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The Independent Critic

Ian McCulloch, Louise Marleau, Marino Masé
Luigi Cozzi
Luigi Cozzi, Erich Tomek
Rated R
95 Mins.
Arrow Films
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation;Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing; Feature Commentary by filmmaker, Fangoria editor and Contamination super-fan Chris Alexander;Luigi Cozzi on the Creation of Contamination – an archive documentary hosted by the director and including behind-the-scenes footage;2014 Q&A with Cozzi and star Ian McCulloch;Sound of the Cyclops: Goblin’s 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;Imitation Is The Sincerest Form of Flattery – A critical analysis of the Italian “Mockbusters” trend of filmmaking which sought to capitalize on the success of Hollywood blockbusters; Theatrical Trailer; Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin; Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Chris Alexander, illustrated with original archive stills and posters

 "Contamination" Gets July 6th Blu-Ray Release With U.K's Arrow Films 
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In Italian filmmaker Luigi Cozzi's Contamination, a cargo ship drifts up the Hudson River. Its crew: all dead, their bodies horribly mutilated, turned inside out by an unknown force. Its freight: boxes upon boxes of glowing, pulsating green 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?

Starring Italian horror veteran Ian McCulloch (Zombie Flesh Eaters), Contamination is an ultra-violent sci-fi epic that falls in line with what some call the Italian "Mockbusters," cheap send-offs of Hollywood  blockbusters that are typically much lower in budget and much less successful as cinema.

Contamination, while not actually a bad film, is no exception to the rule. The film gained a certain notoriety when the U.K. office of the Director of Public Prosecutions labeled the film a "Video Nasty" - in other words, it was banned. While this certainly didn't turn the film into a blockbuster, it certainly did give the film a legacy that lingers on. The film's opening sequences are incredibly promising - sadly, they're also the most effective scenes in the film as we come face-to-face with the deserted boat. These scenes are filled to the brim with exploding bodies and excessive gore. However, the film far too quickly runs out of energy as Cozzi emphasizes dialogue over action and the dialogue isn't of a particularly interesting nature. The film does begin to pick up once again toward the end, primarily because the cause of all the exploding eggs is revealed and the plot really comes into focus. The end, while cheesy in a 50's sci-fi sort of way, is really quite fun to watch.

The special effects by Giovanni Corridori are delightfully gross, though it would have been a little nice to get some variation.  Goblin's original score, a sort of retro-sounding synth score that is both haunting and a bit fun is consistent with Cozzi's direction and Italian cinema.

Ian McCulloch serves up a terrific performance.  A regular of Italian horror, McCulloch could easily just phone in these performances but he consistently adds a spark to everything he does.

Contamination is your typical Italian horror and it exists pretty much squarely in the middle of the Mockbusters and the 80s Italian sci-fi/horror. By no means awful, neither is it an example of the era's finer flicks. That said, the folks at Arrow have done well by the film with an abundance of entertaining extras and solid packing that help make this a terrific choice for fans of old school sci-fi/horror.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic