Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 23rd, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1980
Director: Ciro Ippolito
Writer: Ciro Ippolito
Cast: Belinda Mayne, Mark Bodin, Roberto Barrese, Benny Aldrich, Michele Soavi, Judy Perrin, Don Parkinson, Claudio Falanga, Fabrizia Castagnoli, Luigi Diberti
BluRay released: April 5th, 2011
Approximate running time: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD Stereo English
BluRay Release: Midnight Legacy
Region Coding: Region 0
Retail Price: $29.95
So what is Alien 2 on Earth? Is it some long forgotten sequel to the Alien franchise? Alien 2 on Earth is one of a multitude of films that emerged Italian cinema from the 1970’s and 1980’s. That were ever so loosely based on successful American films. And in many instances these Italian rip offs. Were nothing more than sequels in name only.
The plot revolves around a group of friends, who go on cave diving expedition. Along the way one of them picks up a strange looking rock. That somehow transforms into the alien entity that stalks them and eventually devourers them.
So as you can see the plot is fairly routine. There are no great shakes. After the initial setup. It is painfully obvious were things are going. Even the film big reveal at the end. Comes off as anticlimactic.
From a production standpoint. This film suffers from a myriad of problems. The film is lethargically paced. The direction is at best serviceable. The amount of carnage is minimal. With the bulk of the bloodshed occurring in the last thirty minutes. The film’s finale also contains the films one and only memorable sequences. Which takes place in a bowling alley.
Performance wise the acting can best described as wooden. The only performance of note is that of future filmmaker Michele Soavi (Cemetery Man) in the role of Burt one of the cave explorers. The score for Alien 2 on Earth was composed by Guido De Angelis and Maurizio De Angelis (Torso, Street Law) under the pseudo name Oliver Onions. The cinematographer on Alien 2 on Earth was Silvio Fraschetti (Beast in Space), a frequent collaborator of director Alfonso Brescia.
There is no denying that Alien 2 on Earth is an awful film. Even by is so good, it’s bad standard. And yet there is something oddly compelling about this celluloid abomination. So if you are a fan of shockley Spaghetti nightmares. Then dive in head first. Everyone else should stay away. If you don’t want it to melt your brain.
Alien 2 on Earth comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay (even though only 23.8 GB are used). The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Colors look nicely saturated and at times vibrant. Black levels and contrast look constituently good throughout. The image generally looks sharp. There are no problems with compression or DNR. It should be noted that when this film uses stock footage from other sources. That the quality is not on the same level as it is for the bulk of this transfer. This is a strong transfer that does a superb job with the source materials.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD Stereo mix in English. Dialog comes through clearly and background noise is minimal. Range wise this audio mix is rather limited. With the score benefiting most from this audio mix. And while the audio mix often sounds flat. It does do a reasonably good job with the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack.
Extras for this release include a trailer from a Dutch VHS release (3 minutes 10 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in English – burnt in Dutch subtitles) and special effects outtakes (11 minutes 27 seconds – anamorphic widescreen). The trailer does a great job compiling the film’s best moments. While the special effects outtakes. Which are presented without sound. Give a brief glimpse into the special effects and the monster that appears in the film. Overall Midnight Legacy has put together an impressive first release that takes full advantage of the Blu-Ray format.
Note: Midnight Legacy is also releasing this film on DVD.