Road Rash Reviews

Contamination Dual Format Review**---

Cert 15 | 95 mins | 2015

2 stars for a great conversion of a well meaning but frankly silly horror film.Contamination cover

Originally released in 1980, Contamination is written and directed by cult director Luigi Cozzi (Hercules, Starcrash) and is available on Blu-ray for the first time anywhere courtesy of Arrow Video.

The film starts out in true sci-fi style, a seemingly deserted cargo ship floats down the Hudson River towards New York Harbour and a team of intrepid cops are sent aboard to investigate. What they find is a ghost ship, missing any traces of the crew. When they do find them, they are mangled beyond recognition, exploded from the inside out.

Contamination eggsThe ship is laden with boxes which appear to contain coffee, but on closer inspection turn out to be filled with green, singing eggs. (Personally I found that the singing detracted slightly from the scare factor, but maybe that was just me).

As they are examining said eggs, one which has been warming under a hot pipe and has gone slightly browner suddenly explodes, showering all but one in melty goo, which causes them to explode.

Contamination body partsThe survivor is one Lt. Tony Aris (Marino Masé – The Godfather: Part III), who is promptly carted off by the military and recruited to help in the investigation by Col. Stella Holmes (Louise Marleau – The Necessities Of Life). It is her bizarre and utterly unexplained leaps of “intuition” which move the plot along without the need for any pesky story writing and which lead to us meeting the final member of the team, Cmdr. Ian Hubbard (Ian McCulloch – Zombie, Zombie Holocaust).

Contamination green olivesThere were some weird decisions made when designing this film, the most notable being the use of green olives to portray the alien eggs when off planet. Not that they don’t put in a great performance mind you, as good as any of the actors in the film, it just seems a bit odd given that it adds a comedy element that I’m fairly sure wasn’t meant to be there. Then again, maybe no-one knew what olives looked like in 1980.

The soundtrack is by Italian Prog-rock band Goblin (Suspiria, Deep Red) and is rather startling, but suits the mood quite well.

Contamination laboratoryEven though the dialogue is terrible, the script is poorly written, the acting is dubious (apart from the olives) and the story is utterly ridiculous and full of massive loopholes, this film has a charm all of it’s own and is actually quite good fun to watch, the whole far surpasses the separate elements.

Boasting a brand new 2K restoration of the film, this new disc will come loaded with hours of bonus content, including the featurettes Notes on Science-Fiction Cinema, an archive documentary featuring behind-the-scenes footage, and a featurette with director Luigi Cozzi on the birth of Contamination, as well as a brand new interview with the director in which he discusses his filmmaking career from past to present.

Contamination alien cyclopsAlongside this, the new release will include the new featurette, Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: A Critical Analysis of the Italian Cash-In which looks at the Italian genre movies that sought to cash-in on popular Hollywood blockbusters.

The disc will also include a 2014 Q&A with Cozzi and star Ian McCulloch and Sound of the Cyclops a featurette with Goblin keyboardist Maurizio Guarini. In addition, the Blu-ray comes with a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin and a fully-illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Fangoria editor Chris Alexander.

Overall, you’re getting a very entertaining film, with mountains of special features, just make sure to switch off your brain before you start to watch.

Contamination banner

Contamination will be available to buy on Dual Format Blu-ray and DVD from 06th July 2015.

DirectorLuigi Cozzi
GenreHorror, Sci-fi
StarringIan McCulloch, Louise Marleau, Marino Mase, Siegfried Rauch
Available to buy on : Own Contamination on DVD Own Contamination on Blu-Ray
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