MARCH 30, 2011
One of my favorite things about Italian horror movies is how many titles they often have, and Contamination .7 might be my go-to example in the future. You just have to look at the top of its IMDb page to get confused – it’s listed under Creepers, with Contamination .7 underneath as the “original title”, and a poster for The Crawlers next to it. And, as of this writing, the Newsdesk headline refers to its occasional status as Troll 3. Four titles for one movie, and we still haven’t even gotten to foreign language titles!
Oddly, the Troll title isn’t even that offensive, since it appears to be shot in the same location as Troll 2, and features the same sort of non-actors who come off like they haven’t spoken English before. I was actually convinced most of them were Italian folks speaking phonetically, but my IMDbvestigation revealed that they were all seemingly local hires, as most have no other credits to their name (the only exception is Mary Sellers as Josie, whose other credits are all Italian productions, including a fake Demons 5). So maybe they were just stupefied by the dialogue, which in many cases tops Troll 2's “You can’t piss on hospitality!” insanity. Pretty much anything involving the character of Brian is pure gold, such as when he asks why someone is surprised that he has a wife (response: “No, I think it’s a great idea!”). There’s also this slice of heaven, which occurs as our protagonists, seeking help, run up to a pay phone:
Brian: “Who are we gonna call, who?”
Kid: “Yeah, who?”
Matt (the hero): “I don’t know, but we gotta call someone for help!”
Brian could have conceivably repeated the first line of the exchange, and then we’d be stuck forever. The sheriff is also quite taxed when it comes to saying his lines, dropping in odd pauses and laughing at things that don’t appear to be jokes. He’s also a total moron – there’s this depressing old man who loses his dog to the killer plants early on, and the sheriff notices he looks like shit. “I’m in mourning!” the old man says. The sheriff asks if it’s because he ran out of booze, laughs, and then says “Hey, where’s your dog?” Way to put 2 and 2 together, asshole.
And then there’s the things you come to expect from these movies; oddly hateful characters (Al and Peg Bundy showed more affection toward each other than our hero couple), bizarre character tics such as the 10 year old kid who is obsessed with plants, characters who come out of nowhere and then die, and pathetically bad special FX. The branches aren’t too bad, but when it comes time for them to destroy a helicopter... well, see for yourself:
Speaking of FX, it’s a fairly bloodless movie. The plants (depicted primarily with tentacle-ish branches) just sort of drag and/or suffocate people, instead of beating them to death or tearing them apart. At one point, the greedy power plant owner (his dumping of nuclear waste is what caused the killer plants) shoots himself, but it’s off-screen entirely and we don’t even see his body lying on the floor. Speaking of this scene, it’s another hilarious bit – he takes a good ten seconds to do it but no one makes even the slightest attempt to stop him or even yell “No!”. Yet, this is the only Troll movie that has an R rating – seems they should have just trimmed out the profanity and got themselves the same PG-13 the last one had. I poked around for a while, but there doesn’t seem to be any ‘unrated’ version or anything. Part of the charm I guess.
So if you enjoyed Troll 2’s epic badness, you should probably enjoy this one too. I actually PREFER this one, because killer trees (ones that seemingly have a thing for the elderly!) are a lot funnier than goblins, and it’s thankfully a few minutes shorter. The final “scare” is a lot better here too – no weird, depressing deaths, just a killer Christmas tree!
What say you?