Thoughts on “Alien Contamination”

So despite having the name “Alien Contamination”, this movie from the “The Deadly Beyond” compilation is really more of a horror movie than a sci-fi movie.  It’s also one of the movies that made me realize just how common a theme deadly viral infections are in sci-fi/horror movies (which I note more now for obvious reasons).  Here, it isn’t a virus that’s doing the killing, but instead pods brought back from Mars during a Mars mission that are deliberately being seeded around the world and that kill or convert those who encounter them (mostly kill).

What is interesting about this take on the contamination plot is that normally the contamination starts and is a threat because people act stupidly or carelessly towards them and that’s what causes it to spread.  Here, they tend to act fairly intelligently towards them and take lots of precautions, and so the real threat is that one of the astronauts from the mission is deliberately trying to spread them and so he needs to be stopped.  Opposing him is a agent assigned to stop the infection, an expert she brought in to help, and the other astronaut on that mission.  They try to set this up as a kind of love triangle, but while they give her the most resolution with the expert, they also end up killing him off in a long, long dragged out scene and leave her seemingly with the astronaut who was not really developed all that well as a love interest.  Again, they approach the issue mostly intelligently, but it devolves into an action movie with a long, drawn out threat and death scene right at the end.

The version in this compilation also has really, really bad cinematography.  I’m not sure if that was how it was filmed or if that was just the version that was available, but it’s really noticeable here.

As for the characters, the female lead is unnecessarily aggressive and hostile until the end, the astronaut is more reasonably hostile since he was sick of people not trusting or believing him, and the expert is actually kinda amusing and so the most sympathetic of them all.  Still, this is not a set of characters to build a sympathetic cast out of, although they do all resolve their issues as the movie goes on, which is nice.

With the poor production values and the weak plot and characterization, this is not a movie that I’d really care to watch again, even though it wasn’t terrible.


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