Feb 3, 2017


In this Italian horror science-fiction film by way of Kosovo, director Domiziano Cristopharo and writer Antonio Tentori channel their inner Lucio Fulci to deliver an extremely loose interpretation of one of H.P. Lovecraft’s most defining works, The Colour Out of Space.

Several years after a meteorite crash lands on a farm in Kosovo, an Italian scientist leaves his home in Italy to track down the result of bizarre behavior and happenings that seem to be centered around this phenomena. His journey takes him to a recently abandoned military base where the few people that remain have morphed into otherworldly creatures with an appetite for human flesh. The scientist will soon discover that the meteorite is shrouded in a mystery that spans the existence of mankind.

Much like a Lucio Fulci film, VIRUS: Extreme Contamination is an incoherent mess of a narrative, albeit sans Fulci’s keen eye for a visual journey. As a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft’s work, I couldn’t honestly tell you how this film relates to the man’s story other than a few moments of winking and nodding in the script and name dropping from the Cthulhu mythos. Instead of using the agoraphobic and paranoid elements that make The Colour Out of Space one of Lovecraft’s most terrifying tales, VIRUS decides to give us a zombie film, a generic one at that. Sure, there are plenty of red herrings in an attempt to keep you guessing, but the lack of focus does a better job of that. In the world of low budget filmmaking, it is easy to forgive a film and its incompetence so long as there is a visual heft to it, be it gore, nudity, style, VIRUS offers nothing in return to make this a memorable entry in low budget horror.

In the end, VIRUS: Extreme Contamination stumbles on its own weary reliance of zombie film tropes. Instead of embracing the Lovecraftian narrative or the science fiction aspect, the film descends into common and dull zombie territory. While it is easy to appreciate the use of greens and purples on the wounds of the ghouls, a true Lovecraft thematic element, the televisual cinematography is a faded and dull interpretation of a rather colorful story. For those that are fans of H.P. Lovecraft’s work and wish to see something far more faithful, check out Huan Vu’s The Colour Out of Space, which is a masterful adaptation.