Saturday, 13 December 2014

Contamination (1980)

Studio Exec: Luigi, we need an Alien clone, stat!
Luigi: I'll need £10,000,000, world class actors, a visionary artist and a special effects crew that are second to none.
Studio Exec: Here's $10,000, an ageing American b-movie star, an old cargo ship and a script my son wrote.

An alien cash-in (with a large nod to Invasion of the Body Snatchers) filled with exposition, laugh-out-loud dialogue and a shit load, or should I say ship load, of gore and sticky, gruey stuff. The funniest thing about Contamination is how they realised they needed a strong female lead but just couldn't risk her standing alone and being the hero - at one point McCullock actually slaps her into submission!

The dialogue, oh the dialogue. Here's some choice samples:

  • "Put emergency plan number 7 into effect!".
  • "Hello, can you give me the number of the local air force please"
  • "Help! Let me out! There's an egg!"
  • "Yes, he's still up there... on Mars, the Cyclops star"

Looking for parallels with Alien is great fun! Searching the (alien)ship, Ripley, quarantine, the eggs, chest-bursting, acid, the overall, the patch on the overall, the shady corporation, flame-throwers, the cave/ship filled with eggs, Ripley being locked in with an egg, the rainbow bedspreads in the same colours as the Nostromo crew patches, the harpoon/flare gun.

I loved every minute!

Original letterboxd review

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