Okay! Let’s open up with a “normal person” statement. Alien = good. Alien 2 = bad. That’s very simple. Let’s stick with that for now. Alien 2: On Earth?! Holy Morpheus, what’s that?! I thought the second Alien movie was called Aliens! And it definitely wasn’t released just one year after the first Alien! Ah, my friend…what a lovely life you live. I wish I could be as you, living and dreaming, and rocking and rolling beyond the influence of this film. Things would be better. Unfortunately, my dreams of such existence are foiled by the fact that I have indeed seen Alien 2: On Earth.
Italy, what did I ever do to you?! I’m serious, what?! I know I don’t like giallo films because they’re so boring, but seriously…argh. Should I be blaming Ridley Scott for making the first Alien? Or do I only have myself to blame, for going down this path to begin with?
Okay, so, a stock footage rocket splashes down in what is probably the Mediterranean. We get a news report that talks about this alongside a report about a newly discovered cave three hundred miles from the coast. After this, we see a group of spelunkers head towards the cave, stopping at a bowling alley and a bar along the way. The bowling alley has a black guy with oversized headphones. The bar is covered in weird brown photographs, and looks like it smells like a bait shop.
Following this, our fearless heroes descend into the cave. Much to my regret—and the movie has really just started, literally—this is where things get bad. We have already been exposed to endless stock footage, endless driving scenes, and endless talking scenes; the only breaks have been when a character has taken a piss, and when a girl on the beach has had her face bitten off by something. Still, the endless spelunking scenes swiftly become unbearable. We see people climb up, we see people climb down, with all the happy mediums in between—some tits get flashed, we see a guy type some stuff up on a typewriter by candlelight, and we see some people completely fail to understand how a Polaroid photo works. Aside from—up, and down, up, and down…
We haven’t even reached the worst part yet.
So, eventually (eventually), yeah, there are these rocks which were presumably brought down by the rocket at the beginning which ended up in the cave; these have facehuggers inside, which proceed to impregnate one of the women. As the group attempts to give her medical attention, and then change courses to bring her back up to the surface, we get our own version of the chestburster scene. And this, my friends, is the worst scene in this movie.
You see, there’s this guy up on top of a cliff (I’m not bothering with names, in case you haven’t noticed) helping with the medical work. The girl is behind him, lying unconscious and he turns to face away from her. Then, we begin to pan across the lying form of her body. And we pan. And we pan. And pan. And we pan for five minutes, I am NOT joking, five goddamn minutes, across this woman’s body. Provided, we do get to see one of the aliens burst out of her face, but at the same time—she is probably about six feet tall. That means we are moving less than a foot per minute. In cinema, even when going for suspense (which this scene fails at miserably), this is unacceptable.
There is one saving grace, though. The alien that is birthed from the woman bites at the unfortunate man’s neck. He gets tangled in his ropes and falls over the cliff, dangling. Then, slowly, his head falls off. And, it is hilarious. Still, though, my point has been made, and I don’t expect that this will make up for that aforementioned panning scene. We also do get a scene which is probably trying to be cool (if only as an apology to the audience) where the main female lead psychically mind-melds with a man who is apparently possessed by the alien. Head explosions result, which is also good, but still…
Slowly, more and more of the group get killed, and two people make it back to the surface. They run to the bar, but find it is mysteriously empty. Then they go to the bowling alley, which is also empty except for the alien—a throbbing, very little-seen mess of red blorpy tissues—which kills the man. The girl runs off, but finds that the entire city, and indeed the entire Earth, may be dead! And what is worse says the final credit, “You may be next!” Can we say, “No”?
Alien 2: On Earth is the single most boring movie I’ve ever had the misfortune of getting my hopes up for in my life. Fortunately, it is still not the worst movie I’ve ever seen. That is something that I will still have to find, thank Thanatos. But it is still a “major stinker”, to take a “normal” phrase. And as such, please never watch it. Ever. “Or you may be next!”