Okay, so tonight we're going to see "Alien Contamination"! Yay! It's an Italian ripoff of "Alien"! Yay! And it was directed by Luigi Cozzi! Yay! Only, you should read "boo" for all those "yays."
Well, nothing says "Let's get started" like actually starting, so let's go ahead and do that. You first.
And we open with helicopter footage of New York City (we can hear the chopper). Our star is Ian McCullough and some other folks who seem oddly Anglicized in their nomenclature. Carl Major and Carl Money, for example. The radio tells the chopper pilot of a ship, the "Caribbean Lady" which seems to be drifting aimlessly, and the chopper is told by the folks on the other end of the radio that they need to investigate this pronto, as it is "urgent." The chopper just happened to be heading that way anyway, so luck seems to be on our side! Next we get Mr. Cozzi's English credit, "Lewis Coates" as both storyteller and co-scenarist. And a very nice shot of the departed Twin Towers. Never forget.
We're told, via credits, that "The 'Alien Cyclops' was designed by Claudio Mazzoli and constructed by George Ferrari" so that would seem to indicate that an alien Cyclops was in our future. Kinda takes the surprise out of the whole venture, doesn't it? We'll (the editorial we'll) probably spot alien Cyclopes everywhere!
Well, after we get Mr. "Coates" directorial credit, there is discussion between the radio and the chopper how the boat was just fine yesterday, signaled its intent, and was proceeding merrily (I guess) up the river when suddenly radio silence descended though the ship sailed on. The chopper finally spots the ship. "You're right, he's coming in fast, that's against every regulation in the book, captain's a real turkey," bespeaks the chopper pilot, promising that after they get a closer look, they'll call in again.
And the ship sails, and the helicopter flies around, saying they see no damage, but no crew either. "Whatever happened to the crew, it was sudden," says the chopper.
"What the hell do you mean by that?" asks the radio. Well, chopper has no answer and, by the way, if you were wondering, he wears a hat with the number 222 on it. He tells radio to send out a tug boat to get the ship, and radio says they sure will, and put the ship in quarantine as well. "How much time we got?" asks radio. "Hurry up," says chopper.
Well, I guess all that happened, because we cut to the night time and a car driving along a city street. There is keyboard music on the soundtrack. The car drives up to a cop, who tells the car that the area is restricted, and the driver says he was told to come here, he's Dr. Turner of the Health Department. He is waved on through (on foot). He walks over to the Lieutenant in charge and they shake hands (and clasp thumbs). They confirm to each other that the ship docked before them is the Caribbean Lady. The Lt. says that there was no crew on board, "just this weird smell, like something rotting."
"It's right out of Conrad!" says the off-screen voice of Dr. Turner. "Where was she coming from?"
"The tropics," says the equally off-screen Lt. "We're checking on it now." He gets a close-up. "We'll have to make a hygiene check on the cabins."
Dr. Turner, also in close-up, says "I can't work without witnesses, you'll be coming with me? Let's get into protective clothing, I want to go home." Those seem a bit mutually exclusive but maybe he means, let's get this all over with so he can have lasagna.
"The sooner the better," agrees Lt. They walk off to the ambulance and are soon (in seconds, thank you movie!) outfitted in biohazard suits. The Dr. leads and the Lt. follows. Some other folks similarly dressed accompany them. They board the ship. Because it's all night and everything, they carry flashlights and decide to split up. What could possibly go wrong with a plan like that? Well, in the real world, nothing, but this is not only a horror movie, it's an Italian one.
So, they walk round the boat. "Gosh, it's like something out of a movie, it's a ghost ship!" "It doesn't make any sense. Didn't you tell me that the captain radioed in last night that everything was normal? The whole crew just doesn't disappear into thin air!" "Yeah!" "Here's a log book, let's see what it says!"
They're all in hazmat suits, so I'm not positive, but I think it's the Dr who leafs through the book and notes that the final entry was made last night...by an alien Cyclops! Ha ha, no, that's just me jumping the gun. Actually, the entry tells of entirely normal ship-board stuff. Lt, who is taller and thus is kind of recognizable in his hazmat suit, doesn't get this. "Where is everybody then?"
"One thing's for certain. Whatever happened, it must have happened all of a sudden." Um, yeah, that seems a tad obvious but remember, this was made by Italians so perhaps OW. Stop hitting me!
We cut to some more nighttime rummaging, as the Dr and the Lt find the officers' mess and poke around. They find nothing--kind of like me, when you think about it. The folks try to figure out what happened, why there are no bodies, food prepared, blah blah blah. They force open a closet door and--a bloody corpse falls out! Aaa! Oh dear! They decide this body is the captain, because he has a uniform. They think he was hiding in the closet, but note that he appears torn apart in most gruesome fashion. "What could have done that to him?" asks Lt. How about an alien Cyclops? Sorry! Discussing the condition of the body, Lt says, "It's almost as if, I don't know, it's almost as if he exploded!"
Dr notes that this explosion is not because of a bomb, though, and as we pan across the gory special effect, he explains the condition of the stomach, etc, in their explodingness. Lt. decides this is a good cue to explore the rest of the boat. So they go into another room. And, in the act of doing so, they walk into some rooms and find some more exploded bodies. They're pretty gross all right. The flashlights and cameras pan across the yuckiness. "I'll tell you one thing, Lieutenant," says Dr, "no disease or virus can reduce a man to this state in such a short time." Lt notes the normality of the log book entries, and tells a subordinate to alert the authorities to the news of a possible epidemic. Subordinate goes off to do so, and we cut to more boat exploration.
