Alien 2: On Earth (1980)

Blobby alien attacks a victim in a cave!
Blobby alien attacks a victim in a cave!

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.

Italian poster
Italian poster

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.

German poster
German poster

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. 

Australian/New Zealand VHS sleeve

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 CinecittĂ  Studios, California and the Castellana Caves in southern Italy.

UK VHS sleeve

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.

Cavers get killed after the alien organ-blobs somehow squirm out of the surrounding boulders...
Cavers get killed after the alien organ-blobs somehow squirm out of the surrounding boulders…

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 alien blob-bits are shown in close-up, so you never get a clear view of the whole thing
The alien blob-bits are shown in close-up, so you never get a clear view of the whole thing
Yes - another 'bit of an alien' seen in the cave
Yes – another ‘bit of an alien’ seen in close-up in the cave

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…

UK Blu-ray cover
UK Blu-ray cover

…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!

The dude's hanging upside down with the alien blob around his neck...
The dude is hanging upside down with the alien blob around his neck…
...and now his head has fallen off!
…and then his head drops off!
I don't think there was a shot of an eyeball within a boulder in the movie, but it's an interesting image, I guess
I don’t think there was a shot of an eyeball within a boulder in the movie, but it’s an interesting image, I guess

Finally, here are some German lobby cards…

German lobby card
German lobby card
German lobby card
German lobby card
German lobby card: severed head!
German lobby card: a severed head!

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