Space… What a Cool Place
by John Bikowski
illustration by Eric Johnson
As far as I am concerned, the blockbuster of the summer should be Contact. Upon viewing this classic, I felt as if the ghost of Carl Sagan was sitting next to me going, “Cool… this film rocks.” Contact is not meant for young kids or for those with limited attention spans. You need to get into the characters and the storyline in order to fully appreciate the film and to fall under its spell. Even the opening credits are amazing. We’re shown a space shot of Earth as the camera view pulls continuously back past all of the planets slowly sifting through the Milky Way… back… back… silently… The audience is so quiet you can hear your own spit bubble pop. Contact boasts the best intro since Nine Inch Nails tore up the credits for Seven.
The basic idea of Contact starts out similar to Independence Day, with Jodie Foster intercepting a strange message from deep space. However, what I admire about Contact is its use of constraint when it comes to whether or not a true extraterrestrial communication has indeed occurred. With ID4 there is no doubt because you are shown everything.Contact keeps things in the dark, almost like those crazy ’70s movies where you find out at the end that the beast you were only given horrific glances of was in fact a humongous freakin’ rabbit (Night of the Lepus). What makes Contact superior is that there is no cheesy payoff at the end, but a clever little twist that will leave a satisfied taste on your filmic palette. I also enjoyed the well-portrayed, nobly romantic performance by Matt McConaughey and the wonderful use of today’s visual effects technology. Special mention goes out to the comprehensive attempt by the filmmakers to stay topical and current. There are Clinton cameos, Mars references, and even blurbs on those suicidal Heaven’s Gate morons.
Sickest Scene o’ the Month: The sickest thing I saw this month was actually in my daughter’s diaper. Clocking in at a close second was a scene from the Italian production of Slugs. Radioactive toothy slugs find their way into a head of lettuce only to wind up in some poor dude’s salad. Later on he goes to an important business dinner during which he starts to feel ill. Meanwhile the slug eggs he noshed are busy incubating in his skull. He goes to take a sip of wine and blood spews from both nostrils filling his cup. He screams and falls to the ground with more blood gargling from all of his facial orifices. Then all of a sudden… “Boom!”… pounds of worms explode from his eyesockets spilling onto his face and the floor. There are other equally blistering scenes in this gorefest. You can thrill to the likes of an old man hatcheting off his slug-bitten hand or a lovemaking couple being graphically devoured alive, naked, and screaming. Guys: this is a great date video… if the girl you are with does not dive into your arms because of the sliminess factor, then you can dive into hers. This is the ’90s, with equal opportunity. Say you were attacked by a maggot when you were a little tyke.