Another exploded body is found, and we get our first false scare as a hand is clamped on the explorer's shoulder with a musical sting. The hand, though, belongs to another searcher who announces the discovery of more exploded bodies. There's also mention of a "trail of green gunk" leading toward the carnage, and that's at least different enough from exploded bodies to cause some interest. Everyone pops off to take a look at this green gunk. On the way, they note that the hold is full of boxes of coffee. There's not a little discussion about these boxes, as the Lt notes that the "X" at the end of the word "Univerx" is of a different type of calligraphy. "Probably a trademark." says a hazmat suited person. Lt accepts that. "Whatever killed those men certainly wasn't coffee," Lt offers.
Just then, an opened coffee box is seen. There are large, watermelon like fruits coming out of it. "That's not coffee," Dr opines. He goes over to look closer. "They could be something like a giant squash, or avocado, or some kind of mango," he says.
"They look like big green eggs to me," says the Lt.
Since they're all speaking through hazmat masks, it's hard to make out the dialogue at times, but Dr is called over to look at something. It's one of the giant mangoes, stuck between some pipes. It glows, pulsates, and moans as it does these things. It is noted that it is bigger than the others in the coffee box. Dr notes the pipes, and theorizes ("it's only a guess of course") that heat causes these "things" to "ripen." He wants to study these things in conditions he can control, and a guy offers to grab this one to transport it. Despite Dr's warning that it could be dangerous, the doofus picks it up and slowly rises to a standing position. Dr. follows it up.
Admittedly, the "egg" keeps moaning, sounding almost endearing. Like a kitten's purr. Suddenly, it bursts and shoots fluid all over everyone down in the room. The only one who turned away in time was Lt, and when he turns back, he sees people spitting up blood, moaning in pain, and then exploding from the chest! He runs out of there pretty quickly, though we get a nice synth-accompanied pan across the exploded bodies. In the midst of them is the exploded egg, which is no longer pulsing or moaning, but I guess is still menacing because it made everyone unhappy. While exploding them.
And we cut to another night-time city. Not sure where, but it looks important. Maybe it's Washington, DC! Another car drives along the night-lit streets. And it drives along with a bunch of cabs all around, and finally it drives up to a building and some gal gets out. The music seems to think this is much more exciting than I do. The woman and some mustache man walk through a door and he talks about how he's isolated the pier and put it under maximum security. She pronounces this good. She recommends plan 7 (aw, not plan 9) and Mustache says that experts should be here in a couple of hours, and that Lt is just about to be released from decontamination. They walk through a pair of heavy Krell doors over to a very cheap-looking wall-mounted computer console. The worker there says that Lt's decontamination should take another five minutes.
Mustache says that there shouldn't be any more microorganisms on him, so I guess he lacks patience. (Five minutes is not a long time, unless you're watching these movies.) Lady points out that's true if "the type we're dealing with is something we already know about," which is a good point, but it also begs the question of whether decontamination would be effective against an unknown bacteria. They cross over to a huge window where they see Lt in a blanket sitting through decontamination. I am tired of typing that word. Lt is in an incredibly foul mood, yelling about his treatment and calling Lady "baby." She says not to call her baby, "young man," and he objects to being called a young man. This goes on until she reveals she's a colonel, in which case Lt is immediately humbled and awkwardly salutes her (even though they're not in any similar branch of anything).
She tells him she's now in complete charge of the "Caribbean Lady" case "as of this moment." She asks him what he saw.
He describes the eggs (alternately as "pumpkins" or "footballs") and mentions that there were hundreds of "UniversX" cases. He then describes the scenes we saw on the boat, so I won't type up that. Lady orders the eggs to be frozen and one to be brought in for testing. She says freezing with "neutralize" them. Mustache goes off to see that this happens. Lt asks for his clothes, and is told that his personal effects were destroyed. He gets mad again, wondering about his credit cards and his Gucci watch band and stuff, until she shuts off the speaker. He keeps talking and yelling and stuff.
Back at the ship, guys in hazmat suits with knight-like helmets are hosing down the boxes with freezing stuff, and the whole place looks like a big refrigerator. They find the one exploded egg and put it in a glass case.
Back at Science Central, we see a pic of the frozen egg and we are told that it is not, in fact, an egg but a giant colony of bacteria. It's described as deadly which seems an apt word. It's also noted how heat makes the things deadly. We see that this Science Lady is explaining all this to Lady, Mustache and Lt. Science Lady then shows them how the egg (let's keep calling it that) becomes deadly with heat. The dead egg is in a big plastic cylinder, and Science Lady puts her hands in those rubber tube-manipulator things. She gets a syringe full of eggy stuff. The egg rotates away, and a little cage with a rat rotates around. She injects the rat, and it explodes like it had a bomb in it.
All of this, incidentally, takes a lot longer for them to show than for me to type, and I'm not the world's fastest typist. Since leaving the ship, eight minutes have passed and we've really seen nothing new or learned anything we didn't already know.
