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Well this was another movie that tried to pass itself off as Alien 2 long
with Ciro Ippolito's Alien 2 - On Earth. The problem with doing this is
one immediately draws a comparison with Alien which had a much bigger
and therefore is always going to look a lot better.
Luigi Cozzi's stab at Alien isn't too bad, although he himself has stated that his is a better movie than Ippolito's film although I don't agree - sure the effects are slightly better, but there is only one effect in the entire movie - the chest exploding (or popping) that is repeated about a billion times in super-slow-motion. Alien 2 - On Earth was much more fun.
Anyway the narrative begins as an exact copy of Zombie Flesh Eaters with the appearance of an abandoned boat floating into New York Harbour. Even the dialogue is copied from that film - "The skipper of that boat must be a real turkey!". Not only do the Italians rip-off Hollywood movies, they rip each other off as well.
Predictably the police who investigate the boat stumble across the dead crew, who fall out of cupboards and look as if they have been ripped open from the inside! They then discover some strange egg like shapes, "Maybe they're avocados!" enthuses one policeman. However when they try to pick one up it explodes, showering the police in sticky goo. The goo leads to immediate imflammation of the belly and "pop!" they're guts fly out all over the place. Not a bad effect although if you look closely at one of the victims, he has suddenly become a foot wider (to make room for all those animal entrails).
The police captain escapes and helps Commander Stella Holmes (Louise Marleau) in the hunt to discover the origin of the eggs.
They visit Hubbard (Ian McCulloch), who was part of an expedition to Mars some years previous who was declared crazy after talking about seeing thousands of eggs there. Now living in alcoholic squalor he moans at Lt. Holmes before telling his story. Cue flashback of the expedition to a Martian cave and a terrible attempt at recreating the exact scene in Alien. The acting in this bit is truly atrocious as McCulloch delivers his lines "I looked at Hamilton - and he was, his eyes, he was beginning to....Hamilton.....HAMILTON!" Followed by a Daa Daaa DAAAAAAAA on the soundtrack. Truly the funniest part of the movie using that same useless Goblin soundtrack that for some reason everyone raves about - why? It's terrible!
Well it's not great and nowhere near as fun as "Alien 2 - On Earth" but it's better than the average trash movie. Starts well and finishes okay but it sags very badly in the middle which does make you want to nod off.
I first heard of this film from a friend of mine. He owns a very old copy of this movie that was not called "Contamination" but called "Alien Contamination". So, he let me borrow this flick one night and I was rather disappointed at first. The gore and exploding stomaches were heavily cut out and the story really isn't worth watching without it. I finally got a copy of this film that is fully uncut and it is much better. Of course the story line is quite simple. A ship is found with some extremely mangled bodies on board and some eggs that look similar to the eggs from the movie "Alien" only much smaller and when picked up they explode causing anyone around to basically explode from the inside. So you can only imagine where the story line is going from here. Great gore effects, "Zombi 2's" Ian McColluch and a good score by "The Goblins" make this a descent Italian horror flick. I enjoyed it and I think most fans of the genre will. And by the way, other than the exploding eggs, this movie is in no way like "Alien". Many people call this movie another "Alien" ripoff, but this movie is not anything like it.
Luigi Cozzi's "Contamination" is a typical Italian "Alien" clone.The film itself is not bad,because it offers some cheap thrills with plenty of nasty gore.Ian McCulloch("Zombi 2","Zombi Holocaust")is quite memorable as a former astronaut,who returned from Mars.Like many Italian exploitation films made in the early 80's,the film begins on location in New York City.A bunch of mysterious eggs is discovered along with some mutilated bodies on a deserted ship.Getting too close to these eggs could be very deadly,because they spew some goo at you and make your body explode."Contamination" is a fun little film loaded with enough gore and violence to satisfy fans of Italian splatter.It's sometimes too talky and dull,but the beginning is great as is the ending.So if you're a fan of Italian low-budget exploitation give this one a look.Grab some beer and get ready for some thrills,chills and blood spills!
