Hello Meat Sacks.
It’s Wasted Wednesday time, and today we’re looking at a movie you can currently be revulsed by on Netflix. If you’re squeamish about STD’s, or think that sex is a dirty thing best left to the less evolved primates, then you’re gonna have a bad time with “Contracted”. Also, you better leave your brain at home, because if you don’t…you’re gonna have a bad time. Allow me to explain.
-Should I watch this?
If you’re looking for something to watch on Netflix and have no regard for your mental well-being, be my guest. You will want to shower afterwards though.
-Do I need to be drunk to watch this?
Recommended. You’ll want something to numb you a bit, and the third act might make more sense if you’re wasted. Also, alcohol kills germs, and that will be a very comforting fact.
–Are there titties?
Nope. And it could have used them, if for no other reason than entertainment and interest factor. Or to add to the sexual discomfort. Or because tits are awesome.
This is going to be a difficult review to write for several reasons. The first is that ol’ Uncle Frank doesn’t like spoiling movies, and it’s difficult to discuss this movie without going deep into its third act. The second is that there’s been a lot of ink spilt about this movie’s sexual politics and perceived misogyny, and frankly that’s not what this site is here to discuss. Moreover, I don’t give a fuck if writer/director Eric England hates women or not, and it’d be presumptuous of me to claim that I knew one way or the other. The third reason it’s difficult to write this review is I’m hungover like Doc Holliday on a bender. Yes, that means I’m still drunk.
So basically what you need to know about “Contracted” is that it’s an uncomfortable movie about a girl who makes some bad decisions, gets drugged and date raped, and winds up with the mother of all STD’s. It’s pretty classic body horror as her bits start coming apart, and there are several really stomach turning moments of what amounts to human decay from the genitals out. This thing gets her fast, and the title cards between scenes that tell you what day it is bear this out in a neat twist. My boy Geinzram turned me on to this bad boy, and he made me downright nervous to watch it due to its potential gross-out factor. It’s not “Visitor Q” or “A Serbian Film” level shock by any stretch, but it certainly packs a solid punch of nasty, and it had me squirming in my seat in several scenes.
By and large I was impressed with this movie on a technical level. The cinematography is mostly excellent, and the makeup is solid, though there are a number of scenes where it looks like her “rash” is drawn on with a pencil. Also, the tattoos in this movie were all sponsored by Sharpie, and drawn on by a third grader who just watched Miami Ink. I’ll give it a lot of leeway though, as I’m pretty sure the budget was crushingly low, and they made a pretty spectacular looking movie for the dollar. The acting is worth noting as well, especially Caroline Williams (of Texas Chainsaw II fame) and Najarra Townsend, who plays the unlucky main girl Samantha. Townsend pretty much carries this movie on her shoulders, and has an incredible realism and range to showcase. She is a fantastic actress, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she really took off career-wise. Also, she’s stupid hot, even with half her face falling off. So there’s that.
The real issue here is that, essentially, this is two separate movies fighting with one another. For the first hour, it’s a well-told, well-paced, serious medical horror drama. Almost everyone reacts realistically, and there are nice touches like subtle reveals about Samantha’s history and life, and unspoken plot points that require you to pay attention. Then, somewhere around the point where Sam’s life really goes off the rails, the movie does too. Massive logical holes start springing up, characters do completely nonsensical things, and the only saving grace is that this movie has switches genres, albeit ungracefully, and become a movie about…something else. Again, I ain’t spoiling it, but this movie is actually a genre other that what it appears. A genre which frankly is getting a bit stale, and as much as it sorta saves “Contracted” from its tonal shifts and highly illogical (to the point of being ridiculous) plot twists in the third act, the final form of this movie will not, I think, age well.
It’s frustrating, because it felt like there was an excellent movie dying to come out of the first half of “Contracted”. Something really disturbing and unsettling, which took its subject matter seriously and didn’t pander or compromise. While I understand the rationale behind the direction the movie took, I cant help but mourn the movie it could have been, if it had stuck to the tone it began with. It’s like you got all dressed up to go to a fancy restaurant. You roll up, the outside looks nice. You sit down at the table and are greeted by a gorgeous waitress who takes your order with a smile and a wink. And right as you’re salivating and ready to dive into that filet you ordered, they bring you out a Big Mac. Now, don’t get me wrong, Big Macs are perfectly fine for what they are. It’s just not what you ordered, not what you expected, and dammit, you really wanted that fucking filet. But, oh well. Guess it’s Mickey D’s for dinner.
Well-made, fairly solid, but flawed. Worth a look if you’re rolling through Netflix and feel like getting unsexy and dirty, and seeing some rising talent. Stay until the end so that the third act makes sense, but don’t expect to come out of this feeling totally satisfied.
ATTENTION DEFICIT DRUNKS CORNER:
You’ll probably want a drinking game for this one, so here goes: Drink when people in the movie do. Drink when they do drugs. Drink every time you see a shitty, drawn-on tattoo. Drink when Samantha’s eyes change color from the previous scene. Drink when Sam pulls her panties down or up. Drink the entire time while Sam is driving a car. Finish your drink when you see blood in a toilet. And finally, Finish your fucking drink to MAGGOTS.
UNCLE FRANK’S SPLATTER SCORE:
-3.5 maggots out of 5
(Drink what Uncle Frank drinks with our gullet-wetting recommendation section!) This movie was consumed along with a healthy dose of Deep Eddy Vodka and the use of lots of hand sanitizer. Going to throw some mad love Deep Eddy’s way because they have a great price point and some of the best flavors of any vodka out there right now. Lemon was the flavor of choice for this movie (and it’s amazing), but their Cranberry and Grapefruit are monstrous too, and they have the best Sweet Tea vodka on the market. Period. Their base model vodka is excellent too by the way, for you Tito’s lovers out there.
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Categories: Wasted Wednesday