(1980 / Italy)
Reviewed By: Fred Anderson Director: Ciro Ippolito Cast: Belinda Mayne, Michele Soavi, Mark Bodin. Source: VTC UK (PAL VHS 1983)
You know guy, I love The Descent. It's not overhyped, it's a really good monster-in-a-cave-movie. And there's not much to offer in this sub-genre. I've owned What Waits Below for almost ten years now and hasn't been interested in seeing. And I haven't even bothered to see The Cave. So what am I gonna see then? Well, we have to go back to 1980 to see the best cave-movie until The Descent: Alien 2: Sulla Terra!
After ten minutes of stock footage of space shuttles landing we're finally of to some useless and boring scenes of characters walking in and out of rooms, driving cars, using the bathroom just talking stupid things. Perfect beginning. Mixed to this is some really nice and atmospheric (and gory) scenes at a beach, and then we're of into the REAL story!
A group of cave explorers is gonna examine a cave outside San Diego. Among them are a young and nervous-looking (as usual) Michele Soavi, who also takes a leak and finds the alien rock before they arrives to the cave. Down there they starts to explore the cool-looking enviroments and finally one of the girls is getting attacked by the rock and falls down a shaft. The climb down to rescue here and now the fun begins.
One of the guys takes her up on a stretcher and something bursts out of her head and rips the guys head of! Very gory! The head falls down and scares the shit out of the others and they're stuck down there together with an alien rock (with something in it of course, and it's getting bigger!) and some really stupid dialog! One after one the gang get's killed in gory ways by the alien and it's up to the final girl to rescue and world... well... she's not really lucky with that and the movie ends with the text "You can be next!"
It's easy to mock a movie like Alien 2: Sulla Terra, but people like me that belives that Contamination, Nightmare City and Atlantis Interceptors are the best movies ever made will get really happy with Alien 2. First of all, IT IS better than Camerons Aliens. So for me this is the only real sequel to Alien. It's quite silly, but it's a lot more entertaining. The dialog is among the most stupid I've ever heard. It's even worse than Battlefield Earth. But I can cope with that. The stock footage is very inappropriate and is just there to lengthen the movie.
But the rest. Wow. Dark, dripping, scary looking caves... gore galore... Michele Soavi. The effects is kinda good actually. I've seen worse. The two head-crushing scenes in the beginning is fab, and later on there's also a lovely head-explosion. I love when you get to see the monster in exploitation movies, but in this movie they probably didn't have the budget for that and that helps the eerieness of the story. Something is moving in the dark and we only see it thru a point of view. But it's big, have tentacles and a big mouth (with eyes in it?) and can also hide inside people. Can't be better than that.
The music by Oliver Onions is really good. Sometimes it's like from a western. Sometimes it's just soft-country. And sometimes strange electronic sounds. Perfect for the party. Has this music been released on vinyl or cd?
It's just silly funny crap. But it's great and masterful crap. Believe it or not.
STORY/FILM-4/5 BITCH SLAPS PICTURE-3/5 BITCH SLAPS AUDIO-3/5 BITCH SLAPS
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