Alien 2 on Earth
directed by Ciro Ippolito
starring Belinda Mayne, Mark Bodin, Roberto Barrese, Benny Aldrich, Michele Soavi, Judy Perrin
You’ve got to love the Italian exploitation industry. When westerns were big, they’d churn out westerns. When Star Wars was big, they’d churn out Star Wars rip-offs. When barbarian movies were big, they’d churn out barbarian movies. They’d make them all quickly, adding tons of gore, nudity, violence, and other delights for the discriminating movie goer. After production, the movies would be cleverly titled in an attempt to sucker in audiences. Not only was Zombi 2 named to suggest a sequel to Zombi, Dawn of the Dead’s Italian title, but there were also about 30 spaghetti westerns featuring Django in the title, even if the character wasn’t in the movie at all.
So when Alien was a hit, naturally the Italians named a movie about some cave explorers dealing with rock monsters Alien 2 on Earth.
Early in the movie there’s talk about some astronauts disappearing from their spacecraft, and some NASA stock footage is employed to show the gravity of the situation. Then we move to San Diego where a little girl finds a blue meteorite on the beach which ends up ripping her face off. Did these meteorites cause the astronauts’ disappearance? That’s never really explained.
Then a group of varying sizes embarks to explore a cave, where the blue meteorites start to pulsate and reveal nasty surprises. Who will survive the cave? Are the monsters from the rocks from Earth or outer space? And seriously, did the meteorites kill those astronauts or what?
There are a few scenes of genuine suspense in Alien 2 on Earth, which might have a lot to do with the ominous Jaws-style music employed. And while a good portion of the movie is fairly slow moving, there are some nice old-school gore effects, like the alien launching out of an eyeball or the exploding head or the little girl’s creepy hamburger face. These generally appear right after some cool alien shoots straight at the camera – scenes which will have the viewer wishing for an upgraded 3D television.
There is also an effective scene at the end where the lone survivor runs through the deserted San Diego streets. Director Ciro Ippolito evokes a haunting last man on Earth feeling, reminiscent of the best Italian zombie movies, like 1980’s really-needs-to-be-seen Cannibal Apocalypse.
While not the strongest lost Italian exploitation film saved to DVD, Alien 2 on Earth is worth a watch for fans of the Italians’ cheap, yet over the top productions. The movie looks amazing, and just the fact that it has resurfaced after 30 years makes it worth a look. Be warned however, you never will find out if the meteorites have anything to do with the astronauts, if they really were meteorites at all, or exactly how many people are in the cave. It’s best to just accept these things and move on.
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