Well, anyway, everyone's suitably horrified, and Lady asks how this happens, and Science Lady needs more time for tests. She also wants "Hilton" because he's an expert. And this little meeting breaks up. Lt feels responsible, because he--somehow--should have notified the Science Club right away. Lady tells him that's not true, he couldn't have known, blah. He asks if he can go home, there's nothing he can do here, but she refuses to let him go saying, "Don't sell yourself short." She tells him that secrecy is paramount, he's been involved from the beginning, and so on. He gets the message.
She says they need to find out who was supposed to receive this cargo, and Lt says he's already got that one--an import/export company that has no office, but does have a warehouse in the Bronx.
Lady has a flash of intuition. "I think they planned to put them in the sewers!" In response to Lt's expression of disbelief, she goes on, "Yes, sewers! They're just as warm and damp and comfortable as an enormous incubator!" Well, if you say so. She thinks a hundred eggs in the sewers would blow up the city. Well, if the city was made of meat, maybe.
Lt has himself an insight--the cargo wasn't due to be picked up until tomorrow morning, so they may still be able to arrest the bad guys if they haven't heard that the ship's been impounded.
And we cut to another dark city street, where a couple of vans and a car are driving along. They park, and Lt and Lady get out. Two other guys wearing helmets point guns at them--no wait, the gun pointers are pointing the other way, so I guess they're with the Science Club. Some other gun-wielding guys join up with the first group, and they all get ready to do some shooting. One guy is sent ahead, and he just walks right up to the big door and knocks. "Open up! Open up!"
"There's somebody in there, I'm sure of it," Lady says. Boy, wouldn't her face be red if there wasn't! But after a moment, the little face-door in the big door slides open and a guy asks what all the "racket" is about. He agrees to open the door, but instead shoots the solider in the head. Everyone else opens fire until one guy crashes his truck into the door and busts it open. Inside, they find lots and lots of giant green eggs. And some bad guys who start advancing on the good guys. Told to drop their guns, one guy instead shoots an egg, which sprays crap all over himself and the other two bad guys. They die, via exploding selves.
Okay, hang on a second. I understand that some folks might believe so fervently in a cause that they would be willing to sacrifice their lives in the service of said cause. Even if said cause was something to do with alien eggs blowing people up. But...and this is a big but...would you choose the most painful means of killing yourself, in other words, by shooting eggs which would cause you to explode from within? Or would you just shoot yourself in the head and not only be done with it, but not sacrifice a valuable egg in the process? Let me tell you, I am not in favor of alien eggs taking over the world, but if I WERE, I'd probably just shoot myself and let the alien eggs take some of the annoying humans out. Or how about this: take an egg and bring it to the soldiers and say, "See? It's harmless!" Then splat, and you have fewer enemies. THEN shoot yourself. But that's just me, and obviously, I'm not Italian.
But...back to this boring thing. Lady walks up close to one of the pulsating eggs, which you know sounds like a bad idea. But it stays still and she calls for flame-throwers, as the best way to destroy the eggs completely. Flame-throwers ought to be your first weapon of choice when dealing with aliens, I'm here to tell you. And I'm not Italian.
Lt says, "First you freeze the ones on the ship, now you're burning these. You don't believe in half-measures, do you?" She protests that "national security is at stake." I guess she means if you want omelettes, you have to break some eggs. Or freeze them, or burn them. If they're alien eggs.
Back at Science Central, Science Lady is explaining that they now know more about the eggs. "There," she says, indicating a video display of indistinct greenish moving crap, "these are segmented dodecadric cells." She explains that such cells don't exist in nature, "in our nature," she helpfully adds. The Science Dude next to her nods and says, "Nor in the mutations that we have been able to achieve up til now." Like the X-Men? Whoah. We are further informed that the cells are silicon based, and probably from outer space. Can I have a "duh" from the crowd? Thank you!
To the general consternation this conclusion brings, Science Dude says, "Why not? How many worlds are there in the universe? Millions, perhaps billions. True, they're millions of light years away, but perhaps a form of life like this doesn't have the same concept of time as we do. It stays inactive, passive, as long as its in the absolute freezing temperature of sidereal space. Then, once it falls into an atmosphere like ours, the seeds germinate, and the eggs grow."
Well, that sure explains it to me, I guess. Lady says the odds are pretty high against them coming to Earth. "Unless...unless they come from much closer." Turning toward the camera, she continues. "Don't you remember? The Mars mission." She mentions that Hubbard, one of the astronauts, came back "a little crazy" and saying that "strange things had happened at the Martian pole."
Science Lady counters that the other astronaut, Hamilton, claimed Hubbard dreamed it all up. But Lady asks if anyone remembers what else Hubbard talked about.
"My God, now I remember," says Lt, "he talked about eggs!"
Lady nods and mentions Hubbard's description of the Martian eggs, which just happen to match those they found on the ship. Lady admits that perhaps Hubbard wasn't that crazy after all. "We have to find Hubbard, as quickly as possible," Lady says.
And we cut to a car driving along a highway. The car pulls up and parks next to a boarding house or something. Oh, this is thrilling. I speak sarcastically, of course, because this entire film has managed to avoid being thrilling with deftness. Maybe they'll find some cool puppets or something. Or maybe they'll find a guy watching a cool movie, and we can watch too.
Lt and Lady leave the car and go to determine if this is indeed Hubbard's house. Lady goes up first, because, as Lt theorizes, she got him committed as crazy and this is her way of making amends or some damn thing. "Almost a human reaction!" Lt says. He means this ironically. Just thought I'd point that out.
And we see the dark stairwell as Lady scales them stairs, one by one, never skipping anything through editing or other film techniques. She buzzes the door. And some slovenly guy wakes and stands and knocks over beer cans to go answer that doorbell. He opens the door, and glares at her, and she introduces herself to him. "You're exactly what I need," he sneers. "Well, what do you want with me?" he asks when they've entered his apartment. "Haven't you put me through enough already--"
"Oh, shut up," she explains. "Your bitterness is quite understandable," she allows, "considering...that I was on one of the commissions that interrogated you."
"Interrogated?" he queries. "You mean judged and convicted, don't you?! Kicked out of the service like some...some, crazy, lying visionary!" Well, I imagine lying, crazy visionaries get kicked out quite a lot, myself. "Well, what are you doing here anyway? Idle curiosity?" He waits a half second, then barks, "Well, come on, colonel, what is it you want to know! How many times a week I screw?" Erm, I don't need to know that, thanks all the same though!
Lady says this is all very serious and stuff. She shows him some...um, drawings of alien eggs. He wonders why she's bothering to "torment" him. Turns out, the drawings are his own. He thinks this is just more harassment, and I can't say I blame him. "Why don't you just leave me alone?" he asks, and you know, if she'd shown some photos or like that...
Finally, she DOES show some photos! And here I thought I was being clever. He remarks on the fact that these are, in fact, photos of what he drew. He says there hasn't been another expedition, and she says that no, these were found here on Earth. She wants to know how many, where, etc, etc. "It was all...such a long time ago!" he laments.
"What happened on Mars, two years ago!" she insists.
"You knew our mission," he retorts, and we get a flashback. "When we reached Mars, we landed at the polar ice cap," he narrates, as we see some eerily-lit caverns. "Hamilton and I decided to look around, and after a while, we came to an...opening. A cave, in a mountain of ice." This opening, on screen in this flashback, looks like the mouth of a monster, but heck, I'm not an intrepid explorer. "And, then, then we--!"
"What happened after that!" Lady insists upon knowing, interrupting the important stuff (as she does a lot).
"It's confused," he confesses, seeing how the editing of this film was done. I think. "It's difficult to remember!" Then he remembers that they went inside, and saw an orange opening in a cave. "It was dark, and strangely humid, and it was there we saw the eggs. God, there were so many. They were green, just like the one in your [cough, black and white] photograph. And then, from the back of the cave, we heard a noise...as if something was approaching! Something ominous! And it radiated a light. As it moved toward us, it slowly filling the cave with this blinding, hypnotic light! As it came toward us, I looked at Hamilton, and his eyes--he was beginning--Hamilton was beginning to--Hamilton!" he yells, and the cave fills with light, and we fade to a map of Mars.
A narrator tells us that it's a common belief that any other life in the solar system would probably come from Mars. Just because. "H.G. Wells imagined Martians as flying monsters which invaded Earth...others have pictured them as little green men. But as far as that cave was concerned, there was absolutely nothing in there!" And we see the voice on screen, no doubt as the mesmerized Hamilton. He goes on that he's sorry to contradict Hubbard, mentioning that "our mission was almost beyond human limits" and how he "came close to a nervous breakdown too--more than once." He then notes that he was just luckier than poor old Hubbard.
"Son of a bitch," Lady swears, watching this footage. "He even convinced me!" Well, that doesn't sound too hard to do, really. I mean, you're kind of gullible, Lady. All Hamilton did was contradict Hubbard after all, which IN THE LACK OF PHOTOS or other kinds of EVIDENCE that one might think WOULD BE IMPORTANT in a Mars mission...I mean, heck, you let two guys wander around, one of them says there's a dangerous cave full of eggs, the other says, "Ha, no problem!" Sure sounds like a space mission from Italy. Sorry Italians, I don't mean to keep putting you down, but man, you gotta keep a closer eye on your film-makers.
The above was written months ago. This movie is so boring I haven't wanted to continue, but continue I will. Sigh.
Well, the lights come up in the screening room. Mustache, sounding about as bored as me, flatly intones, "Now we know that Hamilton lied." Some General doesn't understand why Hamilton lied, and says he ought to be questioned about lying like that (to a lady, too). Science Lady protests, slowly, that she can't bring "corpses back to life." Hamilton "died" (cos you know he really didn't) in a plane crash in Florida. Hubbard is dismissed as being in too poor mental shape to be helpful. Lady has a plan, though. She tells Mustache to invent three names, get three tickets on a plane, and get some passports too.
Lady goes through a door and sees Cop (formerly known as “Lt”) and some bored-looking blond guy. She says she's been given seventy-two hours to solve the case. Then, the Pentagon will call a special session of the Security Council and a general alarm will be sounded. "That means that the people who have the eggs will have plenty of time to find another nest," Cop offers. Lady agrees, noting that they already have a lead.
Cop says this must be the coffee company in South America. Lady is astounded that a Cop might be able to figure out clues like that. So, that's where they're all off to. South America. Lady tells Cop to pack. He opens his jacket to show his gun and says "I travel light."
