Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Alien Contamination (1980)

That's right, we're starting a new 50 pack of cheapo movies.  I bet you can't wait.

On reading the DVD sleeve synopsis of this one - "ship is found filled with alien eggs, the crew dead, their organs having exploded out of their bodies", I thought to myself "someone saw Alien, didn't they?".  And if Wikipedia is to be believed, that is literally what happened, for this is one of those Italian knock-offs, like Zombi 2 was to Dawn of the Dead.

In this case, the man responsible for the film is Luigi Cozzi, who was also the brains behind Starcrash.  Which, in case the name isn't enough of a hint of what it is ripping off, has a frickin' light saber in it.

Sadly however, this film will show little of the gonzo absurdity of that sensationally silly film.  It seems Cozzi's producer wanted to do less Science Fiction, more James Bond.  Apparently it didn't occur to him that this was an odd decision when Alien is your starting point.  Though honestly, I would watch Bond vs Xenomorphs.

In any case, the ship I mentioned turns up, with everyone dead.  A team sent into investigate has only one survivor: a Brooklyn cop.  He's then spirited away by 'Section 5', a secret government body set to deal with such strange cases.

The cop's story of killer green eggs reminds the agent leading the investigation of some interviews she conducted with the first astronauts to return from Mars.  Because of yeah, humanity has been to Mars, did we forget to mention that?  One of the astronauts reported seeing something similar, but he appeared emotionally distraught and his colleague - who is now deceased - denied anything of the sort had been encountered.

It's off to see the still-living astronaut, for the necessary info dump.  I also assumed it would set up a love triangle between the three leads, but honestly the two male characters seem more flirtatious with each other than with the woman.  I don't think that was actually the script's intent, but it's true nonetheless.

The conflicting visions of the director and producer render this a fairly anemic film.  It fails to satisfy either as a Bond-style investigation/action film, or as a science fiction one.  There are a few moments of unintentional comedy, and some extremely bloody effects (it was actually banned for a while in the UK as a "video nasty", though frankly that seems an overreaction: this is no Mountain of the Cannibal God), but they aren't enough to save it from being fairly dull stuff, overall.

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