An Italian film that isn’t a sequel to a hit horror film but is still posing as one? Where have I heard of that before?…
Alien 2: On Earth (1980)
Directed By: Ciro Ippolito (and Biagio Proietti but that’s uncredited)
Oh those silly Italian film makers! You may get slightly confused when you see a film sitting on the shelf from 1980 called, Alien 2: On Earth. Especially coming just a year after the release of Alien, and yes that would be the now classic film, Alien. But that was the very point. Following the success of Alien, Alien 2: On Earth was released over seas with the idea to cash in off of Alien. But that wouldn’t be the first or last time something like this has happened. After all, Zombi 2 was given the 2 in order to try to cash in on Dawn of the Dead. But where as Zombi 2 was a classic in it’s own right, how well does Alien 2 stand on it’s own? Now being released in a remastered form from Midnight Legacy it’s at least getting it’s chance to shine.
A group of cave explorers are confronted in an underground cavern by a mysterious living rock. Little do they know that it bears home to deadly, flesh-eating creatures, intent on wiping out the entire human population. Can they survive and ultimately prevent Earth’s total annihilation? And can they make unknown movie goers think this is an actual sequel to Alien to spite the aliens looking not at all like the aliens from that other film?? Perhaps we should just forget all about the “2” here and just pretend the title to this one is something else, OK?
For a movie that was never released in the good ol’ U.S. of A and was only available 30 years ago in limited chopped up and edited VHS form, the movie at least looks great here. It’s been remastered from the masters and it at least looks like it’s way better than it actually is. The crew that put this DVD (and Bluray) together did a wonderful job and it’s really awesome as far the quality of the films presentation goes, even if the film it’s self lacks a little in a few areas. And mainly that area being the pacing of the film..You know how I feel about pacing.
The film is more science fiction than horror so the slow pace seems to be even slower. We are around a good 40 minutes into the film before any REAL business starts to pickup. Now I know in 1980 things were very different, but I’d have at least liked things a lot better had people started dropping much sooner and at a more rapid fashion than what we ultimately get here in this movie. I did still find the overall tone and the setting of Alien “2” here to be pretty interesting and I also felt that it at least set a nice vibe and overall tone. I also will admit that I didn’t hate it. I probably could have enjoyed it even more so than I did however if it had of stopped lagging and got with the program a lot sooner than it does.
And while not the all out “GOREMANIA!” you might expect from a lot of the descriptions of the movie, when there actually is blood it’s not bad. It’s that weird really really red looking blood that you see in a lot of Italian horror films, and some folks seem to dislike that but I find it pretty cool for the most part. I also won’t take too much away from this one for using the same “Italian type ending” that I’ve seen more than a few horror films made in Italy use. I mean come on now, if the great Lucio Fulci can use the same type of ending this movie uses in one of his films, then it has to be cool right?
If you are interested with the Italian attempt at an unofficial sequel to Alien, you can CLICK HERE to get on over to MVD and pick a copy of it up. It’s a little slow, but it looks great and isn’t a total waste by any means. The gore is good when you get it and the ending has been done, but still seems oddly fitting.
The Rating (6.5/10)