She tells him, "Go up and get your--hair brush," putting emphasis on the words. Cop says, "Oh...I get it!" Bored guy looks bored. Hey, that's me! Apparently the "hair brush" thing was code for Lady and Bored want to be alone. Cop leaves, telling them to "have fun!" Hey, no fair! Why should they have fun if no one else is!
Ohhh--bored guy is Hubbard! He's somewhat bitter and all, but Lady tells him she had him reinstated. He doesn't want to go, she says she thought he was a man, he changes his mind. This actually takes much longer in the film and throws out cliches like snowballs. In fact, it's still going on. Hubbard belts her one, though. That was pretty cool. Then we cut to a jet landing, presumably in South America. Bongo music plays because that's probably all authentically South American and stuff. People get off the plane and walk to the airport. Then, we get footage of some big city by the ocean. Kind of looks like Florida and--hey!--no bongo music. We watch a car drive, then a boat land at a dock.
A blond, short-haired woman tells another guy, "They've arrived. They're at the Grand Hotel. In three separate rooms." She hands over a photo. And a guy describes the three in the pic as Lady, Cop and Hubbard. And we see the speaker is--Hamilton! Wow, are you as stunned as I am? Then you must not be stunned at all, because I saw this coming a mile away and I'm sure you did too.
"He's the only one we haven't gotten up to now," Hamilton says of Hubbard, "but his turn will come."
Blondie is worried, but Hamilton assures her that "they haven't found anything out yet" and "we're running this game" and "they're on our territory" so a "welcoming gift" is in order.
Cut to a map, as Lady explains that the coffee plantation is in this one area, so the eggs must be in--and she outlines a huge rectangle with her pen--this huge uncharted space, some of which is river. Oh, that narrows it down. Hubbard is sure he can find the eggs. He is to fly over the area, while Cop and Lady check out the coffee plant. Lady advises caution as they are "dealing with something from off our planet." They banter some more about how humanity is depending on them, blah blah blah. Hubbard would like some food. Lady wants a shower first.
"Jesus Christ," Cop swears, "the whole world is going to be wiped out, and all this broad is worried about is getting changed!"
"Out!" Lady snaps. "I want to have a shower!" And we cut to Cop and Hubbard walking along outside, while Cop laments that Lady is "a waste of a good-looking woman." The two of them talk about how bitchy Lady is. Hubbard thinks she wouldn't have been out of place in the Martian snow cave, and Cop thinks that "all women are alike. All over the world. It's just a question of handling them properly." They chatter away some more while Cop slips that he isn't interested in Lady. I think he doomed himself. Anyway, in half an hour, dinner.
Elsewhere, Lady prepares for her shower, but don't worry, nothing is shown except a mysterious hand opening her hotel room door. Lady then sees someone through the shower curtain, yells out "Who's there?" but she finds she is locked in the bathroom. Huh, a bathroom that locks from the outside? How about that, folks! She hears the telltale moaning saxophone noise, looks down, and sees an alien egg in the bathroom! Oh no, the movie might be over soon. Wait, what? She pounds on the door but no one can hear her anywhere. She then gets some stuff and tries to pick the lock on the door. The egg in this scene gets some nice closeups and it's pretty well made.
There's a shot from the other side of the door as she pounds on it, and it's obvious that she is pounding on a door that should be pulled. But no matter. Cop is trying to call her room but no answer of course. Being a cop, he puts two and two together...and gets four! But not a good four. A four which makes him tell the operator, "Well, it doesn't matter!"
You know, half the typing I've done in this review is BACKSPACING over bad guesses I've made. Because I keep expecting the plot to move a little forward. But I've forgotten: this is a Luigi Cozzi film. You've got to waste lots of time in a Luigi Cozzi film--it's the law! And Cop will arrest you if you don't obey the law.
Lady goes to her makeup kit. She finds some tiny scissors and tries the door again. Cop and Hubbard meet and walk along, talking, gabbing, blathering about this and that. They see the "Do Not Disturb" sign on her door and are worried. (Oops, I typed that before it happened again.) Yes, I was wrong again, as the two decide to go off to their own romantic dinner and let her get room service.
Inside, Lady is getting a bit frantic. You know, there's a shower curtain and stuff you could put over the egg, not that that helped those guys at the beginning (hey, I remembered part of the movie from before). Outside, Hubbard is uneasy. That's all I'm typing. Hubbard is uneasy. He walks back to the door so he can knock on it. But first, he looks at the sign on the door. He eventually knocks on the door, Lady hears and screams, and Hubbard knocks the door in, knocks in the bathroom door, and he and Lady skedaddle out of there.
Then we cut to Hamilton and Blondie having a "local specialty" at their evil villa of villains, but someone forgot to tell the "alien egg moaning sax noise" guy because he keeps playing while they are looking at their food. Just then, we cut to the egg exploding in the bathroom and Hamilton reacts as if a thousand voices cried out, and were just as suddenly silenced. "The egg...the egg!" he says. "I can feel it inside me like before...another one of our creatures has been sacrificed! It was completely useless! That woman is still alive!"
