contamination poster

Contamination – Review

In the 1980’s the UK was swept away with the video nasty scandal and censorship in Britain became almost draconian with many films banned or cut to pieces to get a certificate. One of the films to get caught up in this is Luigi Cozzi’s Contamination.

A cargo ship is spotted going up the Hudson River but seemingly no crew can be seen or contacted. When police go aboard they find the crew horribly mutilated and also a cargo full of what look like large eggs. It soon becomes clear that these eggs are not of this planet, and someone intends to cultivate them here on Earth. But who? And to what end?

A sort of cheap Alien / Invasion Of The Body Snatchers knockoff with plenty of gore on display, when the eggs pulsate and hatch it makes whoever get sprayed by the stuff literally explode inside out! The actors do there best with the material available, the most recognisable is British actor Ian McCulloch (from Zombie Flesh Eaters). The gore is plentiful but little suspense is offered, the best scene is when Colonel Stella Holmes (Louise Marleau) is locked in a bathroom with one of the eggs, with her police friends totally oblivious outside to what is happening to her.

The main alien creature shown at the end is pretty laughable and looks like a bigger budget rejects from an old Dr Who episode. Fans of Italian horror will find much to enjoy, including a good soundtrack by rock /synth band Goblin but the rest, should maybe rent it first to see what all the fuss was about.

contamination monster

The disc released by Arrow ( in the UK and USA simultaneously) is up to there usual high standard. The 1080P remastered transfer has good black levels and strong colours which makes this release the best available by far.

Audio gives you a choice of Italian or English language (both post-dubbed) PCM 1.0 original mono and is clear and as good as one can expect from a low budget horror film. Extras again are plentiful as usual for arrow and are as follows:

  • Brand new audio commentary by filmmaker, Fangoria editor and Contamination super-fan Chris Alexander
  • Notes on Fantasy Cinema: An archive documentary featuring behind-the-scenes footage and director Luigi Cozzi on the birth of Contamination
  • 2014 Q&A with Cozzi and star Ian McCulloch
  • Sound of the Cyclops: Maurizio Guarini on the music of Contamination the Goblin keyboardist discusses Contamination s dark, progressive rock score and a lifetime of making music for Italian terror
  • Luigi Cozzi vs. Lewis Coates a brand interview with the director in which he discusses his filmmaking career from past to present · Imitation Is The Sincerest Form of Flattery: A Critical Analysis of the Italian Cash-in a brand new featurette looking at the Italian genre movies which sought to cash-in on popular Hollywood blockbusters
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin
  • Fully-illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Chris Alexander

A silly but gore filled Italian horror which Arrow has again treated with a great remaster and extras.

FILM: 4 PICTURE: 8 AUDIO: 6 EXTRAS: 8

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