Alien 2: On Earth (1980) – By Duane L. Martin

Apparently after the film Alien became a huge hit at the box office back in 1979, there was a run on cheap, knock off "sequels" trying to make a quick buck off of its success. The Italian film, Alien 2: On Earth, is one of those knock offs.

The plot is enough to make you scratch your head in wonder. There’s a space mission that seems to go fine, until the capsule re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere. None of the astronauts survived, and no one can figure out what happened to them.

Now, jump to a young group of speleologists (people who explore and study caves), who are heading out to the desert to do some cave exploration. One of them is psychic, and keeps having these horrible headaches and psychic impressions of impending doom. Still, they enter the caves, and one of them carries in with her a nifty looking rock found by another member of the team. What they didn’t know, is that that rock was really an alien. In fact, the cave had quite a few of these aliens. How did they get down in the caves in the desert? Who knows. What I do know is that once those folks got down there, people started dying. See the alien basically goes for the face. It crushes in the face and enters the body, but then somehow magically replaces the face so the person looks normal. Then it lies in wait until it can bust out of the face and attack the next person. Then there are some that are bigger that can actually grab two people at once. What do they look like? They basically look like raw meat. So what we have is a film where cave explorers are being attacked by tentacles of raw meat that can crush in their faces, inhabit their bodies, and replace the faces so they can wait for the next opportunity.

THEN, when the psychic girl and her boyfriend finally escape the caves, they find that no one on the outside is left alive. They head back to the city and find that it’s now deserted. They head to their usual hangout, which happens to be a bowling alley, which had an absolutely hilarious black guy working behind the counter that was more jive than the guys in the movie Airplane, and the English dubbing made it even more hilarious. I mean seriously, this guy was straight out of a Ralph Bakshi movie. Anyway, it’s deserted too. At least they thought it was, until the aliens attacked.

This movie is considered by many to be aboslutely horrible. While it is slow until the alien attacks start, there’s a lot of fun to be had in this film. For example, at some point when they’re trying to escape from the caves, the psychic girl’s boyfriend breaks his leg. Then suddenly, two minutes later, it’s all healed. Wait…what? In another scene, one of the team is hanging upside down and the alien severs his head, which then falls down to where the others are standing. I know that doesn’t sound all that fun, but it was actually pretty cool. There’s all kinds of goofy stuff to have fun with in this movie. I think people who watch it expecting a serious film with actual continuity are going to be disappointed. If you watch it with a goofy grin and have fun with how lame and silly it is, you’re going to have a great time with it. I just wish the lead up to them going down to the caves hadn’t have dragged on for so long, because that part of the movie was pretty slow.

Apparently there have been various cuts of the film floating around since its release. Midnight Legacy has put together a restored release of the film that was mastered from the original 35mm negative and runs longer than any other version previously released. They really did do a good job with it, and it even includes special effects outtakes and a Dutch VHS trailer.

Don’t listen to the negative reviews. If you’re the kind of person that can appreciate cheesy films, and you love laughing at all the goofy stuff that’s supposed to be serious, then you’ll definitely want to give this one a try. As inept as it is as a film, that’s what gives it its charm, and it really does end up being quite fun.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, or pick up a copy for yourself, you can check out their listings on the MVD Entertainment Group’s website here. The film is available on DVD and blu-ray.