Blondie protests, Hamilton insists, "I can feel her, she's alive! The egg failed to kill her!" Some women walk into the veranda. "Out, everyone out! Leave me alone!" he yells at the extras. "You too, out!" he yells at Blondie. She leaves. He looks worried and walks into a close-up.
We cut to a small plane spinning up its propeller. The music is more excited than we'll ever be, it sounds like bad jazz fusion. Hubbard is flying over the landscape, though for a long while the cameraman seems to forget this and we get the dark, undetailed cockpit instruments. Then he remembers to pan over to the window and we see some river and factory stuff.
We cut to Cop and Lady driving along. "This place is so goddam sinister," Cop blasphemes. "I feel like somebody is scratching my head but from the inside."
He and Lady talk about how they might be going into a trap, would he rather the Marine Corps were here? I'm no hero, lady. Just an average Brooklyn cop. Blah blah blah. Blah blah blah. Bonk bonk on the head!
Hubbard examines the scenery. Admittedly, some of it is quite pretty, though the photography isn't much--color and contrast aren't much to shout about. Lighting is kind of bland. So sleepy...
Lady and Cop drive onto the coffee processing plant's grounds. They meet a Mr. Gomez. He takes them into a building. There are piles of dirt, and the sky is blue. A camera pan assures of both. A secretary takes Cop, Lady and Gomez to meet the head honcho...or honchoette! For it is Blondie who receives them. I know that must shock the heck out of you, just like it did me, which is to say not much. Blondie is told that Cop and Lady want some info on the coffee. Blondie dismisses Secy and Gomez, and Cop tells Blondie that they would like to buy "a large amount" of coffee. Ah...yeah. Not suspicious at all, I mean, no one would just phone or write a letter to place an order, would they? Of course, I'm typing ahead of myself again...
Lady mentions that there was a shipment on a ship sent to New York, the "Caribbean Lady." Kind of sounds like blowing your cover, but Blondie doesn't react as they think she should. She’s never heard of that ship, but she says they send coffee all over the world. She offers to show them the "special" coffee.
Hang on a moment. These alien eggs don’t seem to need human hosts, like the eggs in Ridley Scott’s film. Nor can they create duplicates, like the pods in the “Body Snatcher” films. They just make people explode. Why would you need to send them all over the world, then? The eggs that burst and cause people to explode…well, that seems to be all they do. They don’t hatch some other life-form in the process. So, you’re down one egg when a human catches one. Why, if you were an alien egg fan, would you want them to explode? Wouldn’t you rather have them hatch? Of course, I’m THINKING here which no one connected with this film managed to do. Not even once.
Anyway, we cut to Hubbard flying his plane, and he has engine trouble. Oh, that's not suspicious at all, is it. He lands in a nice bit of flat ground near the coffee plant.
Meanwhile, Blondie is explaining how they make coffee of all kinds and pack it, and ship it, everywhere, and it's largely automated and stuff. "Fascinating, isn't it?" she asks them. I am glad she's not asking me, because my answer would be "No."
After leading them through the plant, Blondie tells them, "And now...we have arrived."
"Arrived?" says Lady. "What does that mean?"
"All your questions will be answered...here," Blondie assures them, with a nod toward screen left. Screen left is where some thugs with guns enter the scene. Oopsie! I don’t think they’ll answer my question, which is “Why was this film made?”
"Now it's clear who cultivates those eggs," Lady says. "It's you, isn't it!"
"Yes," Blondie agrees, "but I'm not alone." She nods toward screen right.
"I'm the head of the operation," comes a voice from screen right, and we see Hamilton (with Gomez, I think). He approaches, gun drawn, and Lady identifies him, adding a surprised gasp. "Alive!" she adds.
"It's a pity you won't be able to tell anyone," Hamilton says. I wonder if the whole script was written in crayons or chalk? He shoves the gun into the camera (basically) and we cut to Hubbard, waking up in his mildly crashed plane.
The above was written, like, back in April or something, and it’s now August. I haven’t watched any of this movie since (kept wanting to write “sucks” instead of “since”) then. I do, however, dread watching more, but I alas have more free time nowadays and you know, might as well. Right? Sigh.
So, if you’ve read the above, you know more than I do, because I’ve forgotten it all. But we’d just been at the bit where Lady and Cop have been caught by the chief alien-fans and it looks dire for everyone who likes humans.
So, Hubbard wakes up to nice pleasant music. He looks around his surroundings and gets out of the plane. He shakes his head and checks for cuts. He sees what look (to my admittedly uneducated eyes) like coffee plants everywhere. He grabs a map and a flare pistol. Now, it’s bright daylight, so how he thinks a flare will help is beyond me—unless it’s a plot contrivance! Of course! Ha ha ha ha! Cough.
We cut to Cop and Lady tied up somewhere. She tells him her first name: “Stella.” His is “Tony.” It’s just like that scene in the Director’s Cut of “Aliens” except that that movie was good and this one sucks. Anyway, she admits that his cop instincts were better than her logical approach. Not sure how that follows, but whatever. Meanwhile, Hubbard comes across a fellow who has what looks like a gunshot stomach. (Not an exploded one, note.) He asks who did this, and the fellow mutters something really damned indistinct (for a long time, too) before dying. Hubbard repeats the last bit, which in the dubbing sounds like “wipes his own piss” but I think is supposed to be “white zombies.”
