Tuesday, 5 July 2016

ALIEN 2: ON EARTH *** Italy 1980 Dir: Ciro Ippolito. 84 mins


A peculiar but highly entertaining Corman-esque Italian ALIEN rip-off (what gave it away?) that nearly got its ass sued by 20th Century Fox and, like THE LAST SHARK, subsequently disappeared into obscurity in most territories. Very pretty Susan George-lookalike Brenda Mayne is a telepathic cave explorer who has a minor “episode” live on TV and freaks out at strangers on the beach, foreseeing bad tidings to come.
Following the marvellously heartless shock maiming of a little girl following her discovery of a strange, living rock on the same stretch of coastline, the movie becomes a pre-THE DESCENT splatter fest in which the cast, led by Mayne, are menaced by the bizarre creature in an elaborate underground cave system. Despite an excess of extended scenes following people driving and / or getting into / out of their cars, ALIEN 2 builds to an outrageously bloody, fun second half that puts it on par with contemporaries like CONTAMINATION and INSEMINOID. Set to a groovy, pulsing Goblin-style synth score, it cheerfully clones ALIEN’s classic shocks – notably via a long, languid tracking shot that ends with a gore-gushing hand-puppet monster emerging from a character’s eye socket. The fashionably downbeat, apocalyptic finale marks this as one of all-too-few ALIEN rip offs to climax with bowling alley terror.

Review by Steven West





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