Alien 2: On Earth
Almost everybody has heard of the original Alien movie which starred Sigourney Weaver, her skimpy underpants and her incredibly annoying cat. The sci-fi horror is considered a classic for balancing scares with suspense in a way that many would imitate but few could hope to rival. Also, the alien chest-bursting scene is legendary and directly led to dozens of unfunny sketch comedy bits and Mad Magazine articles. Even the director, Ridley Scott, would go on to be nominated for Oscars three times, get knighted and make that really freaky 1984 Macintosh commercial. The point is, it’s a great flick. Which is why they went on to make three official sequels.The “Sequel”:
The official sequel to Alien, called Aliens, didn’t come for years after the original and even ended up going with James “My Ego is the King of the World” Cameron as the new director. In the meantime, sensing an opening, another group of Italian filmmakers pulled a fast one and came out with Alien 2: On Earth. The name makes it seem like a follow-up to the original, and even provides an interesting scenario: what if the evil corporation guy won and the Aliens came to our planet? After viewing what it’s actually about, the only way you could confuse this as a true sequel would be if you’d had the original related to you second hand from someone who’d only read the dust jacket in Braille with their feet. Yep.
In the original Alien, you had people isolated in space who were totally unprepared for the threat they had to deal with. The “sequel” is similar, in that there are people. This focuses a lot more on jumpsuits and inexplicable spelunking. Sometimes the monster-aliens burst out of them, sometimes they just make the people explode, sometimes mice jump on people’s crotches. If you’ve ever been to a traditional Italian wedding, you’d understand.
You may not be familiar with the movie Zombi, but you probably know it by its American release name: Dawn of the Dead. It was the second film about undead cannibals by George A. Romaro, creator of Night of the Living Dead. Dawn sorta picked up where Night left off, with a group of survivors hiding from the national pandemic in a shopping mall because, hey, churches are so 17th century.
Internationally, “Dawn of the Dead” went by the one word title “Zombi” and its popularity spawned a slew of rip-offs (a slew being the proper term for more than one rip-off). As a result, a number of Italian exploitation films came out to cash in on the zombie fever that was sweeping the world. Not a real fever, mind you. Anyway, to seem like it was affiliated with the popular Romero franchise, the Italian film called Zombie Flesheaters or Island of the Living Dead was re-titled Zombi 2. People throughout Europe were lead to believe it was the sequel to the higher profile first film. But unlike the previous titles on this list, nobody was disappointed.
Yeah. That was a zombie fighting a shark. And to make matters more awesome, it’s a real tiger shark and a real human being. Did you know people train tiger sharks? We assumed anyone with stones big enough to try would be too weighed down to swim. It turns out this supposed rip-off was directed by Italy’s own zombie master Lucio Fulci. It has as decent a storyline as one can expect and fantastic special effects, including a scene featuring a giant wood splinter getting acquainted with a woman’s eye in a way that ended up getting the film banned in some countries.
It was so awesome that this unofficial rip-off inspired numerous other films to unofficially rip it off. Unfortunately, none of these cinematic abortions would have the brilliance or scrotal-inverting effects of the originals. Did we mention Zombi 2 also has topless scuba divers? Because it does. You’re welcome.
- - Troll 2 (1990): http://www.geekforcefive.com/images/uploads/harry-potter_sorcerors-stone_mountain-troll.png http://www.weird-websites.info/Rocky-Horror-Lyrics-Pictures/images/Rocky-Horror-Picture-Show-sexy-cast-audience-pictures.jpg
- - Universal Soldiers (2007): http://www.impawards.com/1994/posters/timecop.jpg http://www.giftsandfreeadvice.com/free_advice/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/aliens_watching_tv_fantasy_picture.jpg
- - Open Water 2: Adrift: http://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/National-Wildlife/Animals/Archives/2003/~/media/Content/National%20Wildlife%20Magazine%20Layouts/2003/shark_diver.ashx?w=432&h=286&as=1
- - Alien 2: On Earth: http://www.follow-me-now.de/assets/images/Alien-4-2.jpg
- - Zombi 2: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3003/3004427112_b80252f83a.jpg