20 user 40 critic

Shocking Dark (1989)

Terminator II (original title)
In a polluted future Venice researchers work to improve the situation. One day, unknown forces start killing them. A team of soldiers and a couple of civilians is sent to investigate. Soon, they encounter strange murderous creatures.


Bruno Mattei (as Vincent Dawn)


Claudio Fragasso (screenplay) (as Clayde Anderson)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Ahrens ... Samuel Fuller (as Cristofer Ahrens)
Haven Tyler ... Dr. Sara Drumbull
Geretta Geretta ... Koster (as Geretta Giancarlo Field)
Fausto Lombardi ... Lieutentant Franzini (as Tony Lombardo)
Mark Steinborn Mark Steinborn ... Captain Dalton Bond
Dominica Coulson ... Samantha Raphelson
Clive Riche ... Drake (as Clive Ricke)
Paul Norman Allen Paul Norman Allen ... Kowalsky
Cortland Reilly Cortland Reilly ... Caine
Richard Ross Richard Ross ... Price
Bruce McFarland Bruce McFarland ... Colonel Parson
Richard Berkeley Richard Berkeley ... First Scientist (as Richard Bercheley)
John Champion John Champion ... Second Scientist
Massimo Vanni ... First Soldier (as Alex McBride)
Elain Richmond Elain Richmond ... Speaker


In a polluted future Venice researchers work to improve the situation. One day, unknown forces start killing them. A team of soldiers and a couple of civilians is sent to investigate. Soon, they encounter strange murderous creatures.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

22 August 1990 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Aliens 2 See more »

Filming Locations:

Rome, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Flora Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Filmed in late 1988 - early 1989, and shown once at a French film festival in May 1989, but did not go into wide release until August 1990. This was released in many areas outside of the United States with the title "Terminator 2", a supposed "sequel" to James Cameron's The Terminator (1984), despite having nothing to do with Cameron's film. Due to rights issues, it has never been released in the United States with this title. See more »


[Last lines]
Dr. Sara Drumbull: We've got a lot of work to do, before it's too late for everyone.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the scene directly before the remaining team enter the Tubular Corporation Command Center, Sara says "Where is it, Fuller?" In the print found on the Japanese VHS, the line reads "Fuller, where is it?" - and the entire entrance of the cast into the hallway prior to that is slightly different, too, indicating that an alternative take was used for the Japanese version. See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Troll 2 (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Hasta la Vista, Baby! Oh wait, wrong film...
14 November 2009 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

I think it's hilarious that this movie is actually called "Terminator II"! This just shows how unscrupulous and shameless Italian exploitation directors were during the late 80's when unleashing their films upon unsuspecting cinema lovers! The real "Terminator II", with Arnie Schwarzenegger, was probably already in a much advanced stage of production around the time of this movie's release, but these guys didn't care and went ahead naming it "Terminator II" all around the world, except in the USA. I think it's even more hilarious that this "Terminator II" is basically more of blatant imitation of "Aliens", with just a bit of "Terminator" thrown in near the finale. The cast and crew probably thought something like: "Hey, if we're going to upset James Cameron, we better do it right and imitate two of his films at once". Maybe it's just my twisted mind, but all this epitomizes the methods of the Italian exploitation cinema during the late 80's. They went extremely far in ripping off Hollywood box office hits only just to drain the formula entirely and make the maximum of easy money out it. I love it.

To the avid fans of this kind of trash cinema, it really shouldn't come as much of a surprise that "Terminator II" was directed by Bruno Mattei; here under his favorite pseudonym Vincent Dawn. Mattei's life mission was to rip-off as much successful SF-horror classics as humanly possible and he literally continued to do so until his death a couple of years ago. Mattei often imitated one and the same movie several times, like John McTiernan's "Predator". Although I sadly haven't seen Mattei's entire repertoire just yet, I think it's safe to say that "Terminator II" ranks amongst his utmost bonkers achievements. The plot is a hodgepodge of borrowed ideas including slimy mutant monsters, corrupt global corporations, cyborgs, toxic cities, time-traveling and secret experiments. By the year 2000, the once beautiful city of Venice has become an uninhabitable wasteland. The water is heavily polluted and the entire city is covered by a thick toxic cloud. For some reason that must have escaped my attention, a specially trained troop of solider and scientists go back in assignment for the dubious Tubular Corporation. Samuel Fuller, representing the corporation, is clearly up to no good and one of the female scientists recovers an orphaned girl in an abandoned lab, exactly like Ellen Ripley found Newt in "Aliens", although unfortunately this girl isn't a mute. There's not the slightest bit of coherence or logic in the screenplay, but that doesn't matter too much, as clearly Bruno Mattei's sole intention was to copy the successful James Cameron flicks as much as possible. The stereotypical rough and tough soldiers are like exact clones of the characters in "Aliens" (like the loud-mouthed Bill Paxton, butch lady Jenette Goldstein and good Samaritan solider Michael Biehn) and multiple situations are even identical copies to the ones in "Aliens", like when the women are trapped in a sound proof laboratory with a monster and the villainous Fuller discretely turns off the safety cameras or when the remaining soldiers are counting down on their radar how fast the monsters are approaching.

"Termintor II" is great trashy and cheesy fun and comes warmly recommend, but of course only if you have a high tolerance for gratuitous Italian exploitation rubbish. And if you can find it, too, as the film is really quite obscure.

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