Contamination (1980) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Directed By: Luigi Cozzi
Starring: Ian McCulloch, Louise Marleau, Marino Masé
Rated: R/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 2
Available from Arrow Video
A ship pulls into New York Harbor with no one on board. The police find a cargo full of green pulsating eggs. Upon contact, the eggs explode spreading a green acid like substance that seeps into the skin and explodes. It is later discovered that the eggs are being manufactured in South America by a one-eyed Martian that grew from a tiny seed a former astronaut brought back from an expedition to Mars.
The 1980 Italian splatter (literally) flick, Contamination, is something to see. Here we have a movie with such things as eggs from Mars. When these things seem to hatch or at least blow up, anyone who is touched by what they shoot out end up exploding themselves. This is certainly an eye catcher in the film early on. It has that Italian flavor that tells you right out the gate it is an Italian horror film, but the gore that we see early on lets us know that nobody here is playing around. While the plot does of course slow down a bit in the middle, what the movie offers up feels different, even by today’s standards. We go from not knowing what is going on to finding out the whole alien side of things, all the while taking time for people’s chest to explode, which is always a good thing in a horror movie, especially here. I’m not going to say you will love the cast, even with folks here we’ve seen in Italian movies before, but I do think it does everything else right that it needs to. You won’t be bored, that’s for sure.
Of course, I don’t think it would be a spoiler to mention that this comes with an alien twist to it. After all, I am pretty sure this was once released under the name “Alien Contamination”. There is one cool alien in this movie that when it pops up sort of taking you by surprise when you see it. I think that comes across really cool and is a bit of an achievement if you think about the time that this movie was released. Even if you find the alien stuff silly, you will still be at the right place if gore is ultimately what you came into this thing expecting. People basically blow up and blood sprays everywhere, we even have some other cool effects by the end and it is all a blast to see. Heck, this thing even takes time for at least a scene or two to give us a very edge of your seat setting, where you really aren’t sure how the whole thing is going to play out. If you love Italian horror, then you will be very pleased with a film like Contamination. Arrow knocks this one out of the park on all ends and it may be one of the more fun releases you will find on the market this Summer.
– 2014 Q&A with Cozzi and star Ian McCulloch, recorded at Abertoir Film Festival
– Luigi Cozzi on the Creation of Contamination – an archive documentary hosted by the director and including behind-the-scenes footage
– Theatrical Trailer
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin
– Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, illustrated with original archive stills and posters
Quality of Transfer: 95%
Screenshots from DVDBeaver