Then, the most horrible thing of all happened. Not in the movie, worse the luck, but in the real world. I spilled beer on the keyboard! No, really. And it was a lot of rebooting and getting a replacement keyboard and stuff. Luckily, Microsoft Word saved the unsaved file in memory so I didn’t have to watch this crap again. If that happened, I would have torn the veins from the movie’s neck and laughed as it died. So thanks, Microsoft Word! Yay.
Anyway, Hubbard now knows about “white zombies” and he looks determined to do something about this. Well, let’s hope anyway. He looks at plants for a long time, before noticing the alien eggs all over the ground. As he walks among them, he stoops down right next to one, which as we all know is a bad idea. Then he hears somebody say “Here! Come on, keep moving! All ‘em in [or something like that]!” and he crouches down again. He sees some guys in chem lab white suits walking around, and a chief guy orders that only the ripe ones should be picked. “White zombies,” Hubbard mutters, so we get the connection with the guy’s mutterings and the pure white decontamination suits.
The decom guys go around picking eggs, and luckily never once see Hubbard. Before you ask, “How is that possible?” I’d like to point out that I asked that too and no one answered. One of the clean suit guys stays behind though, so Hubbard knocks him out and takes his suit, so he can get into the factory all disguised.
Speaking of which, Lady and Cop are ordered to “get up!” by Hamilton, who tells them it’s “time for you to come!”
“Where?” Lady asks.
“To the Cyclops!” Hamilton says.
“Cyclops!” Lady gasps.
“Yes,” Hamilton admits. “The Cyclops!” And he gets a close-up and everything. At least I’m pretty sure we’re going to finally see that Alien Cyclops they made so much of in the opening credits.
Back in the jungle, Hamilton boards the yellow UPS truck with the other workers. He is told he should ride in front, and he does, and the trucks leaves. Ooo, isn’t this exciting, the author asked rhetorically. His answer: the lonely wind.
In the main plant, Hamilton leads Lady and Cop into a clean-suit room that has lots of workers and eggs in glass chambers. So why are they wearing clean suits? Hey, shut up, that’s my line. He tells them that everything will be ready in a few days, and the eggs will be shipped everywhere in the world. “No mistakes this time, no one will stop us,” he adds. Maybe he’ll tell us how this is supposed to accomplish anything. Well, he might!
“What’s the reason behind this, Hamilton,” Lady asks, “it doesn’t make sense.” Yeah I’d like to know too.
“What’s the purpose behind any living thing,” Hamilton answers. “To grow, multiply, survive. Eat in order not to be eaten, kill in order not to be killed. The strongest creature shall crush the weakest, that’s the purpose.” Oh great, so you…haven’t thought this out at all. I…I guess the idea is that the eggs will kill all the human beings (by destroying themselves in the process). Then, the not-exploded eggs can finally hatch. Despite the fact that they are, after all, silicon based life forms and won’t have a whole lot to eat here. Or breathe. Or…yeah, I know, details, details. Why can’t I just be entertained by it all? Hey, I would LOVE to be entertained. Please.
Cop notes that he doesn’t sound like a human being, and Lady says that he sure isn’t. He was once, she notes.
Hamilton says, “You can’t understand me. A superior being speaks through me. [It] can wipe you out with the mere power of its mind.”
Lady notes that Hamilton isn’t that superior, since he was “wiped out” on Mars, but Hubbard was able to resist. “His mind resisted on Mars, and he can do it again, here, and crush you and your damned master, whoever that monster is.” So, good on you guys to lock him in an asylum. Wow, that was forward thinking.
Hamilton says, “He might have done it again, but his mind no longer exists, [Lady]. All we had to do was crush a small plane. Hubbard is dead!”
Well, Lady is surprised by this. And we cut to the yellow UPS trucks (not a song by the Beatles, by the way) returning in the evening. Hubbard joins up with the rest of them as they trot off to deliver their eggs. Hamilton leads the two prisoners forward, and Hubbard stops and stares at something (off screen) that breathes heavily like Darth Vader. Blondie walks down some steps, while elsewhere we zoom in on Hubbard, then cut to Lady and Cop being walked down several flights of stairs. And they see something that (off camera) moans a lot.
When we get a look at it, it kind of looks like one of the aliens from “It Came From Outer Space” if that movie was kind of stupid and didn’t care about anything. It has a single eye, rubbery lips, and seems to be a giant head. Hamilton boasts about how it was just a tiny seed when he brought it back from Mars, and now look at how cool it is. Yeah sure. We zoom in for a long time on cop’s face, and I guess he is being hypnotized by this inadequate special effect. Hamilton tells Cop that “he is calling you” and Cop staggers off to be eaten. Apparently, this thing has several mouths, and one flares open and engulfs poor old Cop. This takes longer than it did to type, though. And it didn’t happen when we cut to the next scene.
Meanwhile, Blondie walks along and gets captured by Hubbard. He demands to be taken to the incubator, and is somewhat surprised by the news that Hamilton (“your old friend!” Blondie hisses) is still alive. He wants to know where Lady and Cop are, and I’d swear her answer is “In the puppeted room!” Which is, you know, how one might describe bad special effects like these. Hubbard demands to be taken there.
