• Contracted: Phase 2

    Released By: Shout! Factory
    Released On: January 12, 2016
    Director: Josh Forbes
    Cast: Matt Mercer, Marianna Palka, Morgan Peter Brown
    Year: 2015

    The Movie:

    In the film CONTRACTED, a crazy corpse-banging dude named BJ drugs a young lesbian named Samantha, rapes her, and leaves her with a disease that turns her into a zombie. All manner of hell explodes, people die, chaos reigns, and the world that the characters inhabit becomes an unsettling, gushy place to be. Riley, a young man who happens to be very much into Samantha, finally gets invited into her bedroom, where he discovers partway through the act that her lady-parts are infested with blood and maggoty meal-wormy things. He also encounters another friend named Alice, who recovers from being dead in the bathtub just long enough to attack Riley and end up impaled on a knife that he wields in self-defense.

    CONTRACTED: PHASE 2 picks up where the first film left off, with Riley visiting his sister's doctor husband to get tested, "for everything", obviously concerned that bloody vagina maggots could be indicative of the potential for a sexually transmitted disease. He's given a clean bill of health, but notices when the doctor leaves the room that he has some ugly gashes that have ripped open a good chunk of his back, with a fingernail actually still stuck in one of the wounds. Though one would think that Riley's first question would be how he was unable to detect such a wound immediately, and then call the doctor back to point it out, he instead grabs an available surgical tool to remove it and goes on his merry way.

    Meanwhile, the police are dividing their attention between Riley, who, you know, accidentally stuck a girl in the face with a butcher knife and was the last known person to accidentally stick his wang in another, also recently deceased girl, and Brent Jaffe (BJ) whom they suspect is behind a string of sexual assaults. A visit to BJ's house turns up a Texas Chainsaw Massacre scenario with girls on hooks and crime scene souvenirs, but also a few more lively corpses bent on eating human flesh and such, much to the discomfort of the investigating officer.

    Riley's life gets more complicated when he gets a gusher of a non-stop nosebleed at Alice's funeral, but he manages to get it all under control in the bathroom in time to take his lady-friend Harper out for a drink. Plagued by mysterious threatening texts, Riley finds it difficult to concentrate on his date, and a sudden rape drugging doesn't help. Waking alone the next day, he finds that he's in the throes of obvious infection; discoloured, bloody eyeballs, pus-filled wounds, and maggoty meal-wormy things crawling around in his face that need to be cut out. With his mysterious texter after him for some reason, and his body losing control to disease, Riley races across town to find Harper for some reason, to do something that won't be made clear.

    To put it politely, Contracted: Phase 2 is a raging pile of garbage that sucks horribly. To give it to you in the simplest terms, the run time is listed somewhere around 78 minutes, but the movie hits the credit roll at around 70. About 10 minutes is dedicated to recapping events from the first film, and the first couple of minutes are opening credits. What's left is roughly an hour of Riley, the goddam monstrous dolt, running around town puking up maggots and blood and looking in the mirror at his stupid discoloured eyes. The rest of it is a couple of other characters in the film dealing with stupid screaming cookie-cutter zombies...really, can we be DONE with the goddamn zombies, already...and the serial rapist/murderer angle which is moronic and seems to have been jammed in as an afterthought to make the film longer than 45 minutes. Where there is nothing to add, the film makers have packed Phase 2 with ridiculous, cheap gore that's obviously in there just to have some kind of claim to something, and the fact that they seem to have blown their entire budget on meal worms down at the pet store gets really tiring, really quickly.

    Shitty writing aside, the performances here are about what you would expect from this, the shallow characters given about as much effort as they deserve. Editing and direction are also haphazard, with cuts leading to scenes that make no sense as far as continuity goes. If you like saying things like, "Oh, for chrissake, i'm trying to eat here!" while some douchebag squeezes a wound until goop pops out of it with overdone sound effects, this film may be for you. But aside from that, take it from me; there is NOTHING to like about Contracted: Phase 2, except that it gets really close to being mercifully short.


    Shout Factory brings Contracted: Phase 2 to blu-ray in a 2.35:1 AVC-encoded transfer that looks good. Detail is sharp, black levels are good, and there are no issues brought about such as compression artifacts due to poor authoring. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is also more than adequate, using the surrounds and LFE without overdoing it. Dialogue stays front and centre for the most part, while the growling and screaming of the cliche undead is permitted to travel around the soundstage.

    A DTS-HD MA 2.0 track is also included, and English and Spanish Subs are available. A DVD is included in the case as well.

    Two trailers for the film can be found in the Bonus Features section.

    The Final Word:

    I can not unrecommend Contracted: Phase 2 enough. The disc offers a decent presentation, if not essentially barebones, but the film itself is terrible.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!