Action, Aliens, Horror, Monsters, Science Fiction

Contamination (1980)

0 Comments 13 December 2012

Studio: Blue UndergroundContamination Cover

Theatrical Release: August 2, 1980 (Italy)

DVD Release: March 30, 2004

Director: Luigi Cozzi

Not Rated

Review by James Klein

No one can rip off American Hollywood blockbusters like the Italians. Contamination is a re-hash of Alien, Luigi Cozzi’s follow up to his Star Wars rehash, Star Crash.

Contamination starts off strong as a bunch of NYC detectives board an abandoned ship, looking for its crew. While it appears everyone has disappeared they soon find the remains of the crew splattered all over the ship. It appears that these men blew up, spontaneously combusted. As the officers look deeper into the cabins they come across these green, pulsating eggs that suddenly hatch. They explode this acid looking green goo and if the stuff gets on you, you instantly explode. As one officer escapes after all his men blow up, the viewer is on the edge of his/her seat waiting for what is about to happen. Unfortunately, this creepy and gory opening is the best part of the film.

con 1

Contamination‘s convoluted plot involves a government research team investigating these eggs and why the eggs were being sent via ship in boxes of coffee. The government traces these shipments of coffee to South America where they soon find out that an astronaut who was believed to be dead after a space exploration mission is in fact alive and helping this blob of a monster, dispense these eggs all across the Earth.

con 2

While the story seems like a great 1950’s style B-movie plot, the movie is bogged down by dull and annoying characters who do nothing but yell and slap one another (one scene had me laughing when one man slaps a female scientist who then smiles as if she was waiting for him to snap). The film even pushes this lame romantic subplot that literally goes nowhere. Even the music by The Goblins who has composed some fantastic scores such as Suspiria and Dawn of the Dead is not very memorable. Aside from a neat looking monster at the end of the film, Contamination‘s best moments are in the opening of the film.

con 3

Blue Underground does a great job with the transfer and has given fans the complete uncut version of the movie which has been heavily trimmed numerous times on various releases. Here we get all of the exploding bodies, all in strange slow motion. What I enjoyed most on the DVD are the special features, mostly centering on Cozzi. His recent interview shows a man who knows he’s made a fairly subpar horror/sci-fi film and makes no qualms about it. I especially loved the featurette of Cozzi as a younger man on the set of Contamination. Fans of the director and his work will really enjoy these short segments.

Contamination isn’t so much a bad film as it doesn’t live up to its superior opening which I found quite scary. Maybe that is why I find it so hard to fully give Contamination my recommendation.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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