It's really challenging to find any kind of zombie film these days that isn't beating a dead plot horse. In fact, even if you've never seen a zombie film, odds are that the increase in the phenomena surrounding zombie films means you could list off the primary identifiers. While most people spend their time arguing over Dawn of the Dead fast or Night of the Living Dead shambling, I just want something different. Contracted: Phase II delivered.
The sequel to 2013's Contracted, Phase II follows our main character Riley. After the zombification and death (re-death?) of his friend Alice he begins to see signs of the zombie virus in himself. The big difference with the virus in this case as compared to most other zombie films is that it is transmitted via intimate contact. This can be anything from a kiss up to and including sexual intercourse. In fact, we get one of the grossest scenes I've ever seen where Riley is having a flashback to having sex with Alice (still human) and I guess he pulls out and a ton of maggots just fall onto the floor. The process doesn't kick in after death, here it is a slow build up of the body breaking down and decomposing while the person is still alive. This leads to some amazing make-up.
I could really gush all over this review about the make-up. Huge worms coming out of infected wounds, a nose bleed that is literally a deluge of blood, the grossest puss color and consistency I've ever seen, infected pustules that shift their fluid and tension as Riley moves, and an arm scratching moment that made me want to hide my eyes. I'm not squeamish when it comes to horror. Most of the time I can watch blood and dismemberment without issue. But if you make it just real enough that I can actually imagine it happening to me, then you fucking win the prize.
The bulk of Contracted: Phase II is Riley attempting to deal with what is happening to him, but then him trying to track down the man that is the cause of it. A mixture of Patient Zero and Typhoid Mary, this man passed on the virus when he sexually assaulted Alice, but never becomes a zombie himself.
I need to watch the first film to get the back story. That's not to say that I didn't gather an understanding by watching this film by itself. Either way, give these films a shot. This one was rather short compared to most movies and it was paced well. If nothing else, watch it for the great make-up effects.
I give Contracted: Phase II 3 condom bananas out of 5: