10 Sep 2011

Contamination - Lisa's Review

***** Full of big fat spoilers as always. *****

This movie is said to be a rip off of Alien.
Apart from the existence of pulsating eggs, I didn’t see it myself.

So our movie kicks off with a large ship, The Carribean Lady that has sailed into New York completely abandoned. It had been to the tropics. The relevant people in big white contamination suits go on board and the ship is like a ghost ship, the captains log (titter) is found to have the most recent entry only 24 hours earlier by the captain Pedro Mendez where everything appeared to be fine.
It seems the crew were disturbed in the middle of their dinner as the table is full of incomplete meals.

So the guys take to a door…with all the deliberation and talk about going through it, its obvious we’ll fine our answer to the disappearance of the crew on the other side. Sure enough our Captain Mendez’s corpse falls out in not too great a state it has to be said (pretty good make up here though). A further room reveals the rest of the crew in a similar state. Lots of blood, goo, split skin, burst open bodies and entrails. What I find amusing so far is the actors stating the obvious at every turn, just in case you weren’t sure what was happening by looking at it on the screen.
They seem to think we need some kind of narration.

The discovery of green pods which spew ‘green gunk’ to give it the description used in the movie is also announced via our actors. They are found in the midst of a massive shipment of coffee. The guesses at what exactly they are range from a big avocado to a melon and the wonderful “They look like big green eggs to me”. You know the saying ‘Curiosity killed the cat’? Well it killed all but 1 of the men in big white suits in this instance when they just had to lift up one of these pulsating green eggs. It explodes its ‘green gunk’ all over their faces which proceed to melt. I was finding this scene really amusing down to the sounds made and the general feel of the scene, but then their abdomens all exploded rather impressively spewing organs everywhere leaving me open mouthed in delight feeling what only fans of horror gore know. Nice!!

The guys are obviously all dead and the one guy who survives is put into ‘decontamination’ with no clothes which is he rather non plussed at as he is a tad cold and misses his Gucci watch etc… you would think he would be feeling rather lucky to be alive after what he just witnessed, but a little water washing him down and a lack of clothes obviously was much more of a trial.

We follow with examination of one of the eggs under laboratory conditions by Colonel Stella Holmes who is now in charge it seems. A big needle is stuck in it and green gunk is taken out, or as we are informed 100% acid. Ooooooooh no…cute white rat… massive syringe of 100% acid…..result? Exploding rat. How on earth they did this I have no idea, but the effect was dramatic and very good for the movies time (1981 I think). From the year I would doubt (thankfully) that’s its a real rat though.
Kudos for effects good enough to bring that into question though.

After much deliberation they finally crack onto the fact that the eggs must not be from this world and could possibly have come back via an astronaut on a mission. All of a sudden they remember a mission to Mars where 2 astronauts supposedly encountered eggs.. Hmmmm. One of the astronauts (Hubbard) who reported what he saw was written off as mad and lost his job. The other (Hamilton) who was hypnotised by the eggs on Mars completely denied he had even seen anything of the sort. He was supposedly killed in his private plane years later.
So they have no choice but to use ‘mad’ Hubbard as their hired help to look into the eggs.

Sooooo after a very odd scene where Colonel Holmes goes to visit Hubbard to tell him she now believes him (she was originally on the board that struck him off). She also shows him photos of the eggs and ask him to go to South America in search of the coffee plantation the eggs came from with them to help. After a bit of refusal, a slur of not being a real man from Ms Holmes and a slap across the face to prove he is from Hubbard, he finally agrees. What I found most odd about English Hubbard is the fact when he talks it sounds like he’s reading straight out of a novel…. Since when did you describe something as ‘radiating light’ when you’re talking about it. Nice dialogue I suppose. The Americans must think all English people are remarkably intelligent and well educated.

So we’re in South America now with Hubbard, Holmes and a cop – Aris, who is a bit of a cad and describes Holmes as ‘a waste of a good looking women’… I think he means one with brains…. Oh dear, how sad.

While having a shower, Stella gets locked in her bathroom with a pesky egg!!! One quite amusing scene shows her banging on the bathroom door shouting “Help! Let me out of here!! Theres an egg!”, Mwhahahahahaha. Is it wrong that I found it funny. Meanwhile Aris and Hubbard have met up and are wondering where she has got to. That doesn’t send them in any mad rush to find her though. We get treated to another line of “Get me out of here, theres an egg!”. I have another giggle.
However now Hubbard rushes to the rescue and gets her out just in time before the egg explodes.

Now we get treated to a twist in the tale. It seems Hamilton (Hubbards original astronaut partner) is alive and well and living in South America. They had planned for the egg to kill Stella and when it explodes and doesn’t kill her, he can sense that the egg is no more and she is still alive. Hmmmmmmm, the plot thickens.

Stella and Aris cunningly work out that they are breeding the eggs when they are trying to buy a massive shipment of coffee (by mentioning the ship it came in on – stupid move). Stella obviously recognises Hamilton and they are duly tied up for their stupidity. Moving scenes follow where they get all intimate and kissy like…. Come on!! Wheres the action?? Meanwhile Hubbard is in a small plane flying over the plantation trying to see whats going on. He has something of a bumpy landing right in the middle of a field. Uh Oh!! He finds a partially dead (alive for about 30 seconds) man who says that ‘white zombies’ did it to him when asked what fate befell him. He finds lots more green eggs in the field and hides out of the way when he hears voices. Lots of men in white contamination suits and masks (ahhh white zombies) appear and start collecting eggs in steel boxes.
As only 1 suited guy is left behind, he whacks him over the head and nicks his suit joining the other guys.

So we’re nearing the end it seems. As in a game you’ve painstakingly reached the end of, we’re about to meet our bad guy. The monster which has been spewing forth these eggs is not as naff as I thought he’d be (reminded me a bit of Kang or Kodos from the Simpsons). It was all slimy like and not too disappointing. One by one Aris and Stella (don’t know why I prefer his surname and her first name, but I do) are lured towards the beast by way of its hypnotic flashing eye (kind of like a car headlight) Aris is consumed somewhat like an anaconda consumes its prey. Pretty tame scenes, nothing disturbing here. Cue Hubbard to the rescue. He has made his way through the building by way of taking Hamiltons female accomplice hostage. A few people are shot, he comes to the rescue and just as you think he is about to be hypnotised by the beastie, he shoots it in its big eyeball.

Long death scene short, beasties bursts into flames and dies and at the same time Hamilton bursts open with innards that look remarkably like blamange (disappointed with the lack of blood here which made the other guys demises much more dramatic).
Seems they were linked…

We are left with the statement that Hamilton didn’t come back to earth, he is still on Mars. What came back in his body, was not him. The final scene is a New York street
and a big pulsating green egg sitting in a bin bag in a back street which explodes just as the credits roll.

Soooo, what did I think? Well it wasn’t awful, there were some good effects. The monster wasn’t too bad. There were some stereotypes, sure and some laughable bits, but all in all, it was an ok movie. Pretty typical of this sort of thing for the 80’s. Probably worth it for the exploding torsos throughout the movie.

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