- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
- Subtitles: N/A
- Rating: Not Rated
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Midnight Legacy
- Blu-ray Release Date: March 22, 2011
- List Price: $29.95
Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures
(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
This Italian horror cult classic was meant as a sequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien, long before the official sequel by James Cameron hit theatres. Alien 2 on Earth or Alien 2 Sulla Terra went on to become a cult classic on VHS, but it was never available in its original theatrical form on home video and never officially available in the United States at all – until now.
After years of obscurity, Midnight Legacy have launched their label with this long lost “sequel” to the sci-fi classic. But anyone familiar with Alien who may be interested in checking this out shouldn’t go into Alien 2 on Earth expecting the same big budget Hollywood production. This is B-movie horror all the way. That’s not to say it doesn’t have certain things in common with its namesake. There’s lots of gore, suspense, aliens exploding from people’s bodies and, for a low budget film, it’s actually pretty well filmed.
Alien 2 on Earth brings the creepy creatures down to Earth as a group of cave explorers are trapped in a cavern with rocks that turn into flesh-eating aliens bent on wiping out all of humanity – one meal at a time.
Watching this Blu-ray for this review was the first time I’ve ever seen Alien 2 on Earth, and I have to admit, the first film that it brought to mind for me was not Alien, but, rather, a horror film from a few years ago and one of the early Blu-ray releases, The Descent, which had a similar theme. If you enjoyed The Descent, you’ll probably enjoy Alien 2 on Earth as well.
This long lost cult classic has supposedly undergone an extensive process of research to find original negatives and restoration to restore this film to something worth watching in high definition today. The results show in an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p transfer that is surprisingly free of major source damage issues that hamper viewing pleasure. The color reproduction is quite vibrant, flesh tones are natural, and black levels are astoundingly obsidian and even, with good shadow detail in the extended dark underground scenes. Grain levels are strong, but they remain consistent throughout the film and offer a film-like appearance.
The original sound design is surprisingly good and realistic, with an ambient sound, clear dialogue, and dynamic sound effects in the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 monaural soundtrack. Although lots of work has obviously been put into cleaning up the sound, there is still a lot of crackle, many audible pops from the source, and often very loud hiss.
They haven’t gone out of their way to load this release up with supplements, providing only a Dutch VHS trailer in standard definition and some special effects outtakes in high definition. There could have been some interviews or even an audio commentary, but, alas, the opportunity was missed, probably to keep costs down.:
- Dutch VHS Trailer (1.33:1; 480i/60; DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0)
- Special Effects Outtakes (1.85:1; 1080p/24; DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; 0:11.27)
The Definitive Word
Horror buffs will definitely want to pick up this solid Blu-ray release of what was, until now, a hard to find cult classic. This is a limited edition, so, it will probably slip back into obscurity, at least for little while. Recommended.
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