Saturday, August 15, 2015

Shocking Dark - 1989

Also known as Terminator II, Contaminators, and Alienators.

This movie part of a long line of Italian rip off films, which go hand in hand with all those Turkish films we've all hopefully heard of, like Turkish Star Wars, etc.  This one isn't Turkish obviously, but rather is by Italian cheapo director Bruno Mattei.  I saw my first Mattei film Rats: Night of Terror when I was in my teenage years, and I have always had a special place for it in my heart.  I was in the mood for complete trash so I turned this on the other day.

Originally it was titled Terminator II, as in, yes, a sequel to the Terminator film with Arnold Schwarzenegger directed by James Cameron.  Check the poster here:
Gee, I wonder what movie that is supposed to be?  Let me think about that one a while.

Obviously, it could not be released with that poster and title here in the US and wasn't, but I really wonder if, when it was released wherever it was with this poster, people went in and wondered WTF happened with the Terminator franchise.  Cause you see, despite being caller Terminator II, and the obvious rip off there, the plot is actually a complete rip off/copy cat of Aliens.  So, you have a Terminator II titled movie with the plot of Aliens.  Basically.

The surprising thing about this movie, though, is that it's not like the terrible trash you'd expect based on that previous paragraph.  It's not a great movie, definitely not, but it's also not bottom of the barrel trash.  It clearly had some sort of a budget, the actors aren't bad, even if they are dubbed, and being that the plot is a copy of Aliens, it's entertaining.  See, they really REALLY copied Aliens, and since Aliens is a great movie, this isn't that bad either.

The aliens themselves in this movie are not nearly as cool as the aliens in Aliens, but they are still interesting and neat looking.  And you could sort of see that maybe there were parts of the plot they did want to go on their own, or perhaps they forgot how Aliens went, and so it dawdles off on it's own for a little while.  All in all it's a really bizarre thing to watch if you're familiar with Aliens, being a big fan of Aliens myself I had a awesome time watching this weirdo rip off.

It's got some great moments, some truly offbeat moments, and sheer insanity at times, and that makes the movie easy to watch.  It's quickly paced, very atmospheric, and I can honestly say that it made me want to see more films by Bruno Mattei.  Since he has a plethora of awful/weird movies he's made I have a lot of options here.  I would definitely recommend this film for watchers of the obscure, for fans of Aliens, and just people in general.  I'd almost say that this is necessary viewing, in truth.  

I can't imagine what "legacy" this movie will have in the future, but being that Turkish Star Wars and Brazilian Star Wars and such are experiencing a resurgence (as is the Terminator franchise) maybe this movie will gain some more deserved notoriety.  Fortunately, this is available on YouTube, where I watched it (with Chinese subtitles too!).  Also, great movie for drinking, smoking, movie nights, riffing, etc.  I liked this shit!  What can I say?!  Five stars.

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