Ian McCulloch shines, as he did in 'Zombie Flesh-eaters', this time as an
alcoholic former NASA astronaut who is dismissed as mad when he talks of the
threat of an alien invasion from Mars (as is par for the course in these
If you enjoy lame acting, poorly dubbed voices, cheesy 80's gore effects and an implausible plot, then this is the film for you.
This film is a really silly movie. It's NOT an Alien rip-off, the only
thing common to Contamination and the Alien franchise are alien eggs.
Any other comparison fails completely. The movie is badly acted, badly
scripted, badly directed, even the sound is not in sync with the actor
lips (of which some may be speaking Italian) and nothing makes any
sense. But it's partially entertaining just the same. If you don't try
to take an 80's horror movie seriously, you always end up admiring the
Bottom line: a film that is more entertaining than it should be, I rate it 3 because it's so bad it is worth watching. The best scene: the cave mouth on Mars. Hilarious!
Being a child of the fifties, I grew up watching drek like this. The
only difference I could see between this movie and something made in
the fifties was the color.
I'm not sure who Luigi Cozzi is, but I am sure that he must be related to Ed Wood.
This movie was made in 1980, long after the special effects of "Plan 9 from Outer Space" should have been deep-sixed. The plot is very thin, the dialogue is embarrassing and the ending is both bad and predictable.
Having said all that, I had a great time watching it - it was on the El Rey channel which has become one of my guilty pleasure favorites. It's 90 minutes I will never get back but that's OK.
In an abandoned ship in Ney York harbor, coffee boxes are found containing
green eggs that have the same effect as 'chestbursters" did in those Alien
movies. So you know there are gonna be lots of exploiding bodies (both
humans and rats) in this ultra-cheesy Italian rip-off of "Alien". It Is fun
though (the begining and end, not so much the middle) if you're into Italian
horror, which I am. It has a cool Goblins score as well. But why the hell
would you have a shower scene and NO nudity??!!? what a waist. I'll tell you
this though, the part in that "Nightmare on Elm Street" movie where freddy
swallows one of his victims whole doesn't seem to be all that original
Blue Underground DVD Extras: 'Alien Arrives on Earth' (an 18 minute documentary); a 23 minutes interview with Luigi Cozzi; theatrical trailer; poster & stills gallery; and conceptual drawings
DVD-ROM: Graphic novel
My Grade: B-
This movie starts off with a bang. A ship without a crew ends up in New York City. It has these mysterious pulsating eggs aboard. The eggs explode and anything the stuff inside the eggs touches explodes as well. This movie is a take on the movie "Alien", though this one is set on earth. Like I said this one starts out with numerous deaths, but it tails off in the middle, sort of picks up in the end, but it never matches the gore level it had in the first half hour or so. Ian is good in this one as an ex-astronaut, but the rest of the cast could have been replaced. They needed a better female lead, as the one they had was too old. I listened to an interview with the director of this film and he wanted someone younger, but the producer thought they needed someone older and less attractive. He won and we have lines that were definitely made for a younger woman still left in lines like, "you are one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen". All in all an enjoyable sci-fi flick, but it could have been a lot better if the energy of the beginning could have been used throughout.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What do you get when you combine Alien, buddy films, '70's exploitation
villains, giallo-style gore, and a ton of padding? A freakin' mess,
Contamination pits the unlikely team of Col. Stella Holmes, a cold-hearted intelligence officer, Tony Aris, an obnoxious NY cop, and Ian Hubbard, a washed-up, bitter ex-astronaut against an evil organization planning to smuggle thousands of bacteria-laden alien egg-fruit into New York City. Their investigation eventually takes them to a South American plantation where Hamilton (Hubbard's old crewmate from an expedition to the Martian polar ice cap) is revealed as the architect of the plan at the behest of his cyclopean alien master.
