JULY 31 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : ALIEN CONTAMINATION
Welcome, welcome, boils and ghouls, to the inaugural review of Radiation-Scarred Reviews. I've got a real stinker for you today.
First off, I'll let you in on a little secret. I'm still a little iffy as to what tone I should take with my reviews. I could easily be refined and erudite, sharing gems of knowledge. I could just as easily write a profanity-laden kick in the balls of gonzo reporting that'd make Hunter S. Thompson cheer. How far can I get on purple prose?
Today's pus-laden boil of mediocrity is "Alien Contamination", which is listed on IMDB as "Contamination" and given a date of 1980. However, the 50 movie boxed set this came in lists it as Alien Contamination 1981, so that's the title I'm using for the purpose of this review.
A cargo ship from South America drifts into New York City harbor, and the police investigate. The crew is all dead, and the cause of death appears to be due to the fact that their organs exploded out from inside them. Also on board are hundreds of boxes of coffee, and by coffee I mean big green eggs that explode and spray acid when handled. I think if you replace them with Folger's Crystals, people will notice the difference.
Our "heroes" are assembled over the next half hour: Ian Hubbard, "whiskey soaked wreck" and former astronaut, dismissed as crazy after experiences on Mars; Colonel Stella Holmes, the female lead; and Lieutenant Tony Aris, who gets the investigation started.
the coffee boxes are traced to a plantation in South America, upon investigation, several attempts are made on the "heroes'" lives, including locking Colonel Holmes in a bathroom with one of these egg pods.
the plantation turns out to be home to an "Alien Cyclops" who was somehow brought from Mars, and this monster is laying the eggs that have been turning up, and which Ian Hubbard saw on Mars. the Cyclops uses its flashlight of an eye to hypnotize and eat Lieutenant Aris, and almost eats Colonel Holmes as well before Hubbard saves her by shooting the Cyclops repeatedly in the eye.
the movie ends with an "ominous" shot of one egg left, on a busy street corner in NYC (what is it, a hooker?)
This movie started off seeming pretty good, especially once people started exploding and spraying organs every where. however, it bogs down pretty quickly. The characters are pretty dull and uninteresting, and any attempt to spice them up came across as fairly lackluster -- for example, a rather forced romantic scene where Colonel Holmes and Lieutenant Aris confess that they have feelings for each other...while tied back to back waiting to be fed to the Cyclops. And then Aris dies.
The Cyclops itself isn't too bad. It is, however, a barely-mobile bulk, hiding in a dark, fog-shrouded room and moaning softly to itself (until the single yellow eye flashed on, I was concerned it might be footage of my ex-girlfriend). It pulsates and has some sort of tentacle or snout that it uses to consume Lieutenant Aris.
I would have liked this movie more if the camera had panned a bit lower than Colonel Holmes' shoulders during her shower scene.
I'm gonna say...