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I'm not sure who Luigi Cozzi is, but I am sure that he must be related to Ed Wood.
This movie was made in 1980, long after the special effects of "Plan 9 from Outer Space" should have been deep-sixed. The plot is very thin, the dialogue is embarrassing and the ending is both bad and predictable.
Having said all that, I had a great time watching it - it was on the El Rey channel which has become one of my guilty pleasure favorites. It's 90 minutes I will never get back but that's OK.
If you enjoy lame acting, poorly dubbed voices, cheesy 80's gore effects and an implausible plot, then this is the film for you.
Luigi Cozzi's stab at Alien isn't too bad, although he himself has stated that his is a better movie than Ippolito's film although I don't agree - sure the effects are slightly better, but there is only one effect in the entire movie - the chest exploding (or popping) that is repeated about a billion times in super-slow-motion. Alien 2 - On Earth was much more fun.
Anyway the narrative begins as an exact copy of Zombie Flesh Eaters with the appearance of an abandoned boat floating into New York Harbour. Even the dialogue is copied from that film - "The skipper of that boat must be a real turkey!". Not only do the Italians rip-off Hollywood movies, they rip each other off as well.
Predictably the police who investigate the boat stumble across the dead crew, who fall out of cupboards and look as if they have been ripped open from the inside! They then discover some strange egg like shapes, "Maybe they're avocados!" enthuses one policeman. However when they try to pick one up it explodes, showering the police in sticky goo. The goo leads to immediate imflammation of the belly and "pop!" they're guts fly out all over the place. Not a bad effect although if you look closely at one of the victims, he has suddenly become a foot wider (to make room for all those animal entrails).
The police captain escapes and helps Commander Stella Holmes (Louise Marleau) in the hunt to discover the origin of the eggs.
They visit Hubbard (Ian McCulloch), who was part of an expedition to Mars some years previous who was declared crazy after talking about seeing thousands of eggs there. Now living in alcoholic squalor he moans at Lt. Holmes before telling his story. Cue flashback of the expedition to a Martian cave and a terrible attempt at recreating the exact scene in Alien. The acting in this bit is truly atrocious as McCulloch delivers his lines "I looked at Hamilton - and he was, his eyes, he was beginning to....Hamilton.....HAMILTON!" Followed by a Daa Daaa DAAAAAAAA on the soundtrack. Truly the funniest part of the movie using that same useless Goblin soundtrack that for some reason everyone raves about - why? It's terrible!
Well it's not great and nowhere near as fun as "Alien 2 - On Earth" but it's better than the average trash movie. Starts well and finishes okay but it sags very badly in the middle which does make you want to nod off.
Bottom line: a film that is more entertaining than it should be, I rate it 3 because it's so bad it is worth watching. The best scene: the cave mouth on Mars. Hilarious!
Blue Underground DVD Extras: 'Alien Arrives on Earth' (an 18 minute documentary); a 23 minutes interview with Luigi Cozzi; theatrical trailer; poster & stills gallery; and conceptual drawings
DVD-ROM: Graphic novel
My Grade: B-
Graphic but largely pointless exercise in cinematic rip-off, with much plot development but little coherent execution. McCulloch has limited screen time in comparison with the film's actual stars, Louise Marleau as the sexy but probably frigid Colonel with responsibility for disarming the global threat, and Marino Mase as the Brooklyn detective whose initial discovery of the eggs rows him aboard the fatal mission. Familiar German actor Siegfried Rauch co-stars as McCulloch's former astronaut companion whose version of events of the mission to Mars, differs significantly from that of McCulloch raising suspicions about McCulloch's state of mind.
As aforesaid, it's graphic with more than a dozen slow-motion, gut-busters that send entrails into the atmosphere, while a grotesque cyclops beast also appears briefly to ingest its prey with a hideous trunk-like anatomy that should entertain those in search of gore. Goblin provides the electronica soundtrack (not as good as their Argento stuff in my opinion) and there's a couple of suspenseful moments in an otherwise unremarkable rip-off.
Arriving in New York, NYPD Lt. Tony Aris, (Marino Mase) is called in to investigate a strange, unmanned ship in New York Harbor. When the team finds the entire crew slaughtered and completely annihilated, and soon a strange shipment of coffee is identified as the cause of it. Security Office Colonel Stella Holmes, (Louise Marleau) is called in to officiate, and leading a second expedition uncovers millions of strange eggs lying in the bowels of the ship, which are removed and studied. Discovering that they're an alien species that has destroyed several civilizations before, they call upon astronauts Commander Ian Hubbard, (Ian McCullough) who has prior experience from a previous mission and are soon helped along with uncovering a plot to smuggle the eggs into the US through a coffee manufacturer and race to stop their plans to annihilated mankind.
The Good News: This is a rather fun and enjoyable Italian cheese-fest. One of the best things is the that the eggs are quite intriguing. When faced with some strange eggs that emit an eerie moaning noise and prove to burst when in proximity to a victim, showering them in some substance that causes the person to messily explode, a real sense of the danger they pose is immediately apparent and the gruesomeness of what's being done through them is where their danger and fear come from. This does it right and makes them all the better through this technique. There's also the fact that this one has a large amount of incredibly bloody and gory scenes that derive most of the film's pleasure from. This is the trick of having a victim's chest burst out when merely touched with the creature's slime. All it takes is a single touch and the victim is suddenly and violently exploded from inside, with guts and interior organs come spilling out and decorate the surroundings with the free-flowing blood. It happens to at least a half-dozen in here and are really a full-on blast to witness. The second half, with the move to the sunny tropics offers up more fun, namely the gorgeous scenery and the cheese level attained once the true plot has been found. It's great fun to be able to get all that action and cheese into the film, giving it some more sustained interest than otherwise possible with the way the story was going along. The film's ability to remain fun with the slowing pace are a great move, since it really keeps the interest level up through some fine action, tons of cheese and a great story, which are also part of the reasons why this movie remains so good.
The Bad News: This one here has a couple of minor flaws that hold it down. The make-up effects for the chest-bursting moments are pretty gruesome, although it's repeated once too often for the effect. They always happen in slow-motion for added impact and you can tell when they're coming, because one moment a character is a skinny as a rake and the next they have a huge padded chest ready to blow open. Another factor is that there's a slight spot in the middle where they bring on board the other astronaut to the solution, and it winds down a tad to incorporate this into the film. It slows down a finely-done pace up until that point and there's very little that can be done about it. The last problem is that the film has way too much of a rip-off feel to it. There's way too many scenes that can be found in here that come from other films and it taints the film to a small degree. Otherwise, this here is a rather fun Italian horror fare.
The Final Verdict: With a few minor flaws and just enough good points, this one here has a lot of good points to it. Highly recommended to fans of the Italian or European Horror scene, enjoy a cheese-fest every now and then or have a special affinity for these types of films, otherwise this one should be held with caution.
Rated UR/R: Graphic Violence and Language