Yesterday while Diane was shopping at the fabric store, I went across the mall to Best Buy and found a couple of movies on BluRay in the cheapie bin and on the shelf, I also found a DVD called Sci-Fi Fever 20 Film Collection. I thought that it might be fun to watch and review some older sci-fi movies. So last night, after I finished watching Fringe, I popped in Alien Contamination from the new DVD collection.
A ship is discovered racing into New York harbor at very high speed. It is stopped, towed, and docked. It is also further discovered that there appears to be no crew aboard. A trio of investigators, led by Lt. Aris of the NYPD, enters the ship and discovers that the crew is indeed on board, but have all died horribly by being somehow eviscerated violently. As the Aris and his two scientist companions continue to explore the ship, they find that that the ship was carrying coffee from Colombia. One of the crates of coffee had inadvertently overturned and opened. But what was inside wasn’t coffee; rather the cargo was some large watermelon sized green eggs. While looking at one of the eggs that had some into contact with a heat source, it explodes depositing some kind of green slime on the scientists. The two unfortunate investigators begin to convulse and their chest and abdomens explode spraying their entrails all over the compartment. Fortunately for Aris, he was too far away to be hit by the slime and escapes the ship.
Next, we see Aris in a decontamination chamber run by a government agency being interrogated by Colonel Stella Holmes. She lets Aris that since this discovery may be a threat to national security, she will be taking over the investigation at that point, but she will be requiring Aris’ help.
Scientists continue to investigate under the watchful eyes of Holmes and Aris and it is finally determined that it cannot be something that came from this world. They determine that it must have come back with a pair of astronauts that were on a mission to Mars two years earlier. Holmes contacts former astronaut Ian Hubbard, who is really down on his luck. Upon returning to earth, he reported finding the eggs and was discredited and by scientists and even his own partner Astronaut Hamilton. Holmes cannot contact Hamilton because he was allegedly killed while piloting his private plane off the Florida coast. After explaining to Hubbard that his credibility has been restored because the eggs look exactly like some drawings he made during his mission debriefing.
Holmes, Aris, and Hubbard head for Colombia to try to discover the source of the problem. Holmes and Aris arrive at the shipping company posing as potential buyers while Hubbard takes a private plane to survey the plantation where the coffee is supposed to be grown. Holmes and Aris discover that Hamilton is not only still alive and running the shipping operation, but that he has also been taken over by an alien entity. Meanwhile, Hubbard’s plane crashes on the plantation and he witnesses the eggs being harvested from the surrounding countryside. Hubbard overcomes one of the workers pixking up the eggs and replaces him by donning his hazmat suit and weapon.
Hamilton introduces Holmes and Aris to the entity that has hypnotic powers and Aris is eaten by the entity. Next it is Holme’s turn to become dinner, but Hubbard arrives on the scene just in time to kill Hamilton and the entity, saving the day.
This film was made on the heels of Alien and directed by Luigi Cozzi. It is definitely a B movie and makes no attempt to be anything but that. There are many flaws, but mostly those that don’t involve the story or the actors.
First of all, the transfer to DVD is not good. The film is very grainy and not very well lit in many places. The dubbing is distracting most of the time which makes it look a bit comical at times. But the most laughable thing is the monster itself. It was just about the cheesiest looking monster coming across as a slimy, drippy rubber muppet that is too unbelievable to be taken seriously.
The story isn’t bad though. I actually found myself getting into it for most of the film. The acting and direction are also not bad despite the poor and obvious dubbing that is all through the movie. I would have liked to see smoother transitions between the scenes though. The action starts at the beginning of the film and keeps up through most of the film with just a bit of a lag in the middle.
What really appealed to me the most was the soundtrack that was used. The synthesizer music that was used for everything helped with the supposed high-tech feel of the beginning of the film and added to the suspense of the scenes when characters were in danger. I had to laugh at the disco-like music used when the action went to Colombia though, it was obviously some stock music that might have fit any travel log on South America.
One thing that really needs mentioning here is the very graphic nature of the death scenes. The director favored some very gruesome scenes of people spontaneously being eviscerated and heads exploding. Those scenes actually looked a little to realistic and I think they were just a bit over the top than was necessary to advance the story.
Overall, this was mostly a fun film to see and, despite the graphic nature of the death scenes, enjoyable.
Well, there it is…