Alien 2: On Earth (1980)
Well, thank you 88Films, for restoring and releasing this classic slice of Italian splatter.
To my knowledge this is the first time that this film was released in the UK, I had heard of this film in the past but due to the film's title it often gets muddled with other Italian 'Alien' (1979) clones, so this was my first time seeing this film and it was a treat.
'Alien 2: On Earth' (1980) is the unofficial Italian sequel to Ridley Scott's inspirational classic horror sci-fi masterpiece 'Alien' (1979); apparently the Italians had no concept of copyright back in the 1980's, 'Alien 2: On Earth' came six years before James Cameron's official action sequel 'Aliens' (1986), and one would only think that it is because of this historical serendipitous haphazard which gives 'Alien 2: On Earth' any relevance, but they would be wrong.
Okay 'Alien 2: On Earth' is not a true sequel, and has no true connection to any of the Alien films, it's not even an 'Alien' clone, and other than the title this film is mostly original.
To be perfectly honest this film surprised me, 'Alien 2: On Earth' is a surprisingly good film, and in my personal opinion, this film is better than both 'Contamination' (1980) and 'Alien from the Deep' (1989), which are both 'Alien' clones and rip-offs.
I do not want to spoil this film for anybody as if you have not seen the film you should go in blind and just experience this… Let's just say a group of geologists and scientists go into a cave and get hunted by an Alien, that is the basic plot but like any good obscure Italian film the true narrative will raise many more questions than necessary, and will be very selective with how those questions are answered or not.
Okay, the gore is nothing overly special but it is done well, it's genuinely quite horrific and creepy in some moments, bodies are literally ripped apart and heads decapitated, there are at least three spectacular stand out moments, and many WTF moments.
The cinematography in this film is magnificent; the film looks beautiful and is unbelievably well shot for a film of this calibre, with interesting compositions, movement and lighting.
The music is some of the best original music from an Italian film and was a genuine surprise to hear something new and fresh, rather than some recycled stock music that usually accompanies these films.
Now even though 'Alien 2: On Earth' is original, or as original as you will ever get from an Italian cash-in title, the film does have some problems, such as the first 30 minutes of this film are just dull and boring and have no connection to the rest of the film, the plot makes no comprehensible sense, and will just leave you scratching your head, and it's not disconnected enough to be considered artistic like Lucio Fulci's 'Gates of Hell' trilogy.
Also, you never get to see the Alien creature, which for me was a letdown, I really wanted to see the monster and I did feel cheated at the end of the movie.
'Alien 2: On Earth' is now available through 88Films in the UK for the first time on both DVD and Blu-ray, the restoration is stunning, and as usual they have outdone themselves, the image quality and sound are both beautifully re-mastered and I doubt the film has ever looked this good even on its initial release back in the 80's
'Alien 2: On Earth' is part of 88Films Italian Collection, and comes with a reversible sleeve and some special features, including an interview with Eli Roth.
I defiantly recommend getting the Blu-ray, as the film just looks stunning, it truly is a beautifully shot movie.
The back of the box says that 'Alien 2: On Earth' is "Arguably more exciting than Alien 3," now that is a bold statement, and I know Alien 3 gets shat on a lot, but I actually like Alien 3 and think the film is not as bad as critics say. However 'Alien 2: On Earth' is undoubtedly more interesting than 'Alien Resurrection' (1997) and exceedingly more exciting than any of the Alien Vs Predator spin-offs, in my opinion.
However even with some minor critical complaints, 'Alien 2: On Earth' has the right stuff to make an exciting and enjoyable exploitation film; honestly this film took me totally by surprise and I enjoyed every second, the film is absolutely magnificent.
I give 'Alien 2: On Earth' a solid 5 out of 5 stars.
I had been waiting to see this film for some time and the film totally exceeded all my expectations.
'Alien 2: On Earth' is a bonafide classic and all around underrated movie. A must see film for any Italian film fan, and for anybody who would like to see what a sequel to 'Alien' would have been like if James Cameron had never made 'Aliens'.
This trailer contains major spoilers to the film, I advise not to watch the trailer and just go and get the film.