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I have a vague memory of a scene, either from a movie or TV show, in which a character has all of their blood drained and replaced in order to save their life as there's something in their blood which is lethal, maybe pathogenic, such as a zombie virus? I think someone explicitly mentions that if they miss even one drop, the entire venture is for nothing. It stuck with me because it's so ludicrous but I can't think where it came from.

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  • Any clue as to the date this was made?
    – Chenmunka
    Commented May 21 at 18:15
  • 1
    If I had to guess, in the past 5-15 years, which I know doesn't help much. Commented May 21 at 18:28

1 Answer 1

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You might be thinking of one of the unfilmed alternate endings for 28 Days Later:

However, the storyboard ending of 28 Days Later is perhaps the most haunting in terms of narrative and emotional impact, as it etches a conclusion too cruel for its primary protagonist. Experimenting with the idea of completely eliminating the presence of the soldiers, Boyle and writer Alex Garland voiced the illustrated storyboards, which pick up right after Frank (Brendan Gleeson) is infected by a single drop of blood. Instead of being immediately shot by the soldiers as in the theatrical version, who are completely absent in this version, Frank is tied and bound by Jim, as he is adamant about finding a cure for the virus, as indicated by the radio broadcast earlier. Soon after, the trio comes across a medical research complex near the blockade in Manchester, which seems to be an animal testing lab of sorts. Deciding to stay there for the night, the three make camp and stake out the area.

After a while, Jim and Selena discover a scientist self-barricaded inside a room, which also appears to contain food supplies, water containers with carbon filters, and other essentials for survival. Hopeful with relief, Jim asks the man to open the door and help them out, but is only met with cold refusal, as the man states that he does not wish to get emotionally attached to people fated to die soon. After numerous failed attempts of trying to coax the man out of the room, Jim brings Hannah near the door, explaining how Frank will die if not injected with a cure soon. Moved, the scientist states that Frank’s revival will come at a steep price, as the virus can only be eradicated from the infected’s body via complete blood transfusion. This would warrant a non-infected individual to completely empty out their system, and fill their body with the infected’s blood, hence dying in the process.

This is where the narrative integrity of the alternative ending of 28 Days Later falters, as both Boyle and Garland were unable to add the element of plausibility to the blood transfusion storyline. Apart from being logically flawed, it also hampers the suspension of disbelief, raising more questions about the nature of the virus that are left unanswered. Nevertheless, Jim agrees to make the transfusion, and the film ends with a now-revived Frank and an infected Jim strapped to the operating table, thrashing in unbearable agony. Just then, the monitors around him come to life, showing the death and destruction caused by the virus in the world at large. This ending is not only far more haunting from an emotional standpoint but also brings Jim’s arc to full circle, where he starts and ends his journey on a bed in a deserted hospital.

DVD Extra about the storyboard

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