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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "That's just so that we understand one another."
A large ship pulls into New York Harbor, seemingly abandoned. Lieutenant Tony Aris and two scientists enter the ship, where they discover the grisly remains of the ship's crew. It appears as though their bodies have exploded from the inside out. The three men continue on and find more bodies and a room full of large green eggs, one of which is larger than the others,...
Published 6 months ago by West25

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars They came, they cracked, they killed
I don't know about you, but I always get a kick out of these Italian knock-offs of successful American science fiction films. In this case, it's Alien that serves as the major inspiration, although one can't help but draw a similarity here and there with the classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers, as well. Naturally, Contamination (or Alien Contamination, as it was...
Published on 31 Mar 2008 by Daniel Jolley


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars They came, they cracked, they killed, 31 Mar 2008
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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I don't know about you, but I always get a kick out of these Italian knock-offs of successful American science fiction films. In this case, it's Alien that serves as the major inspiration, although one can't help but draw a similarity here and there with the classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers, as well. Naturally, Contamination (or Alien Contamination, as it was called in the USA) doesn't even begin to compare with Aliens, but it is worth viewing - if you're a fan of the genre, at least. I think it's safe to say that those who care nothing about low-budget science fiction and horror films will not enjoy this film at all, and those without the stomach for gore should also stay away. The film basically has just one gory effect, but it's a pretty good one and is used on a number of occasions. Gorehounds like me, of course, will revel in the "he done blowed up real good" moments.

Contamination opens with a cargo ship barreling into New York Harbor, its crew unwilling or unable to respond to radio calls. Once authorities corral the thing and pull it in, the mystery of the missing crew is solved - they're all very dead, their bodies seemingly ripped open from the inside. Of the three men sent in to explore the ship, only local cop Tony Aris (Marino Mase) comes back out alive. Having found a bunch of strange egg-like things in the ship's hold, the other two made the mistake of picking one up - quickly demonstrating to Aris the awful, immediate, and painful way in which everyone on board the ship must surely have died. That's more than enough reason for the government to quarantine the entire area and send in Colonel Stella Holmes (Louise Marleau) to figure out what the heck is going on.

Tests soon reveal the deadly acidic nature of the "eggs," as well as the fact that they are not terrestrial in origin. So where did they come from? As it so happens, Commander Ian Hubbard (Ian McCulloch) had described finding the same sorts of objects in a Martian cave he explored on a recent manned mission to the Red Planet. No one believed him, though - until now. He reluctantly joins Holmes and Aris as they follow the deadly cargo's trail back to a coffee warehouse in Colombia, where all things are revealed.

Not surprisingly, Contamination has its share of weaknesses. Special effects, apart from your general lab design details, aren't among them. Sure, the dark-ish nature of the print sometimes makes it hard to fully enjoy the sight of people exploding from the inside out, but writer/director Luigi Cozzi's commitment to quality gore is obvious. The storyline, though, is rather weak, the acting is not of the highest caliber, and you have to slog through several sections of painfully boring exposition on your way to the end.

I should also mention the fact that there are basically two versions of this film. Unfortunately, I was only able to find the American version (released as Alien Contamination), which has a run time of some 84 minutes. The original film runs a full 95 minutes, so you'll definitely want to pick up that full-length version if at all possible. Why would they cut a full ten minutes out of this film, you ask? It almost surely stems from the fact that the UK's infamous Video Recordings Act originally led to Contamination being branded a "video nasty," effectively banning it at the time. (It has since been released in the UK with a 15 certificate.) Apparently, slow-motion shots of characters exploding were just too extreme for the mother hens clucking over the British Isles.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great targetting, 14 Oct 2006
By 
Ian Williams "ianw" (Sunderland, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Contamination [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
I love it when then writers of the dvd cases know exactly who their target audience is. Check this-

"Who is harvesting these alien hell-spores? What is their connection to a doomed mission to Mars? And most important of all, how many actors will die screaming in massive explosions of blood, guts and gore?"

Having read that, you're either heading for the checkout or rapidly moving on elsewhere.

Moving on myself, as one of a few extras (including a DVD-ROM accessible graphic novel version, but don't -and I mean don't, it's awful- waste your time with it) is a good interview with writer/director Cozzi who explains why it suddenly turns into a James Bond style thriller for the middle section, and casually insults his leading lady. The film itself was, almost unbelievably, once banned in the UK as a video nasty. I mean, what's a few exploding strap-on torsos filled with animal blood and offal between horror fans?

Other than that it's a passable time-waster but don't expect anything more that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "That's just so that we understand one another.", 5 Feb 2014
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A large ship pulls into New York Harbor, seemingly abandoned. Lieutenant Tony Aris and two scientists enter the ship, where they discover the grisly remains of the ship's crew. It appears as though their bodies have exploded from the inside out. The three men continue on and find more bodies and a room full of large green eggs, one of which is larger than the others, yellow and pulsating. When one of the scientists picks up the larger egg, it explodes covering both scientists in an acidic liquid. The two scientists then explode, leaving Aris to contact the military. Colonel Stella Holmes is put in charge of figuring out where the eggs came from, and informs Aris that he needs to stick around. They soon discover that a British astronaut called Hubbard spoke about what could be the very same type of eggs on a mission to Mars two years earlier, but he was presumed to be crazy and kicked out of the service. After some further investigation, Holmes, Aris and Hubbard end up following the egg trail to a Columbian coffee plantation where all is not as it seems.

Impressed by how well Zombie Flesh Eaters had done a year earlier, Luigi Cozzi attempted to use several of its cast. In the end they only managed to cast Ian McCulloch, who is great here as ex-astronaut, Ian Hubbard. McCulloch is probably best known today for those two Italian films along with one other, Zombie Holocaust aka Doctor Butcher M.D. It's a real shame McCulloch then decided to leave Italy and return to the UK, as I'm sure many other producers in Italy would have wanted him for their films. Cozzi originally wanted to cast Caroline Munro as Stella Holmes, but he was overruled by his producer who instead cast Canadian actress Louise Marleau. I actually like her in the role, but I can't help but wonder what Munro would have brought to the part. Marino Masé adds a lot of humour to the film as Lieutenant Tony Aris, Masé is best known for a pair of Fernando Di Leo films called The Boss and Kidnap Syndicate and Ruggero Deodato's Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man. Carlo De Mejo who is best known for his roles in three Lucio Fulci films, City of the Living Dead, The House by the Cemetery and Manhattan Baby, shows up in a small role as Agent Young.

Luigi Cozzi had already directed a couple of pretty good films before Contamination, mainly the 1975 giallo called The Killer Must Kill Again and the sci-fi classic, Starcrash. This is my favourite Cozzi film, it's good, cheap, gory fun right from the very first minute. In the first fifteen minutes we're treated to some outstanding blood and gore, much of it in glorious slow motion. Whenever someone explodes in the film, they explode with such ferocity that you can actually see gusts of air. The film isn't quite as gory as some people would have you believe, apart from a few more exploding bodies later on, there's not much else. Some of the dialogue is really funny, some of it is even funny on purpose. I think one of my favourite moments in the film is when Hubbard and Holmes are having an argument, and Hubbard suddenly slaps her across the face. Is she angry? Disgusted? Of course not, this is an Italian '80s exploitation film so she's obviously turned on instead. For a film that was shot on such a low budget, there's some beautiful scenes. I especially love the scene where we follow Hubbard into the caves on Mars, it looks absolutely fantastic with eggs everywhere and a glow that constantly gets closer. There are of course certain scenes where the lack of budget is very obvious, the main part is the big alien that produces the eggs. Cozzi wanted to use animation or stop motion photography to shoot the alien, but he was overruled by his producer again who insisted an animatronic version should be used instead. Apparently the thing barely worked and looked awful, so Cozzi deserves a lot of credit for still making the scene work. One of the things that really stands out about Contamination is the great soundtrack by Goblin, who are best known for providing the soundtracks to many of Dario Argento's best movies.

The DVD from Blue Underground looks really good, it's a little dark at times but that's down to the way it was shot rather than the transfer. There are no subtitles. It's a US disc but is region free, so it will play on UK players. There's some pretty decent extras on the disc. Alien Arrives On Earth is an 18 minute interview with Cozzi, he talks about where the idea for the film came from and what it was like shooting the film. That's followed by Luigi Cozzi on the creation of Contamination which is 23 minutes long, this was made at the time the film was being made and shows a young Cozzi on the set of Contamination. Finally there's a trailer, poster & stills gallery, conceptual drawings and a graphic novel which can be accessed by loading the disc into your computer. It's worth noting that the Blue Underground version is uncut, as I believe there are cut versions floating around out there.

Contamination aka Alien Contamination, Contamination: Alien on Earth and Toxic Spawn isn't a great film by most standards, but the main criteria a film must have for me is, is it fun? That's a resounding yes, as I've already watched it many times and will continue to watch it regularly in the future. It's gory, it's funny, it's ridiculous and it's brilliant. I'd happily recommend this film to all fans of Italian horror, but it may not be as much fun to other people.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality copy and also cut, 21 July 2013
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Picture cut to fit 4:3.
93mins long, not 97 as it says on the cover.
Poor quality picture, source used must not have been that good.
Also known as "Contamination" which is a better quality copy and uncut sa far as I know.

If your going to get it, then get the other version of it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars WANT TO SEE MY ONE-EYED MARTIAN?, 22 April 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
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This is a fairly lame Italian sc-fi film with bad special effects and a bad plot. It borders on campy, but doesn't cross the line often enough to make the film a cult classic. Instead it is a dud. Louise Marleau plays a very young Col. Stella Holmes. She doesn't like to be called "baby" but enjoys a good smack to the face. (Italian film give away.) Exploding head alien eggs are discovered on a coffee ship from South America. Our colonel recalls an astronaut who returned from a Mars mission talk about such eggs and drew pictures of them, because taking a camera to Mars wouldn't make any sense.

Eventually they travel to South America to find the source of the contaminated coffee.

