After a spacecraft returns to Earth missing its astronauts, we are shown a young girl on a beach, where she discovers a strange, blue rock. The girl’s mother soon finds her… with her face missing!
We then follow some friends who are on their way to enjoy themselves exploring a cave system. As they change into their caving gear, one of the group discovers a blue rock… and he decides to put it in his backpack. Bad decision, mate.
This sci-fi horror flick was written and directed by Ciro Ippolito (going by the name Sam Cromwell), was released following the success of ALIEN (1979), and was promoted as an unofficial sequel to Ridley Scott’s film, despite having no connection to it.
ALIEN 2: ON EARTH was released theatrically in Italy on April 11th 1980 as ALIEN 2: SULLA TERRA. It is also known as ALIEN TERROR.
The film features Michele Soavi in a co-starring role, before he went behind the camera to become the director of such films as STAGE FRIGHT (1987), THE CHURCH (1989) and CEMETERY MAN (1994). The movie was filmed in Rome’s Cinecittà Studios, California and the Castellana Caves in southern Italy.
Okay, this flick has an interesting set-up: a group of friends being killed off by alien organisms during a caving expedition. That’s a cool idea. These extraterrestrial things, I assume, arrived in those blue, pulsating rocks, but nothing is explained clearly in this movie.
The blobby, bloody, organ-like aliens are only ever seen in close-up, as they erupt from victims or, at one point, issue from inside boulders in the cave. Because we only ever see them up-close or out of focus it’s hard to really know what these creatures are meant to look like in their entirety.
The film possesses very little logic. In fact, it makes fellow Italian Alien rip-off movie CONTAMINATION (1980) look like a plotting masterclass by comparison! For instance, it’s hard to know why the protagonists who manage to escape from the cave make the decision to go to a bowling alley rather than run straight to a police station! And just how did the entire city become deserted so quickly at the end of the film?
However, as I learnt long ago that logic was never an important factor in many Italian genre movie knockoffs, I kind of expected this sort of plotting! So what did stand out for me in this movie? Well…
…I think the best moment comes when a blobby alien bursts from a woman caver’s face, wraps around the throat of a guy dangling from a rope, then causes his head to fall off! Sometimes you have to enjoy the occasional gory, bizarre moment in these illogical flicks!
Finally, here are some German lobby cards…