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Alexandra Delli Colli,
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A ship pulls into New York Harbor with no one on board. The police find a cargo full of green pulsating eggs. Upon contact, the eggs explode spreading a green acid like substance that seeps into the skin and explodes. It is later discovered that the eggs are being manufactured in South America by a one-eyed Martian that grew from a tiny seed a former astronaut brought back from a expedition to Mars. Written by
When the first technician in the derelict ship picks up the egg, a camera Matte box is visible on the left side of the screen, dollying back. See more »
[Surveying the mysteriously abandoned ship]
What the hell happened to these people?
NYPD Lt. Tony Aris:
Well from the evidence, they stopped eating in the middle of their meal, and jumped overboard.
See more »
After the success of Fulci's Zombie (1979), actor, Ian McCulloch was drafted into the very similar Zombie Holocaust (1979), but that wasn't it for the Englishman in spaghetti horror. What followed next was one of the cheesiest films from that golden era of Italian gore, the ridiculous but undeniably entertaining, Contamination. So if Zombie was Italy's answer to Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978), this was their answer to Ridley Scott's classic Alien (1979). In some territories Contamination was even re-titled Alien 2, to cash in on that film's success. Don't be fooled though, this has nothing in common with Scott's horror/sc-fi classic.
The film opens in New York Harbour, a la Zombie, with an abandoned ship drifting in the dock. A group of detectives and an annoying downtown cop board the vessel and find the remains of a few crewmates. They then discover boxes containing green eggs. Unfortunately for these sorry policemen an egg has began to ripen. Suddenly it explodes and sprays the bystanders with deadly alien ooze that causes stomachs to explode. Great gruesome special effects here, all shot in slow motion, a trick shown again later in the film. The only survivor happens to be the annoying cop. He befriends the Colonel of Special Division 5' (?) (played by Canadian actress, Louise Marleau) and together they remember a Mars expedition where an astronaut, named Hubert, apparently went insane after seeing a load of green eggs' hidden in a cave on the red planet. Hubert (McCulloch) is now an alcoholic who reluctantly puts down the bottle to join the pair and solve the mystery. The aforementioned ship was supposedly delivering coffee beans, so the brave trio head off to the base in Columbia to prevent an ongoing conspiracy organised by Hamilton, another astronaut from the same Mars expedition. Inept cop, drunken astronaut and the liberated Colonel' are then introduced to The Cyclops: A huge creature that Hamilton somehow brought back with him from Mars without anyone noticing. This alien produces the green eggs in the basement beneath the coffee factory. The manufacturers of this company are all under The Cyclops' hypnotic influence and plan to bury the eggs in the New York sewers and blow up the city.
From the plot synopsis I hope you can gather that this film is unbelievably silly: There's the weird out-of-sync dubbing, which includes some great jaw dropping hilarious dialogue, said with ridiculous melodramatic voices: Where else will you find a movie including a woman screaming `Help me, there's an egg!'?: The green eggs are obviously painted balloons: For a film of the period it seemed ludicrous but necessary to include the mention of zombies' who here are just men dress in protective suits similar to those found in Romero's The Crazies (1972); McCulloch's performance indicates his awareness of being in such an inept film, but remains enjoyable all the same.
Contamination also includes a fine soundtrack by Goblin, which was later stolen (as was their music from Dawn of the Dead and Beyond the Darkness) for Bruno Mattei's uproarious Hell of the Living Dead (1982). This film was directed by another Dario Argento collaborator: Luigi Cozzi, who's worked on Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1974), Vampires in Venice (1986) and Dario Argento: Master of Horror (1991). Contamination is one of his best directorial efforts that unbelievably found itself on the Video Nasties list in the UK.
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