Sounds like a perfectly serviceable B-movie plot line, you say? I suppose it could have been, if anything in the movie had made any sense. For instance, can anyone explain to me the point of the Cyclops' plan? Are the egg-fruit supposed to wipe out humanity? 'Cause if so, they're woefully inadequate for the job. Sure, anyone caught in the splash radius when they ripen and burst immediately dies a hideous death from fast-acting Explosive Ebola, but the disease is never shown as being able to spread beyond that initial release. So, to kill everyone, you'd have to explode an egg-fruit next to every man, woman, and child on the face of the Earth. Are they part of the alien's reproductive cycle? Hamilton seems to think so in one scene, but we see no evidence of that, and Col. Holmes' crack scientific team finds no sign of any embryonic creatures in the eggs, just lethal bacteria. (Good thing, too, because otherwise, judging from the number of burst eggs just left lying around during the course of the film, there'd have to be quite a few baby Cyclops wandering around at the end of the film that no one is even bothering to look for.) Another bit of absurdity Col. Holmes was a major player in the investigation which declared Hubbard insane when he returned from Mars babbling about football-sized green eggs. Yet, when she is called in to deal with the NYPD's discovery of deadly football-sized green eggs, she doesn't make the connection until her science team connects the dots for her.
And those are just two of the bigger holes in the plot, but let's move on to the other problems. Like, say, extensive padding. From supposedly tense scenes that drag on way to long (like when Holmes is trapped in a hotel bathroom with a ripe egg), travelogue scenes showcasing the native splendors of South America, and utterly pointless transitional sequences, Contamination milks virtually every known strategy for extending run-time without advancing the plot.
Or, how about those famous Italian gore effects? Sure, a couple of the early deaths are fairly effective, but by the end of the film, things get really sloppy. Character deaths are foreshadowed by a sudden, conspicuous weight gain (due to the size of the blood'n'guts pack under their costumes) and obvious patches are blown off their outfits when their "guts" explode. And of course, there's the Cyclops. Not a bad design, from a pure looks standpoint, kinda reminiscent of the avocado-creature from one of the old invasion flicks (It Came from Outer Space? It Conquered the World? It Did Something, I'm Sure), but spiffed up with nicer materials, facial articulation, and a few buckets of slime. But, the finished creature is too big and bulky to actually move around, so it has to be given mind control powers so it can force people to simply walk into its mouth at mealtimes. One could also assume that that's how its getting all these thugs, smugglers, and ex-astronauts to work for it, but that's never addressed in the film. Maybe it just pays really well.
So, while Contamination starts out strong, it rapidly collapses under the weight of its absurd plotting, clichéd characters, and generally poor film-making. And the saddest thing? They wasted a perfectly good Goblins soundtrack on this debacle. My advice? Don't bother with this one.
Lewis Coates (Luigi Cozzi to his friends) brings us linguine style
"Alien" with Englishman abroad Ian McCulloch star billed but only
appearing in the final half of the movie as a banished, drunken former
astronaut brought on board a dangerous mission to discover the origins
of green eggs from Mars that emit an acid-like substance when heated
that cause victims to spontaneously combust.
Graphic but largely pointless exercise in cinematic rip-off, with much plot development but little coherent execution. McCulloch has limited screen time in comparison with the film's actual stars, Louise Marleau as the sexy but probably frigid Colonel with responsibility for disarming the global threat, and Marino Mase as the Brooklyn detective whose initial discovery of the eggs rows him aboard the fatal mission. Familiar German actor Siegfried Rauch co-stars as McCulloch's former astronaut companion whose version of events of the mission to Mars, differs significantly from that of McCulloch raising suspicions about McCulloch's state of mind.
As aforesaid, it's graphic with more than a dozen slow-motion, gut-busters that send entrails into the atmosphere, while a grotesque cyclops beast also appears briefly to ingest its prey with a hideous trunk-like anatomy that should entertain those in search of gore. Goblin provides the electronica soundtrack (not as good as their Argento stuff in my opinion) and there's a couple of suspenseful moments in an otherwise unremarkable rip-off.
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