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John’s Horror Corner: Alien 2: On Earth (1980), a gory Italian Alien (1979) knock-off about spelunkers and a confusing tentacle monster.

May 31, 2018

MY CALL: An aimless story in a B-movie populated by insignificant events, the occasional exploding head, and some gory tentacle attacks. MORE MOVIES LIKE Alien 2: On EarthFor more low budget Alien (1979) rip-offs, you should seek Contamination (1980; aka Alien Contamination), Galaxy of Terror (1981), Forbidden World (1982; aka Mutant), Inseminoid (1982), Creepazoids (1987), Blue Monkey (1987), Deep Space (1988), The Terror Within (1989) and The Rift (1990). If you need reinforcement to avoid spelunking as a hobby, try The Strangeness (1985), Mutilations (1986), Indigenous (2014) and The Descent (2005).

Honestly, I’d struggle to offer an informative plot synopsis other than “some spelunkers are attacked by ridiculous cave monsters with confusing biology.” This film’s story was completely incoherent and random like so much other Italian horror. IMDB offers a bit more: “A spaceship lands back on Earth after a failed mission, but the astronauts have been replaced by hideous creatures that can penetrate people’s bodies and make them explode. A group of cave explorers are attacked by the monsters inside an underground cave, but the survivors are in for a surprise when they finally manage to escape the trap…” Given the title Alien 2, it seems to imply that this all soooort of occurs after the events of Alien (1979)—which is the “part 1” predecessor of this film.

This film suffers from boring pacing for the first hour, but finds its more entertaining footing once the gore and creature is introduced. When we first meet our monster it’s in the form of a blue “something-or-other” and it apparently gorily removed a child’s face—we don’t see how this happens. It struck me as a pulsating blue rock that eats faces at this point.

Written and directed by Ciro Ippolito (as Sam Cromwell), this B-movie’s best attribute is its cavern sets. Despite idiotic dialogue and exposition, our characters wander a truly awesome subterranean scape which our alien monster made its lair. And what, again, is this monster? Well, as the film progresses we slowly learn more about this alien aberration, although we understand with no greater clarity its nature.

After infecting a member of our spelunking team with its “facehugger-like” stage, it then rips its way out of her face (like a chest burster). And although none of this really makes any sense, it’s a gory delight and it revels in what it accomplishes with its humble budget. My favorite part had to be the gore-slathered upside-down decapitation gag. Prime b-movie gore!

Spelunkers die, show their boobs, and run around stalagmites in a panic. During this journey we encounter yet another stage of our monster shaped like a big stalagmite with gory tentacle-like pseudopods that lash about and mutilate faces. Additionally, these monsters can mimic their victims to create infected pod-person-clone decoys much as we find in The Thing (1982) or Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978). So now I really have no idea how their biology works, but we also can now imagine the threat these beings pose to humanity should they escape this cave system and find their way to a city.

This odd rock monster actually reminds me of the weird flower monster in Blood Beach (1980).

This film works best when tentacles are lashing and no one is trying to move the story along. Whenever the plot does find development, it’s messy at best. So, watch this for what it is: a shameless Alien rip-off boasting fun gore.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. June 1, 2018 2:43 pm

    I got a cheap blu ray of this but haven’t watched it yet. Your review is more or less what I expect of this film.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      June 1, 2018 4:15 pm

      It’s basically what I expected as well. I’m a shameless fan of these old Alien rips.

  2. rdfranciswriter permalink
    February 13, 2022 8:19 pm

    I enjoy how you lead with the common films of gerne in each of your reviews: it reads as my youthful rental list of yore. Seen ’em all!!!

    • John Leavengood permalink
      February 14, 2022 7:31 pm

      Other reviewers’ “similar movies” lists are what direct me to most of my first-time watches. So I always try to dig deep with mine. 😉


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