Alien 2 sulla Terra (Alien Terror) (Strangers) (1980)

Alien 2 sulla Terra (Alien Terror) (Strangers)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

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Movie Info

A group of adventurers exploring an underground cavern come across a mysterious rock that it turns out houses creatures with the power to destroy all of mankind. Soon this ragtag crew are the last line of defense for the entire human race.

Rating: R
Genre: Horror, Art House & International, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Ciro Ippolito
In Theaters:
Runtime:

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Critic Reviews for Alien 2 sulla Terra (Alien Terror) (Strangers)

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Audience Reviews for Alien 2 sulla Terra (Alien Terror) (Strangers)

½

Saturday morning I got a phone call that my delivery has arrived all the way from someone's basement company, Midnight Legacy of course sent it all the way to Japan so I could view it. But my delivery was at the city and they can't send it here.

*I risked the Heat

*I risked the crowds

*It risked the traffic

It stared to rain but it was all worth it when I walked throw my front door and opened it while doing work. What am I talking about of course? Alien 2 Sulla Terra...

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My brother wanted to watch it right away but I had people coming over so I saved it till then...All that effort I put into work and going to collect my new Blue Ray for this Ultra gory classic might have just mad my month.

When a manned NASA space mission returns from orbit sans crew the world is stunned, but telepathic speleologist Thelma (BelindaMayne) senses that something far worse is on the horizon - something to do with strange blue rocks that have begun showing up all over. Thelma puts her fears aside to lead a spelunking expedition in the American southwest, but is forced to confront them head-on when the rocks begin sprouting meaty alien monsters with a penchant for human destruction...

Those of you convinced that Luigi Cozzi's Contamination, in which throbbing alien eggs that make people explode are sent around the world by the possessed owner of a coffee plantation, is the strangest of the gory Italian knock-offs of Ridley Scott's Alien should think again, as Ciro Ippolito's obscure 1980 effort Alien 2: On Earth definitely holds its own in the oddball department. I apologize for my unabashed adoration of this one in advance - it's just hard for this reviewer to hate any film that tries so hard to tie a failed space mission, ominous rocks, telepathy, caving, apocalyptic doom-and-gloom and bowling together, even if the end results are a little suspect.

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Made on the cheap and shot largely on location in and around San Diego, Alien 2's title implies more connection with the Scott film than actually exists - indeed, its narrative owes more to the science fiction of the past than anything contemporary. The idea of malignant rocks harboring extraterrestrial threats recalls The Monolith Monsters, Quatermass II and The Outer Limits' Corpus Earthling, while the doom-heavy climax evokes the nihilistic conclusion of Goke: Body Snatcher from Hell. Throw in the concept of telepathy, a load of footage from NASA's Apollo program and a dread fascination with bowling alleys and you end up with a film that, aside from the title and the presence of space-monsters, bares very little resemblance to its inspiration at all.

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That's just fine by me, as Alien 2 is far more interesting (if far less coherent) for the trouble.
Writer and director Ippolito (who appears in the film as a television news director) spends the first half and more of Alien 2 trying to ratchet up the unease through a series of odd and tenuously connected circumstances - a failed space mission, the appearance of strange pulsing rocks, and Thelma's visions of a monster-filled world. The effort works, to an extent, but is waylaid early and often by all the oddball drama (including a gratuitous scene of bowling and lots of pseudo-comedic banter) and rampant ambiguity. Typical is a scene in which Thelma heads to a beach, calls out to a man on a boat, stands by while he rows to shore, has a hurried conversation with him about imaginary monsters and psychological problems, and leaves. The scene is so unfocused that the point (Thelma's admission that she feels alone in a world of monsters), along with its potentially interesting psychological ramifications, is minimized, lost in all the filler.

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The film eventually departs sunny San Diego, pushing Thelma and her crew out into the (suspiciously wet) desert cave in which most of Alien 2's action takes place. When a young Michele Soavi (here in what looks to be his first major film role) gifts the expedition leader a strange blue rock the audience knows the fun is about to begin. It's as transparent setup as any I can think of (gather a bunch of people in a dark, creepy place and throw monsters at them until few, if any, survive), but I love it all the same. Here patience with the incongruous early drama is soundly rewarded, and Ippolito finally dishes out the bloody goods.
Of these just one appears directly inspired by Alien, and features one of the monsters (they look like meaty sock puppets) erupting from within an unfortunate victim's eye socket (a great setup that, like several others, is entirely spoiled in the show-all theatrical trailer). From here viewers are rocketed into a 20-minute cavalcade of human destruction, in which explorer after explorer wanders off towards certain alien dismemberment. None of the attacks are terribly convincing, but it's all good bloody fun bolstered by a healthy dose of weirdness. My favorite bit has Thelma wielding her dubious psychic powers, staring into the eyes of a possessed comrade until his head explodes! It plays as a premonitory nod to Cronenberg's bizarre classic Scanners, which wouldn't see release until the following year.

More so than any of the over-the-top violence, the quirks of Alien 2 are what have earned it a special place in this reviewer's heart. As far as I'm concerned this is a B-movie goldmine, complete with oddball diversions into supernatural territory (Thelma's eyes suddenly glow green in one scene, as she tries to communicate with a fellow explorer), shameless plot contrivances (a sprained ankle that's forgotten as soon as its duties to the immediate plot are served), and yes, that inexplicable obsession with bowling (aside from the early dramatic scene, Alien 2 revisits the bowling alley on less friendly terms for its creepy conclusion). There's even a gratuitous flying rat, a go-to gag in Italian horror cinema and the only scare of the film that had me jumping.

It's a pity that Alien 2 has been such a rarely seen commodity up until now, and its IMDB entry stands as proof positive of its obscurity - the film has fewer than 300 votes as of this writing. I'd say that just makes this under appreciated slice of Euro-schlock all the riper for rediscovery. My unfettered enthusiasm for Alien 2 may not make much sense, but neither does the film itself, and that's all the silly sub-logic I need to lend it my recommendation.

Who would have thought that a low-budget Alien cash-in more than thirty years old could look so good. My DVD is living proof that these kinds of films are making a comeback onto DVD and Blue ray.

Keiko's score 89-100

Keiko A. --Samurai--
Keiko Aya

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