Alien 2: On Earth – B-Movie Blastworks
***“B Movie Blastworks” is a regular column published on Primary Ignition, written by Mark Leja, staff writer and Connoisseur of Crap, in which he scours the bowels of the internet for unsung B-Movie gems.***
TITLE: Alien 2: On Earth
STARRING: Belinda Mayne, Mark Bodin, Roberto Barrese, Michele Soavi, Judy Perrin
DIRECTOR: Ciro Ippolito
STUDIO: GPS, Midnight Legacy
RUN TIME: 85 min
RELEASED: April 11, 1980, March 22, 2011 (Blu-ray/DVD release)
Of all the greats that have directed the Alien movies. Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher, that other guy who did Resurrection, Alien 2: On Earth, the unofficial sequel to the original, done by Mr. Ciro Ippolito, could possibly be the greatest of them all. The Italians are known for many things: great sex, great food, and uhhh…other things as well.
So you may be asking yourself why God would allow such an abomination to disgrace the Earth. Well, in the 1980′s a huge wave of B-Movie exploitation came out of Italy. Films like Zombie and Cannibal Holocaust made Italy a hot spot of B-Movie and independent film development. Most of these films were low key and flew under the radar, which is why Alien 2 was able to avoid copyright laws and any judicial action against them. Nonetheless it was made, and now the beast has found its way onto Blu-ray and worse, into my Blu-ray player. Hold on for the ride, it’s gonna get cheesy.
The film opens with what I hope is B-roll because the camera is so bad. I really want to just slice my wrists instead of watching any more frames of it. Oh thank God. Blu-ray re-mastering save the day. So wait, wait a minute, the guy says makes sure the audience knows it’s B -roll or else they’ll think it’s live. Is that some kind of cruel joke the filmmakers are playing on my part? Luring me to think that that footage was what it looked like. You win this round, Ciro, but let’s see if you can keep it up.
So we are now introduced to our main cast who all work at a TV station. Great. The first thing they do is conduct an interview with some chick who likes to dig a lot and go into holes in the Earth. You know what I’d really like to see instead of some random interview our main characters are conducting? I don’t know, maybe some action, some good sub-textual dialogue or yeah maybe a freaking alien! Not only are they not talking about space or anything that comes from space, they’re actually talking about the underground. The exact opposite of what we really want to know. What the fuck.
It can’t be a sequel to Alien. It must be a sequel to something else, another movie called Alien. Yeah that’s it, that’s right. Now I can rest in peace. No I can’t. I must know the truth. Oh God, it’s…Wait, it has nothing to do with Ridley Scott’s Alien, and it was even claimed to have the title written before the American Alien. So it’s, it’s…its own sequel? How is that? How? It’s like if The Godfather Part III was released first, with no mention of the other two and then neither of the first two were made. Oh whatever movie, I give up. Do what you want now.
So 20 minutes into the film and I’ve yet to see an alien or even hear of one. Oh God, please don’t tell me there isn’t an actual alien in a movie called Alien 2. I mean Satan himself would’ve had to pen it in order for such a film to be so malicious, so evil, so vile. Oh wait, some astronauts have crash landed maybe now we can. Nope, let’s go bowling. Is that what the Italians think we Americans do? All day is just bowling? Wait, now we’re on the beach. Something, dare I say, alien has landed?
Oh my God, it’s taken the Alien series decades to come to Earth, but the Italians made it there not one year after the original Alien. Hell, maybe it ain’t so bad after all. The thing even eats a little girls face off. Hmm, I can dig it. So, one of the main guys finds a plot device on the beach, and takes it with him to the rest of the group as they drive to someplace unknown. Possibly the end of the movie.
So the woman from before is now goanna climb into the Earth to find things. After climbing down to the tune of some really out of place progressive music, we get to see some tits for a change. Finally, that’s all I wanted from the main female actress. It’s all we needed to make this film semi-tolerable. After cutting from what could’ve been a very, very promising sex scene (would’ve been the best transition into a porno ever) they start the descent.
One of them gets attacked by something we don’t see, and one girl is like “Oh shit, it has completely obliterated Jill.” Yeah I didn’t know who she was either, but apparently the creature has taken her. Oh My God, what’s wrong with your—oh wait her face is still intact, though the other girl said it was gone. In fact the other girl is like it’s impossible. Not if you got a tub of LSD honey. Never mind, I’m sure a lot of face eating is to come.
In a scene that is way too similar to the chest buster scene from Alien, the catatonic girl is taken up a level where after drawing out the tension far beyond what I thought this movie was capable of, a thing cracks open her face and kills someone, ripping his head completely off! Well, that was a complete duplicate of the chest buster scene from Alien. So these creatures reproduce by blowing people’s heads up. Even though this space filler of a character has just seen a guy get his fucking face ripped off, he needs to grab his man bag, because that is worth risking your life for.
After some completely forgettable moments with the characters, we get to the best part of the film, the final act. Why is it that it has taken us over an hour to get here? Why, why couldn’t this be like Zombie and just be a crazy ass exploitative film that is so bloody violent you might as well just be watching a dark red screen?
We start with a freakin’ rat lunging at female lead; why this was needed? And it doesn’t affect the plot what so ever. WHY?!??! Another person’s face is eaten; someone trying to help them gets killed. There’s blood everywhere. Now we are down to the last four people meals. One gets ambushed then turned into a host and goes on to try and trick them into believing that he’s one of them. But the main female lead sees through his disguise and stares him down to the point where his head fucking blows up, revealing the monster within which kills another teammate.
This leaves her and her lover left to climb into a location that makes me feel like we’re on the set of The Hills Have Eyes, possibly a connection to another great American horror film. Well they jack a ride and head off to what I assume is safety but you know how these films end. Though our characters have escaped, the aliens have killed off everyone in the area, and possibly the WORLD! So in order to find more people, they go back to the bowling alley, of course, because that’s the first place I’d try to find people. So everyone is dead, except for the two of them and — oh wait, Roy dies. So she’s the last woman on Earth now, I guess. How depressing. Until of course flying text plants itself on the screen. “Are you next?” Perfect, that’s how you end this movie.
Though I still can’t get over the fact that this movie is a sequel in itself, if you ignore the title and just think it’s called “On Earth” it’ll make the migraines less painful. Filled with all that gory Italian B-Movie glory that the B-Movie New Wave produced, just skip to the last 30 minutes; it’ll say you a lot of time.
However, one thing that I’m really impressed with is that Midnight Legacy was able to find the film and re-master it, that’s a feat unto itself. This is especially impressive when you take into account how many films are lost over the course of history, particularly low-budget films like this. After checking out their website, it warmed my blood pump. Their mission statement is to give the films the respect they deserve.
While I don’t know how much respect Alien 2 can get, it’s about time a distribution company took up arms and started releasing some of these underground horror films in their own boxes and on Blu-ray, which shocks me the most. While they’re not the first to do so, there are several companies that just buy put the public domain and put like 50 films in a collection. These guys actually did a really good job with finding the original material and HDing it, kudos to them. So what did we learn today kids? Life is great until you discover an astronaut capsule that unleashes space born hell.
Front page and interior stills from doblu.com.