We cut to some (cough) puppets harassing Cop. Finally he yells and is dead, and the AHEM horror from Mars looks forward to its next snack. Lady screams, of course. Some portable mouth on another tentacle sucks his body in rather gruesomely. Hamilton demands that Lady “Look! Look! Look!” at the inadequate special effect so it can hypnotize her, too. And man, the lighting on Hypnotized Lady is really harsh. She looks really grotesque. Of course, now that the lighting has switched, so does Hamilton.
Meanwhile, Blondie leads Hubbard into a room with some clean-suit guys, and she yells out how Hubbard is a spy, so there’s a firefight with the clean suit guys, and he kills them all. He also kills a few eggs, which make the wounded clean suit guys die as well. Blondie reappears, and Hubbard tells her not to move. She does, a lot, and instead of shooting her, Hubbard follows her into another chamber, which is right where the Bad Special Eff—um, I mean, Alien Cyclops is. Hubbard grabs Blondie as a shield, and while she yells about Hubbard, Hamilton hesitates to shoot through Blondie.
Wait a minute. I thought he was controlled by the Alien Cyclops? Why would the Alien Cyclops care about some blonde chick? Wouldn’t it order Hamilton to shoot, and keep shooting until all threats are dead? And the devil take the hindmost?
Anyway, Lady is advancing toward the multi-mouthed thing. Hamilton’s gun shakes. “No, don’t shoot!” Blondie yells. “Don’t do what the Cyclops wants!” Which is, of course, when he does shoot and fills her full of holes. Hubbard drops the body and rushes Hamilton, and they engage in healthy fisticuffs while Lady continues her advance. Hamilton and Hubbard wrassle, and finally the former is defeated. Hubbard rushes toward Lady and yells “Stella!” though how he knew her name is never explained. He raises his flare pistol at the thing, and flashes back to his time in the caverns of Mars while the music promises that this thing is wrapping up. “Damn you!” he yells and fires a flare right in the Alien Menace’s eye, and—
--well, we cut to a bunch of soldiers leaping out of a helicopter (helpfully labeled as such a vehicle on the side). They yell orders. Um…kay.
Back in the chamber, the Alien Menace’s moans have become rather distressed sounding, and Hubbard says to Lady, “We’re safe now, it’s finished.” He and Lady make to skedaddle out of there, but Hamilton has one more bit of life left in him, and he raises his gun. “Hubbard!” he yells, and Hubbard stops.
And while the Alien Cyclops moans, Hamilton starts to gasp. He lowers his gun and clutches at his throat, which begins bleeding. Then he explodes, though he continues to yell for a long time. Then, the Alien Cyclops catches on fire and burns up.
We cut to the rest of the clean suit guys being rounded up by the soldiers. Hubbard goes over and gives Lady a drink of water. “It wasn’t his fault,” he says, “Hamilton. No, the man you met…he was just an extension of that monster. Completely under its power from the moment that they first met one another in that Martian cave.”
“So much so,” says a soldier sitting nearby, “that they both died at the same time.”
“But the real Hamilton,” Hubbard muses, “he never returned to Earth. Yes, he’s still up there, on Mars, the cyclops star.” Wow, that’s a new interpretation for the Red Planet to hand us as we cut to an angle behind Hubbard and Lady.
“From now on, it’ll be difficult to look at the sky,” Lady says, “without thinking that maybe somewhere, up there--there’s something waiting.”
And we cut to what looks like the United Nations building in a rainstorm. People with coats cross the streets among the buses, and there in one of the trash bags there’s moaning, pulsating egg. And it bursts as we cut to some credit music. Luckily, we don’t get them credits, because with the Alien Cyclops gone, all the egg can do is make some people burst. Wait a second, that’s all they could do to start with! Waiter, I want my money back! AARRGH!
Folks, of all the reviews I’ve written, this one has easily been the most difficult. Why? Because the movie was damned boring, that’s why. Imagine the most boring thing you’ve ever witnessed. Now, imagine being forced to experience that, over and over and over again, until your brain was ready to shut down in protest. Now try to write about it. The question I have about this film is, “Why?” And I don’t mean why did they bother to make it. I mean, “Why did they take these elements and make something so dull?”
I mean, you have alien eggs that make people explode. A mission to Mars that ended under strange circumstances. A conspiracy centered at a coffee factory. Agents under the control of a strange power who can appear anywhere and try to destroy those out to stop them. A one-eyed alien monster that can hypnotize its victims. How can you take those elements and make something so boring it takes me eight months to finish watching? Is this some kind of mutant power, like some Marvel supervillain?
No, I think it’s just gathering elements together without understanding how to make those elements work as a single unit. If you’ve seen Ridley Scott’s “Alien” from 1979, you will certainly recognize some elements—in that film (spoiler alert!!) some space truckers found a ship with alien eggs, and one of them hatched onto John Hurt. Later, he exploded in a pretty spectacular way. If you’ve seen the film, as I say, you know why he exploded and how that helped the story move to the next level. It was all organic—not just in the alien biology but how the story expanded the sense of menace.
“Alien Contamination” has none of that. It was made in 1980, so it didn’t have any of James Cameron’s sequel to draw on…it just went on into highways of suckitude no one had considered. Luckily, no one has considered them since…though “from now on, it will be difficult to look at big DVD box sets, without thinking that maybe somewhere, in there—there’s something waiting.”