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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 06.26.15] Italy scifi horror thriller

After directing Star Crash, his glitzy, disco version of Star Wars, Italian director Luigi Cozzi set his sights to cashing in on the success of another space movie - Ridley Scott's mega-hit Alien. The results are 1980's Contamination, a bonkers exploitation film about eggs from outer space that blow people up for some reason.

With a similar set-up as Lucio Fulci's Zombie, a derelict ship approaches Manhattan, unleashing its havoc on the unsuspecting city. This short time spent stateside was a tactic to help the film market to American audiences and, just like Zombie, we're out of the city and in the jungle in no time.

UK actor Ian McCulloch (Survivors, Zombie) who was a staple of these Italian genre knock-offs holds court in the film. He's a great presence and I love seeing him in these films.

Look, you already know if you're a fan of weird, European scif-fi horror from the 80's, so I'm not going to spend much time trying to convince you that the movie is "good". It's got wonderfully low-budget FX, buckets of blood and one of the best/worst alien creatures of all time. Instead I'll take a moment to drool over Arrow Video's new Blu-ray release which brings new life to this gem of a film.

The previous DVD from Blue-Underground was a nice-to-have, but this new 1080 hD transfer blows it out of the water. The colours are vibrant and sharp (particularly in the latter part of the film) with amazing clarity. There's been some amazing work done here that brings out some great cinematography from Giuseppe Pinori.

The extras on the disc are plentiful and include a rare featurette from the era featuring Cozi discussing his influences and love of sci-fi and fantasy. There's also a live Q&A from 2014 featuring Cozi and McCulloch.

Recommended Release: Contamination (2-Disc Special Edition)

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