Rewatched Jul 14, 2012
Scott Tuccori’s review:
As a hardcore fan of the Alien series, I always find myself unfulfilled after watching all four installments and even after adding Prometheus to the list, I still want more. A couple of years ago, after finishing another viewing of Alien Resurrection I went on a hunt to see if there was anything else similar to the Alien films. Turns out there’s a whole bunch of Alien rip-offs, ranging from the early 80′s till the present. The one that stands out the most is ‘Alien 2: Sulla Terra’, or in the US, ‘Alien: On Earth’.
‘Alien 2: Sulla Terra’ is marketed as the next chapter to Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece, ‘Alien’. With James Cameron’s official sequel ‘Aliens’ being not even close to pre-production, many people believed this was in fact a sequel and canon to the series. It’s most certainly not and anyone who believed it back then was idiotic.
The story is about a crew of cave explorers who go spelunking in an undiscovered cave only to find out that the environment inside is a living and breathing organism that wants nothing but to feed on human flesh. All the while, the main character also has mind-blowing (literally) telekenises.
The only thing that comes close to making this anything of an Alien sequel is two things. 1) The title clearly says ‘Alien 2′. 2) There’s a very long shot that eventually shows an alien-like creature, similar to a chestburster, that crawls its way out of a ladies eye socket, gauging her in the process. Other than that it’s got nothing in common.
Now, that’s not to say that this isn’t an enjoyable film. I’ll admit that the first time I saw this movie was on a very low quality VHS tape, and since 80% of the film is set in a cave, it’s pretty dark the whole way through, so I hardly got the chance to make anything out the action on-screen, thus, I hated it. This was the only way anyone was able to see the film, as it was never released in cinemas, making VHS tapes the only way to go.
That is until Midnight Legacy, a very short-lived movie company (they only released this one film, then vanished) tracked the original 35mm film and set to release the movie in all it’s uncut and widescreen glory. I pre-ordered a copy a soon as it was available and it’s just been sitting around waiting to be watched, so tonight I thought “stuff it”. I was actually quite surprised how much fun I had watching this as I love films you don’t really have to think about. It was a fantastic transfer from the original film reels, clear as day, minus a samll amount of film-scratch and stock-footage at the beginning and the end. Whilst I was watching I was kicking myself for not going the extra step and purchasing the blu-ray copy instead of the DVD.
There was some pretty interesting death scenes, that I didn’t remember from the first time I saw it, which was what lead me to believe that is is truly uncut and the longest print we’ll ever get. I won’t ruin it for everyone by spoiling what happens in the cave, but before they even get to the cave, a little girl manages to get her face ripped off and they show you the aftermath as she sobs. It’s quite creepy.
The score was also one of the things that I enjoyed, most of the time it seemed original, except for when it’d come time for someone to die and it seemed as if the composer just reversed the Jaws theme and added a few extra touches. I’d certainly like to purchase it, were it ever to become available.
All in all, if you wanna take you Alien obsession further, this isn’t the right film, but if you wanna have some fun for about an hour and a half, this is where it’s at. This is seriously one of the films I thought would never see the light of day in such high-definition, but I’m so glad it did, as it’s changed my mind completely from what I originally thought of it. I give this film a 4 out of 5.