A screenshot from Lost in Translation showing Scarlet Johansson holding an umbrella and walking through a crowded intersection in Japan

Screenshot: Lost in translation / focus functions

There’s a new stupidity in the wind that you might not be surprised at in the form of, uh, viral meme suggesting that it was a failed vaccination program that created the “zombies” in the film I Am Legend. Apparently, this is a reason to be wary of the real-world COVID vaccines.

A couple of problems here: the monsters were vampires, not zombies, and their origin story didn’t say anything about a vaccination program – the vampirism was actually started by you [checks notes] virus. Also, perhaps more importantly: THE FILM IS FICTIONAL.

If even one person rejects a life-saving vaccine just because they can’t tell vampires from zombies from reality, that’s too many. Even more insidiously, the meme has been used to reinforce the idea that epidemiology as a whole is in some ways suspect. Either way, it dampens the prospect of revisiting a funny, if harrowing, science fiction thriller.

I Am Legend isn’t the only film that has received a new shade in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Depending on your mood, you may find that these suit you and our time perfectly. Or you find that they are now so uncomfortably close to your home that you never want to see them again.