Shocking Dark (1989)
2/10
Call Cameron's lawyers
7 April 2021
This film kind of has to be seen to be believed. First of all, I only found out about it because - quite coincidentally - two of my top films of all time happen to be James Cameron's 'Aliens' and 'Terminator 2: Judgement Day' and I heard that 'Shocking Dark' was released in between Cameron's two blockbusters, meaning they could title it 'Terminator 2' before the official sequel to 1984's 'The Terminator' came out.

Now, you may think that when 'Shocking Dark's' film-makers called it 'Terminator 2' it would be primarily about cyborgs from the future, or technology destroying humanity. However, for some reason - and don't ask me why - it's effectively the script from 1986's 'Aliens' acted out by first year drama students (oh and with a slight 'cyborg element' in the final act, just to - sort of - justify the title.

Now, I've watched 'Aliens' many times and parts of it are so memorable that I practically know most of the script myself. Therefore, it's more than a little weird and jarring for me to watch actors with little to no talent reenacting the scenes and dialogue with less enthusiasm than I could probably muster. It's like a group of film students were asked to remake 'Aliens' and had only their student grant money with which to finance it.

I really can't emphasize just how 'cheap-looking' this whole film is. Parts of the 'futuristic' space station complex look like a swimming pool's changing rooms and - I'm guessing - the film-makers only had the one camera with which to film with, as there is seldom more than one angle per scene. None of the actors can act. The marines are a joke. One of them is an android, but it's difficult to tell as they're all so emotionless. Perhaps the only person who can muster an emotion is the little girl who anyone who will have already seen 'Aliens' will know is the 'discount Newt character.' She has her mouth open at all times and screams continuously. Seriously, she's so annoying you'll want to feed her to the monsters after only a couple of scenes.

The monsters make 'Dr Who' baddies from the seventies look 'big budget' and you'll laugh at them, rather than be scared. There is really little here to recommend in terms of actually watching a decent film. The only reason you'd ever watch this is to wonder how and why it was ever made in the first place. I'm guessing it was some sort of tax right-off and how it was never shown to anyone who worked at 20th Century Fox I'll never know as surely they could have sued the film-makers of shocking dark for blatant copyright infringement.
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