Monday, October 17, 2016

#17 - Contracted - Phase II (2015)

Most zombie movies, when they bother to deal with the actual outbreak at all, do so as a very brief introduction to the plague, usually flashing a few quick scenes of some poor lab technician accidentally screwing up, and dying horribly.  Ten minutes into those movies, the world is a seething mass of walking dead.

Contracted: Phase II (2015) continues the story introduced in Contracted (2013), which I reviewed yesterday.  Riley, who had a very brief romantic interlude with the heroine of our last movie, Samantha, is the lead in this movie.  If you've watched Contracted (on Netflix), you know who Riley is.  To sum things up, Riley was a bit obsessed with Samantha, and was basically stalking her.  Which makes him the perfect lead for this movie, because he has all the missing details of the events of the last movie.  After his fling with Samantha, he's been feeling a little...  Well, the movie title just gives it all away, doesn't it?

So if you haven't figured it out yet, the Contracted movie series is not about pressing legal obligations.  Each of the leads in these movies has "contracted" a disease.  It's about the very beginnings of a zombie apocalypse, or as I like to call it, the Zompocalypse.  Or maybe the Z-pocalypse.  Or perhaps the Zombie-lips.  No.  No, not the zombie lips.  That's just wrong.  Still working on it.  Hmmm.  Moving on.

Contracted and Contracted: Phase II are focusing on the detailed events of Patient Zero (usually what they call the primary communicator of a plague) and the events and people around them.  This is a huge difference from most movies, who focus more on the doctors trying to cure the plague, the military personnel trying to contain it, and sometimes the police.  So just to give you a reference point, in your typical zombie apocalypse movie, the events of Contracted and Contracted: Phase II would have happened already, usually just before the opening credits.  I can only hope they are working on a Contracted 3, because the story has only just begun.

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly:  Contracted is like The Hobbit, if the Hobbit was about Bilbo finding a ring, and they dragged that single event out into several movies.  So, even worse than the Hobbit, but it gives you a chance to really get into the lives of the characters.  You ever look at a walking, rotting corpse and go "Why do I care if that smelly old cadaver gets a bullet put in its head?  I have no idea who they were when they were alive, they only exist to scare the main character until the guy gets a gun."  Well, I have.  The Contracted movies focus on who the zombies were before they died, and every single one of them had lives and loves, hopes and dreams, and...  it's sad really.  Sad to see the rotting corpses meeting their final ends.  Did you know, according to legend, if you feed a zombie salt, its soul and personality are restored?  So, if a zombie is ever chasing you, stock up on salt.  Just make them eat it, and BLAM!  No Zapocalypze.  Hmmm.  No.  Not that one either.

No nudity, which is good, because there's not too many hot babes in Phase II.  Lots of gore, and if you have an issue with maggots, then you're going to want to keep your eyes closed through half the movie.  Actually they use mealworms in place of maggots, which is what they normally use for the movies.  Mealworms are like potato chips for lizards, fun to eat, but no nutritional value.  Also, they are a lot less icky than actual maggots, larger and easier to wrangle, and completely harmless to humans.  The special effects were understated and effective, except for the voluminous amounts of blood and mealworms, which I guess are technically special effects.

My only problem with this movie was near the end, and I don't want to give anything away, so I will be vague.  There's an agent investigating the goings-on from the first movie, and I don't know her origins, but her accent gets so thick during the excitement at the end, that I can barely understand her.  Which is odd, because I didn't notice her having an accent during the rest of the movie.  Also, her behavior seems a bit odd for a veteran agent, though I can see why they did it.  Still, it's kind of out of character.  If you've seen the movie, you'll know what I am talking about.

Let's hope Contracted 3 (assuming they are making one, I have no clue) is a little bit better, and continues the trend of focusing on the early stages of the Zeeclypse (nope, still not right).  I can't wait to see what happens next.  Not sure if I'd watch Contracted 2 again, since, you know, I've seen it and all, but it was definitely worth the initial viewing.  You guys can catch it (and Contracted) on Netflix, if you want to.  I highly recommend it.  It's like a 3-hour Zombie Apocalypse mini-series.  Uh, if that sounds like a good thing.

In other news, it's getting closer to Halloween, and horror movies are on half the channels now.  AMC and TCM have them pretty regularly, and of course there's always SyFy, and Chiller, and El Rey.  Of course, that's not even mentioning the premium channels.  Starz has started running the second season of Ash vs Evil Dead, which, forgive me for saying so, just isn't as good as the first season.  I'm pretty sure the Evil Dead movies were awesome because it was Ash vs the zombies, and he was totally on his own.  Sure, having friends sort of tamps down Ash's tendency to fly off the handle, and keeps him grounded, but he's also not as entertaining.  Or, maybe it's just because hes older now.  Or, maybe it's because I'm older...   Naaaahhhhhh.  It's the sidekicks.  Ash never needed them before, and I think they're cramping his style.  Anyways, there's a lot of horror playing on TV, if you've a mind to watch it.  Enjoy!  This month only comes once a year.  :-)

In other other news, I had 142 visitors to my blog yesterday.  Crazy shit, since I average about half a dozen a day.  Huh.  Weird.  That's all for tonight.  Catch you tomorrow, when I will hopefully be able to find a horror movie as good as Contracted: Phase II.

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