CONTAMINATION aka ALIEN CONTAMINATION - 1980
The Cannon Group
Rating: France:-12 / Germany:18 / USA: R
I'm in the mood to watch a movie. I want one with an alien monster, alien
eggs on board a ship, and chest explosions. Yeah, that one! What's
CONTAMINATION was directed by Luigi Cozzi (THE BLACK CAT), using the Americanized name "Lewis Coates". Mr. Cozzi and Erich
Tomek (NAKED SUPER WITCHES OF THE RIO AMORE) wrote the screenplay.
The story opens with a police helicopter patrolling Manhattan. The helo is directed
to check out a large cargo ship coming in to the harbor. The ship doesn't
respond to radio calls and is approaching land much too fast. The chopper
can't see anyone on deck and jumps to the amazing conclusion that
maybe a disease has wiped out the crew. How insightful.
TONIGHT ON JACKASS: THE BOYS GET INTO COMPETITIVE CHEST EXPLOSIONS!
Cut to later that night, when the ship is in dock. Apparently a rescue team was able
to reach and stop the ship before it ran aground. Police Lt. Tony Aris
(Marino Mase: THE CORPSE WHICH DIDN'T WANT TO DIE)
leads a team from the health department on board. Bloody bodies are quickly
located, looking as though they exploded. A check of the cargo hold reveals
boxes marked coffee but one box has broken open and inside are green eggs. (Sorry, no ham).
One of the eggs is pulsating, of course, so naturally the team investigates:
Soon-to-be-dead-guy #1: "Don't touch them! It could be dangerous!"
Soon-to-be-dead-guy #2: "Hey, don't worry."
As soon as they touch the egg it pops, spewing green goo on everyone. The immediate
and amazing effect of the goo is Blam! Everybody touched by the tiniest
drop has their chest exploded by a cheesy but kinda cool special effect. Tony the cop is the only survivor.
The Federal government steps in, or at least the form of the Federal government that
an Italian sci-fi movie director imagines of America. Colonel Stella Holmes
(Louise Marleau: SATAN'S SABBATH, BLACK MIRROR) of Internal Security brings Tony in to her spaceship-like office and has
him decontaminated. They examine the records for the cargo ship and find
the warehouse where the boxes of "coffee" (from
South America) were supposed to be delivered. A SWAT team sent
to investigate discovers many more eggs guarded by bad guys who kill themselves
rather than be captured. Clearly theres a green egg conspiracy afoot.
GREEN EGGS COME 8 TO A BOX BUT THEY'RE CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN!
The Colonel realizes the eggs look familiar. They look just like the ones described
by an astronaut named Hubert (Ian McCulloch) who was part of a two-man expedition to Mars a few years before. He and
his partner Hamilton (Siegfried Rauch) investigated
an ice cave at Mars' north pole and found...
But that would be telling, so instead I'll offer a refreshing
There's a lot I could say about people exploding and how it's
not easy to make people explode because we have so many orifices, which
makes it hard to build up that much pressure. But I'll skip that
and address the statement the movie makes about these being silicon
life forms. All life on Earth is carbon based in the sense that the large
organic proteins that make up living things are only possible because
carbon atoms can form so many molecular links. In fact organic
doesnt mean living it means carbon compound.
Silicon is directly below carbon on the periodic table, which means that its properties are
similar. This is why science fiction writers have often speculated about
silicon-based life forms. However silicon chemistry takes place at much
higher temperatures than carbon, which makes cold Mars an unlikely place
of origin. But it's a big universe. Who knows?
IN FUTURE SPACE MISSIONS, ASTRONAUTS WILL WEAR MOTORCYCLE HELMETS UNDER THEIR
SPACE HELMETS; WITH METAL SNAPS FOR THEIR PLASTIC FACE PLATES!
BUT THEY WON'T WEAR THOSE FACE PLATES 'CUZ THEY WANT TO LOOK
The DVD comes with a short documentary where Mr. Cozzi first makes the statement that,
"it's not my style to copy other movies." But then he proceeds,
without embarrassment, to describe how this film was inspired by the movie ALIEN. He also freely admits to borrowing
from THEM, INVASION
OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, and QUATERMASS
2. Think of it more as homage than a rip-off. Cozzi is clearly a genuine
sci-fi fan in a land where that is unappreciated (according
Along with the documentary, the DVD includes a graphic novel version of the story (too bad the movie didn't follow the graphic novel more closely there would have been some cool nudity). All these things add together to be a good bad movie experience, which is why CONTAMINATION gets three negative shriek girls.
copyright 2003 E.C.McMullen Jr.
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