Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bad Movie Endurance Test 15: Alien Contamination

A ship shows up in New York seemingly without a crew, but when Tony Aris, NYPD, investigates with some red shirts, they find the crew all kinds of dead and gruesome-looking. They're also badly made prop mannequins, but that's not a plot point. They also find some evil green eggs that glow, makes a noise that sounds like an oboe masturbating, and then explodes and kills the hell out of people. At some point Colonel Stella Holmes, an ice queen who works for some vague government agency that operates out of a facility with computers that look like they were stolen from the set of the Lost In Space TV show, cheap knock-off Star Trek doors, and guards dressed in the finest vaguely Nazi-esque sci-fi uniforms. This is the first indication that Alien Contamination is set not in the late 70s, but in a future that mostly looks like the late 70s. 

The "is this set in the future?" question is answsered when the third protagonist, Commander Ian Hubbard is recruited. Hubbard used to be an astronaut and came back ranting about eggs or something and was assumed crazy because the other guy on the mission denied his story (this is a plot point). Anyway, since they'd found some evil eggs and Hubbard had seen (possibly non-existent) Martian eggs, he makes about as much sense to recruit for an ill-defined mission of a vague government agency as a random New York cop. Anyway, they all randomly stumble from clue to clue trying to uncover the secret of the ooze  eggs for the rest of the movie. 

The plot is weak, but does meet the basic requirements of a movie plot, there are some adorable attempts at characterization, and the special effects are bad even for 1980, but none of these alone, or even combined, are terrible enough to make Alien Contamination a truly bad music. What takes this movie over the top is the acting. Several of the characters talk in that "old movie bad guy" voice where you expect them to end every sentence with "see?" and say things like, "You'll never take me alive, copper!" The rest enunciate a little too clearly with a vaguely English accent and in a voice that's just loud enough that the dialog comes across as somehow both incredibly melodramatic and an emotionless monotone. If you've ever seen a movie where good actors imitate bad actors, you've seen the acting in Alien Contamination

Takeaway: If there's not an MST3K episode or Rifftrax for this movie, a great opportunity has been lost. 
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