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ALIEN 2 ON EARTH [BLU-RAY]
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Reviewed by: Ammon Gilbert

Directed by: Ciro Ippolito aka Sam Cromwell

Starring:
Belinda Mayne
Mark Bodin
Michele Soavi

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A group of young, energetic, and completely ballsy explorers descend into the depths of a cave for a weekend of fun and adventure. What they weren’t counting on was a U.S. Space Shuttle landing on Earth the same day carrying what appears to be alien rock—rock that also happens to be carrying the spawn of a malicious alien being. And what’s worse… the explorers find a piece of this rock and take it down in the caves with them.
Is it good movie?
ALIEN 2 ON EARTH has a couple of really awesome things going for it, though probably not enough to save it from being just another forgettable Italian horror movie ripping off the success of a larger Hollywood genre flick. This is essentially a sequel to Ridley Scott’s ALIEN without being related to it all, just by name. Apparently the filmmakers thought that slapping a 2 at the end, people would be convinced this was actually an ALIEN sequel—like a pre-dated Asylum movie producing one of its classic ‘mockbusters’.

It’s a shame they didn’t just go for a more original title as the film sorta stands on its own without needing to cash in on the ALIEN craze. Then again, knowing that this is ALIEN 2 kind of gives it notoriety on some silly level. But enough about all that, let’s get to the nitty gritty here. What worked? It’s a slow build using a somewhat catchy score to reel the audience in and creep them out, and the concept is actually quite solid, making a monster movie set in a cave cool before THE DESCENT was even thought of. The alien effects are hokey as all get-out, with the creature looking more like a glob of intestines or a moving liver and lungs than an actual alien—but on some weird level, it’s that bizzareness that makes the alien effin' creepy.

I wouldn’t say there’s any real scares here as the music, as effective as it is, telegraphs every scare sequence ALIEN 2 ON EARTH has to offer so you can see it coming a mile away, but as the effects are of the practical variety (a nice change of pace from the CGI-filled garbage we’re hit with today), it gives the alien and the bloody gore a ‘real’ feel to it, which I definitely appreciated. And boy is there gore in this badboy! Decapitated heads, popping eyeballs, massive blood-splatter, and melted faces—this puppy has it all in the meat department and if that’s what you’re looking for, then look no further! Score!

What takes away from the film is the horrendous dubbing job, a job so bad that it almost bleeds into the ‘so bad it’s good’ category of dubbing. This flick could have actually been about something completely different originally, as I’m fairly certain a script was written on the fly while the writers were watching the original on mute. Of course, that adds to the flick’s overall entertainment level as the dialog straight-up gets ridiculous at times, often with hilarious results.

Video / Audio
Video: The film uses a galla of military stock footage throughout, all of which looks as grainy and out-of-focus as you might expect from a cheap VHS tape. However, the quality is redeemed to high definition for the rest of the time (for the most part). It doesn’t look like a million bucks, but it’s as close to looking ‘good’ as this film will ever get. And since the majority of the flick is set underground in the dark, the crystal clear images made it possible to actually see what was going on.

Audio: Presented in 2.0 Mono (but remastered in HD), the sound is actually pretty solid (or as solid as it would ever get), all full-bodied and as loud as you’d expect from a 5.1 mix. Nothing like getting that VHS effect from your Blu-ray!

The Extras
Dutch VHS Trailer: The original trailer with Dutch subtitles is presented here in all of its grainy, original glory. I wouldn’t suggest checking this out until after you’ve seen the film, however, as it’s a classic case of a trailer giving away ever money shot in the movie.

Special Effects Outtakes: Like the trailer, this soundless feature is filled with all the effects shots used in the movie. Some are outtakes, but most are what’s actually in the movie. I think of ‘outtakes’ to be more like ‘bloopers’, where something goes wrong during the effect and everyone laughs about it. That’s not the case here-this is just a boring montage of effects, with no music or narration to help you through it.

Last Call
Riding on the coattails of ALIEN, yet totally unrelated, ALIEN 2 ON EARTH hasn’t been seen in years, as the previous VHS copy was rare to come by, if nearly impossible. The restored version, totally uncut and presented in supreme high definition, is the best this flick could have ever hoped for. While not ‘good’ by any means, ALIEN 2 ON EARTH makes up for it with extreme special effects that teeters on the edge of balls-out nastiness, a creepy musical score, and… oh yeah, did I mention the main chick shows off her rack for no apparent reason? Cause she does. All in all, if you’re a fan of cheesy Italian horror with bland characters and horrendous dubbing, then ALIEN 2 ON EARTH is definitely for you.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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