or, TOXIC SPAWN. 1980

Director: Luigi Cozzi
(aka, Lewis Coates)

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Contamination The musical soundtrack by Goblin gives Contamination (1980) the dated sound of television jazz from 1970s series like Streets of San Francisco, as well as like the slasher films & mysteries of Dario Argento, whose soundtracks are generally Goblin compositions.

I don't think Goblin is worth a hill of beans but many Argento fans love the group & will enjoy what to me sounds like inappropriate music for science fiction horror.

But one does have to admit the soundtrack is better than the movie, much as horse-shit smells better than cow-shit.

Versions in circulation with the altered title Alien Contamination & Toxic Spawn are much shorter than the "uncensored" version just called Contamination. So bare that in mind if you think you can bare more than 80 minutes of a bad film. For the most graphic exploding chests, you need the longer version.

Some fans regard Contamination as a bit of a crud classic. Personally I prefer Luigi's Cozzi's Star Wars parody Star Crash over his unfunny rip-off of Ridley Scott's Aliens franchise.

Helicopter pilots spot a ship off the coast moving at top speed toward New York Harbor, with not a soul visible on the deck. Tugs intercept & quarantine the runaway ship at an isolated dock.

ContaminationInvestigators in protective suits discover that all hands seem to have vanished from the ship mid-meal. But then the captain's body is the first found, then the others, ripped up so badly they seem to have exploded out of their skins.

The ship was carrying an unrecognized brand of coffee, Univerx. The cases are actually filled with some kind of giant avacodo. Unless of course they're, oooo, alien eggs.

Those in the warm parts of the hold have "ripened" fastest & begin to glow & split open -- or hatch explosively -- so that everyone very soon realizes the spoors quickly cause investigators' bodies to blow up from inside out.

It's a gore film disguised as science fiction, a cheap Alien knock-off badly written, badly acted, but even so a little bit of fun as crappy exploitation flicks go, despite being increasingly boring as it progresses.

Contamination Colonel Stella Holmes (Louise Marleau) is from the military sent to take charge. The ship full of green eggs (without ham) goes into deep freeze so that no more of the egg/fruits will ripen to maturity.

For a few minutes it looks like they've got things under control. But in such movies, as in real life, the military never really causes anything but death.

Not willing to leave well enough alone, the military begins experimenting with extracts, delighted by how it blows up lab rats from the inside.

Oh yeah, turns out the fruit/eggs are of Martian origin. Whatever laid waste to the Red Planet has long lain in wait for the next planet to destroy.

ContaminationOur military investigators discover an egg "plantation" in South America. Commander Hubbard (Ian McCulloch) hides under a banana leaf watching what he takes to be zombie slaves. Posing as one of the zombie harvesters, he infiltrates the plantation.

The adult alien is called Cyclops cuz what a cool name is that. Cyclops does mind control over the slaves. As one-eyed masters go, this one's kind of lame, a largely immoble construction with a headlight. Oh, & a devouring penis/vagina mouth to creep out virginal dorks.

Cyclops rather resembles "It" of It Conquered the World (1958), widely regarded as one of the most laughable of all screen monsters. Whether this was an accidental resemblance or a nod of the head toward what a bad movie this one is, who'll ever know.

After the silly Cyclops is revealed there's really nowhere else for the story to go. Naval lieutenant Tony Aris (Marino Mase) getting eaten by Cyclops is the best scene, & that scene's really stupid.

It's up to Hubbard to save the day before Stella's gobbled up too. I wanted to see Hubbard ripping at his own t-shirt screaming "Stella!" but no such soap. Instead, a well-placed gunshot to Cyclops' headlight does the trick, poof, world saved. The bazillions of spoors that lasted on Mars millions of years aren't going to pose any problem on Earth apparently.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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