There are better and campier Italian sc-fi films. This one didn't make it for me in either category. You might want to keep the remote handy.

Parental Guide: No f-bombs, sex, or nudity.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Alien Contamination., 19 May 2011
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This review is from: Contamination [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
This was a very odd and cheesy Italian gore flick, it was a mix of horror and science fiction and it was directed by Luigi Cozzi who now owns the Dario Argento store in Rome called Proffondo Rosso. While Contamination was a decent film I just didn't think it was that good, the first half was very promising as we get to see some impressive gore scenes with the exploding stomachs but then the second half kind of loses steam and becomes slightly boring. The green alien eggs were a knock off from Alien and you could tell that this film was trying to cash in on its success which was typical of Italian horror films at the time, some of these films were of course great cause you can't take them too seriously and they were usually gorier than the original films.

Contamination has some pretty bad acting and stars Ian McCulloch who also stared in Zombie 2 and Dr. Butcher M.D. so hes pretty well known among Italian horror fans and the direction from Luigi Cozzi was rather low-key with some scenes looking abit too dark, the pacing was a bit uneven despite having a great opening sequence which had some great suspense and the film also has a weak plot but if your a gore hound then you won't mind since there were plenty of great gore scenes, the exploding stomachs were quite impressive and they even have a scene done in slow motion in case you missed it.

The story's about two astronauts returning to Earth from Mars carrying with them some deadly bacterial eggs the size of footballs which have the lethal potential to destroy the Earth's entire population. When a ship along with its slaughtered crew (their bodies seem to be ripped open from the inside) arrives in New York city a government task force must discover a way to stop the alien invasion before it's lethal containment causes all the city's residents to explode. The film also involves some coffee plantations in South America that has been hiding these eggs for other purposes and Ian McCulloch's character and a female scientist along with a New York city cop are on the trail, oh yeah and theres one laughable alien that appears towards the last half of the film. Contamination was a very trashy gore flick that I enjoyed to a certain level so if your an Italian horror fan then you'll probably like this as well, Anchor Bay did a reasonably good job with the transfer and provided the disc with some great special features like interviews with the director and behind the scenes along with a picture gallery.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Showing its age, 23 Nov 2009
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Well, its all a bit clunky, but the interview with the director puts things into perspective once you realise the timeline, budget and production contraints that were being faced. Its not bad, lets face it, if this genre is your kind of thing. Its a difficult call whether you should watch the interview before the movie or v.v. I did, and found it amusing to know what was going on behind the scenes in order to achieve the on-screen effect. It makes you more sympathetic to the effects which could otherwise be dismissed as pretty amateurish. Overall not a bad way to spend 90 minutes of a cold and wet evening!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, 13 Oct 2009
By 
A. Griffiths "Adrian" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Contamination [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
Another mini budgeted Italian "Alien" clone...this one is fun though. A large freight ship is found floating empty, but upon investigation the mutilated bodies of many crew members are found aboard. No-one can work out the cause of their deaths except to say that it seems like the bodies exploded from the inside - until (in a hilarious and unexpected scene) the same gruesome fate suddenly starts to befall members of the search team who get to close to the innocuous looking green pods that make up the ship's cargo: they explode in a slow motion fountain of blood and organs while other staff members look on in horror! What is the cargo that caused such horror and where did it come from? That's the plot for the remainder of the film.

Although the film is set on earth with no space travel involved, the similarities to "Alien" are too obvious to ignore. First of all, the death scenes involve people's chests exploding, plus the source of the infection is the same (green pods/eggs) and finally, there is a extra-terrestrial connection to the problem...but I'll leave it at that for people who haven't seen the film. What I enjoyed was the fairly simple plot, which ran just long enough to set up the leads required for the cast to track down the source of the menace, some enjoyable set pieces such as the "bathroom menace" and the bonkers climax, and finally the acting isn't bad either, despite the usual tacked on English dub. The music and sound effects are also pretty good, a spooky breathing/whistling noise is played a lot over shots of the eggs and it adds to the atmosphere quite well.

Once banned as a "video nasty" in the UK, I really can't imagine any viewer being traumatized by the exploding death scenes...the actors clearly have strapped-on fake chests which stick out like huge barrels on their bodies! But it's nice to see it out on DVD, as it works as a fun little sci-fi shocker if you don't have high expectations.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am warm blooded, I don't like the cold.........., 13 May 2012
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the main actress is very good. she gives a very solid performance

the campy policeman is excellent. The first scene we see the policeman giving a high five to a scientific doctor is always a good sign of a decent plod.

the third main actor is a washed up drunk astronaut.

good story
the effects are visually good.

excellent actors.

worth watching
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars schlock heaven, 20 May 2009
This review is from: Contamination [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
this is Italian exploitation at its best.It rattles along at a great pace and delivers the goods.Ian McCullough is solid in the lead role as a Doug McClure look-a-like (with talent) and rises above the script.Much mileage is made of the one gore effect, but at least it's a good gore effect, and the rock score by Goblin is excellent.
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Contamination [1980] [DVD]
Contamination [1980] [DVD] by Luigi Cozzi (DVD - 2004)
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