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Alien 2: On Earth (Blu-ray Review)

19 Mar, 2011 By: John Latchem

Street 3/22/11
$19.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray
Not rated.
Stars Belinda Mayne, Mark Bodin, Roberto Barrese, Benny Aldrich, Michele Soavi, Judy Perrin.

There’s a long tradition in cinema of taking a popular movie or trend and exploiting it for all it is worth. It’s a tradition that extends well beyond Hollywood, and I’m not talking about knockoffs with “A XXX Parody” in the title. When it comes to making bad ripoffs of hit movies, it’s hard to top some of the foreign versions that have popped up over the years.

In 1980, Italian director Ciro Ippolito (billed here as Sam Cromwell) made Alien 2: On Earth, with a title that not-so-subtly positions itself as a sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi classic. Talk about a bait-and-switch.

Other than the fact there are creatures from outer space involved, Alien 2 has nothing to do with Alien (obviously), which is evident right away since it takes place in the “present” and not the future.

The plot, such as it is, involves some alien eggs hitching a ride to Earth on a manned space capsule and somehow ending up in caves near San Diego, where they start attacking a group of speleologists (people who study caves). Oh, and one of the women in the group is a psychic, which doesn’t translate to much but an ability to scream while she’s nowhere near an attack.

The film plays like a typical 1970s-style horror movie, with gratuitous boobage and characters who spend most of the film’s 84 minutes slowly wandering around dark places looking for something creepy to pop out at them while vaguely Jaws-esque music plays in the background.

So yeah, it’s pretty bad. But that’s really the point, since the appeal of a film such as this won’t really extend beyond collectors of kitsch and midnight-movie enthusiasts.

The production values are actually better than one would expect. Aside from some horribly grainy stock footage, Alien 2 features some better-than-average dubbing. Blu-ray offers maybe too-much high-resolution, accentuating the fact the gory visual effects consist of billowing latex creatures and gratuitous amounts of red paint.

In fact, almost all of the film’s actual thrills are found in a three-minute Dutch trailer that is included in the bonus section. The only other extra is a special effects outtake reel.

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