Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Contamination (1980, Luigi Cozzi)


Even though the 1980 cult horror sci-fi movie Contamination has been called a rip off of Alien, I found it to be more of a lost, more gorier episode of Doctor Who. Particularly since the main enemy had been possessed by an alien species, and that aspect usually formed the basis of many a Doctor Who episode. Even though it’s low budget qualities are obvious, I rather enjoyed Contamination. The Italians and the Germans in the 1970s and 1980s made films that were destined to be grind house style classics beloved by those who journeyed to rundown cinemas to view the latest splatter fest. Now a days they are the kind of movie watched by horror fanatics (myself included) online (in this case, Shudder) or via physical media supplied by companies such as Arrow Bay or Shout! Factory.

Once again Ian McCulloch pops up as the sturdy hero, although in this movie he is more a haunted burnt out astronaut recruited by others to stop the invasion of earth by exploding eggs. Louise Monroe and Martin Mase fill out the rest of the cast, and provide the film with a weak love triangle that it jettisons the moment the film needs more violence. Naturally this movie ended up as a video nasty, which embellished its reputation and caused more people to want to see it, not less. Honestly Contamination is nothing more than a fun movie, although perhaps that is enough in this case, and due to changes in cinema and budgets a film like this wouldn’t be made today. The B-movie is dead, long live the B-movie.

Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Zombie Holocaust (1980, Marino Girolami)


The Italians sure had a sense of style and many of their 1970s and 1980s films were gory and fun to watch. Some of them featured Ian McCulloch, who has a good screen presence in the handful of horror films I have seen him in. Zombie Holocaust is one of those, and it also went by multiple names, which was normal for foreign horror cinema. I found this movie to be wonderfully campy, and not as brutal and unforgiving as a certain other, more famous movie I watched in October. I gave both the same rating, and each one achieves different goals, which is fine.

Donald O’Brian hams it up as the resident mad scientist, while Alexandra Delli Colli serves as the film’s screen queen. I chuckled at the “I am determinded to have your brain” line, and I thought the zombies looked delightfully nasty in this film. Oh and this film has cannibals, because it takes place mostly on an island in a horror movie and so that’s a basic requirement, it seems. Even though this is mostly for gorehounds such as myself, I think Zombie Holocaust is one of those midnight cult movies that is both entertaining and was shocking for the 1980s. I wish I could have seen this on the big screen.

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