Ah, 1980’s Italian horror. A hotbed of gore, boobs & badly dubbed actors…oh, & Ian McCulloch.
The man has the honour of starring in several 80’s horrors that ended up on the Video Nasty list, this included. Yep, Contamination was a video nasty which you can now watch completely uncut & the oldest you need to be is 15.
How times change.
Opening with a huge ship drifting into New York Harbour, it is seemingly abandoned. Once boarded it looks as if everyone just got up & left the ship suddenly. While exploring they discover the mutilated remains of the crew & their cargo, huge crates of coffee. Inside the boxes though are loads of green alien-like eggs.
These eggs, when warmed up, explode liquid on everyone in the vicinity. This liquid is highly toxic & causes the human body to explode. I’m not joking, if a drop of this hits your arm, your chest is going to look like the remains of an abattoir after a long day. It’s shown in slow motion every time it happens & is incredibly graphic. This is why Contamination was put on the video nasty list even if it’s obvious that each victim is wearing a really bulky mechanism under their clothes.
These exploding bodies’ moments are what make Contamination so memorable; these eggs are some of the most deadly things in horror.
The military puts Colonel Stella Homes in charge of finding out where the eggs came from & after a little digging she discovers they came from Mars. There had been a recent space mission to Mars that didn’t go so well for the two astronauts involved. One came back having seemingly lost his mind raving about eggs in a cave. This guy, Hubbard (Ian McCulloch) was disbelieved when his colleague didn’t back him up & was kicked out of the military.
Stella hunts him down & after some back & forth he agrees to help her investigate the coffee container links. This scene is utterly hilarious for just how out of touch these kind of movies where. In it Stella insults Hubbard to try & motivate him to help. He isn’t interested & mostly blows her off but when she questions his manhood he slaps her so hard across the face.
This ringing slap sees her smile as if to say, ‘there’s the man I need’. He smiles back & suddenly they’re both on the same page. How she didn’t rip off his dick after the slap I’ll never know, he certainly didn’t deserve an encouraging smile for it!
Anyway, they follow the links & make a shocking discovery regarding Hubbard’s Mars astronaut colleague. He is now under the influence of some sort of alien cyclops that wants to spread the deadly eggs across the entire world!
Contamination is not a good movie, other than the gory effects & decent acting from the leads (the only non-dubbed actors too) there is little to enjoy. The story is utter nonsense & the payoff is disappointing. It’s ‘subterfuge & spy’ subplots seem pointless when you’re just waiting to see the next group of bodies explode!
There are many unintentional laughs mainly directed at the insane ‘slap’ scene & the terrible dubbing jobs. It’s impossible to take a film like this seriously.