Contamination (1980)

DVD Cover (Blue Underground)
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Overall Rating 51%
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Ranked #4,824
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A former astronaut helps a government agent and a police detective track the source of mysterious alien pod spores, filled with lethal flesh-dissolving acid, to a South American coffee plantation controlled by alien pod clones. --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: June 25, 2004
A large boat is found floating around in a New York harbor with all of its crew missing in an opener very similar to a movie by the name of Zombie. A police lieutenant (Tony) and a few of his fellow boys in blue are sent in to investigate, and find all of the crew to be dead; torn apart with large holes in their chests. They also find a large number of coffee boxes, filled with what appears to be green eggs. One of the cops decides to pick up one of the eggs, but when he does so, it explodes and covers him in egg-goo. The goo burns his skin, then gets down inside of his body and makes his chest explode outwards in a nice spray of blood and grue. An army colonel by the name of Stella is called onto the scene, and she forces Tony to stick around and help since he was a witness. After some research, it's thought that this could be a result of a recent journey to Mars, where two astronauts had differing stories as to what happened; Hubbard says he saw eggs and aliens, and Hamilton says no such thing happened and that Hubbard had a nervous breakdown.

The basic storyline here is decent enough; nothing ground-breakingly original or excellent, but acceptable. It's the execution of the story and plot twists that really kills things. There's no real flow or realistic twists to the movie... almost every plot twist is brought on by "intuition" or "casual observation". For example, when discussing the eggs on the boat from the opener, Stella mentions that the boat was headed to New York, and that leads her to believe that whomever was going to receive the cargo on the boat planned to plant the eggs in the sewers and blow up the city. There was absolutely nothing shown to imply that they would be used in the sewers, or even that whomever receiving the cargo knew that the eggs were going to be aboard, as it was kind of implied that the eggs were placed on the boat by an alien being or something. I'll never know how she got that connection, but that's just one example of storyline development that is seemingly pulled out of nowhere. This movie might have been a hell of a lot more watchable had the things that lead us from one scene to the next been a little more thought out, and had the majority of the movie been more than the gang of heroes wondering how the eggs got here, where they came from, what they are, etc.

On that note, the movie is quite slow for most of the running time. We open the movie with a pretty nice set of scenes that really get you interested in what's going on and such. There's a few slow scenes proceeding this, and then another nice one. This takes us to the twenty minute mark of the movie, and it's all downhill from there until the grand finale. Then, there's the story itself. The way the storyline progresses is lame as I've already mentioned, but the general idea presented here is interesting. However, there was more than a couple of twists to the storyline that just made no sense whatsoever, especially the grand finale. <Spoiler>How a former astronaut managed to hide a twenty-foot tall alien in a coffee factory is beyond me, and the whole brainwashing angle was also pretty stupid.</Spoiler> But maybe that was just me.

Now, I'm not saying that loads of mindless violence would have made the movie more interesting (though it certainly wouldn't have hurt); but the kill ratio was very low from a movie that was labeled as "Hyper-Gory Fun!". In the first five minutes of the movie, we see four dead bodies and two deaths. At the twenty minute mark of the movie, we see a rat explode. In the final ten minutes, we see three more deaths. This is a gap of roughly one hour and fifteen minutes where nothing much happens except for discussions about the eggs. Admittedly, the gore effects used here were great... think of the face huggers from the "Alien" series, but a lot more graphic; though, the severe shortage of such goodness was very disappointing.

Overall, a semi-interesting alien flick that was ruined by some bad scripting decisions. Not worth it unless you can find it for cheap, or unless you want to watch a ninety minute movie for five minutes of great gore. 4/10.
Ginose #1: Ginose - added 09/27/2008, 06:08 AM
Saw it for the Goblin Soundtrack... cna't even really say I SAW it... amazingly uninteresting... deifnately not worht the $3 I spent on it...
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