Contracted: Phase II (2015)
If you read my review for Contracted, you know there’s not much love lost between myself and it. At the end of both my viewing of the movie and my writing about the movie, I hadn’t quite decided if I would watch the sequel, Contracted: Phase II. Mainly due to the fact that I was entirely underwhelmed- and mostly confused- by Contracted; partly because I was not at all intrigued by the synopsis for the follow up. But alas, I am the self-dubbed #HorribleHoney who also happens to suffer from OCD. So, upon learning that Contracted may- in fact- be a three-parter, my completionist brain kicked in and I hit play.
I admit, going into Phase II that I wasn’t all too optimistic about it. And I was mostly right.Contracted was problematic for a slew of reasons that I outlined in my review here. Phase IIis something else all together. Not entirely bad, but still not something I’ll be revisiting. The good thing is- if you disliked the ending of Contracted, you can rest assured it wasn’t really an ending at all but instead a cliffhanger that picks back up at the beginning of Phase II. That’s novel. I probably would have appreciated it more if there had been the “to be continued…” overlay we’re so used to seeing in TV shows that we enjoy just enough to stick around for next week. But alas.
The synopsis of Phase II that I read made me believe that the filmmaker was about to get all white-knight on us. It went something like this*: Riley (the friend-zoned stalker) has clearly contracted the deadly STD after having sex with Samantha (despite the very obvious rotten vagina she possessed). Now, he must race against time to find the man who raped Samantha and find a cure. This didn’t really bode well for my enjoyment of this movie until I started doing a little more research and learned that Riley- though a relatively non-character in the first movie- wasn’t on a hunt for a cure to avenge Samantha, but instead to… SAVE THE WORLD.
So, moving right along, Phase II rolls right along in basically the exact same way as its predecessor. In fact, it feels almost like the same movie with the exception of the main character being male and the sex decidedly less shaming. Samantha rotted from her vagina first but Riley, his dick stayed intact the entire time. Because of course it did. Anyway.
The first third of Phase II is exactly like Phase I – except with an extra I. The disease has been contracted, the diseased denies his contraction, the diseased inexplicably continues to expose everyone he loves to the virus – while continuing to ignore his own symptoms. I have to wonder at this point if this is a product of the generation? Does a 10 year age difference just make me better at dealing with medical shit, or am I actually just a better person? That’s a horrifying thought.
What Phase II does do a bit differently is really up the ante with the body horror. We see a little more variety in how the virus decides to destroy the body including: pus, sneezing bloody chunks, pissing bloody chunks, and maggots making their home under the skin. Awesome. But still not the way that maggots work.
The second third (is that how you fraction?) is Riley’s race against time to find, and infect, as many people as possible all while looking for the original diseased rapist – who, of course, finds him first. Phase II switches gears midway through from showcasing the horrors of this “STD” to following around the infected as he goes on a “fighting for his life” hunt. Complete with shotgun, stoner friend, and infected girlfriend. And, if that wasn’t enough, as Phase IIslips into its phase 3, it becomes even more of a completely different movie.
The final act of Phase II has gone gonzo compared to anything that came before it. The disease has spread like wildfire – through kisses and sneezes and penis in vagina action. The incubation period of 3 days isn’t showing signs of slowing down and we have now been introduced to the original rapist who doesn’t seem to be infected or affected by the “STD.” Instead, he’s embraced his plight as a crazy person who promised the feds that the human race was a disease that needed to run its course – with his aid of course.
Zombies – finally – are beginning to run rampant and Riley was only successful at bringing the rapist to the feds attention and essentially infecting an entire fucking city because of his inability to admit his dick might fall off.
Admittedly the end of Phase II is a bit of a blur. There are federal agents, a corrupt doctor, a dead rapist, zombies, conspiracy theories, and a lot of high-contrast shots. I would revisit it to get a clearer pictures, but I just am not interested enough to be bothered. I do, however, fully expect Phase III to go a little Day of the Dead (1985) meets Dawn of the Dead (2004). I might actually enjoy that one. We’ll see. Either way there is promise of yet another zombie baby. Because that’s what people really want. Right?… right?
Zombie Honey Rating: That is still not how maggots work, but good thing you have a dick.
*Added snark is entirely mine
AUTHORS NOTE: It just occurred to me that the first movie was all super into slut-shaming because how dare she have unprotected sex (which was actually rape) with a dude she just met (who raped her). And THIS movie is all super into ignoring the fact that this dude is just spreading his disease seed everywhere without anyone batting an eye. Jesus, you could boil these movies down to nothing but vapor.
Originally written for and posted at The Horror Honeys.