it had been left off entirely. The photos are obviously stills taken from the same print used to make the DVD, so the quality is equal to that of pausing the movie. To add insult to injury, Diamond Entertainment stamped a plug for their website on each picture, which makes them inferior to simply pausing the DVD and looking at a scene yourself. The chapters themselves are handled poorly here too, as the four scene selections (why all 13 weren't selectable from a menu is beyond me) on the main menu all lead to the start of the film.


Bottom line, if it's a choice between $4 or owning this disc, go for the $4. If one really wants to see the film, though, they should instead pick up Miracle Pictures' region 0 release of Virus, which is overall much better than this release.

- Anthony Romeros
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