Thursday, October 27, 2011

October Horror Movie Challenge 10/26


Alien vs. Predator (2004)
(2nd viewing) d. Anderson, Paul W.S. (USA) 100min
Considering that the title conjures up images of a Japanese monster mash, any expectations of an intelligent sci-fi classic are ill-advised. And while the film bears little resemblance to its classic origins, if one can manage to switch off the brain and enjoy the mashing, this is an adequate popcorn burner. The film begins with the discovery of an Aztec pyramid buried deep in the ice of Antarctica, with wacky billionaire Lance Henriksen (smirking at his own presence in yet another Alien film) leading a group of archeologists on an exploratory expedition. Upon their arrival (and through some very sketchy translating), the team discovers that two thousand years ago, the pyramid served as an Alien hive for the extra-terrestrial race of dreadlock-wearing Predators, who would enter and combat the Aliens as a rite of passage. As the cinematic fates would have it, it’s time for the next Predator class to start and soon there are spaceships landing, Aliens bursting out of chests, and the clash of the sci-fi titans is on with the humans caught in the middle. With passable CGI effects, minimal character development, and yawning logistical plot holes, AvP only succeeds as the big, dumb fun that it intends to be. Purist fans of the originals will probably be horrified, but after numerous inferior sequels, how high could expectations be? Ultimately, the level of enjoyment will depend on the viewer’s mindset and preconceived notions. Rated PG-13, even though all of its predecessors were R-rated films – oh, how the times are a-changin’…

Contamination (aka Alien Contamination) (1980) (2nd viewing) d. Cozzi, Luigi (Italy) 84min
One of the finer example of 80s Italian cheese, director/co-writer Luigi Cozzi (as Lewis Coates) borrows heavily from Ridley Scott’s Alien but then literally explodes in directions you’d hardly think possible. When a mysterious ship comes floating into a New York harbor, a group of investigators discover a crew that has been turned to a bloody mess and a cargo hold filled with strange pulsating eggs…much like strange pulsating eggs soon discovered in a NYC warehouse. At this point, a previous space expedition to Mars is revealed, which also involved some alien eggs, and we’re off to the races. It's all very silly yes... but that just makes it all the more enjoyable. One of the best “so bad it’s good” flicks, Contamination is highly entertaining from start to finish, rife with over-the-top performances, frequent verbal snafus, crazy conspiracies and a final-reel visual-feast alien creature with eating habits that will leave mouths agape. All topped off with Goblin’s rockin’ musical score and ooey-gooey-kerplooey special makeup effects by Giovanni Corridori. Put on your hazmat suits and take this one for a spin.

First Time Views: 49
Repeats: 50
Total Films: 99

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