Alien from the Deep movie review

3 stars

Alien from the Deep
Actors: Daniel Bosch, Marina Giulia Cavalli, Robert Marius, 
Luciano Pigozzi, Charles Napier
Director: Antonio Margheriti AKA Anthony Dawson
Studio: One-7 Movies
DVD release: 8 March 2011
Runtime: 102 minutes (1 disc)
Format: Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, Full Screen, HiFi Sound, NTSC
DVD Features: In Italian and English; image gallery with stills,
lobby cards, box art; opening credits for the Italian version 
of the film

alien deepA hot babe, Jane (Marina Giulia Cavalli), and some guy named Bob (Daniel Bosch) who isn’t nearly as hot, are environmental activists roaming the jungle looking for do-badders. They find the evil ones in the green depths: E-Chem corporation is conspiring to dump toxic waste into an active volcano. Dumping toxic chemicals into a volcano is, in some sense (which one, though, is not at all clear) brilliant. After all, one thing real-world toxics producers want to do to get rid of their vile putrescences is incinerate them. So why not turn to Mother Nature’s Milk of Magma to settle a toxic stomach? But let’s overlook the logistics of building a complex waste-disposal facility in the bowels of a volcano and move right along to the snake milker.

The snake milker is, like all snake milkers, milking snakes for their venom. It’s a profitable business and the milkman maintains a laissez-faire attitude toward the toxics-dumping E-Chem folks who are, apparently, just a few steps away from his hangout in a crashed airplane-cum-bunker. If they’d had a couple tin cans and a piece of string they could have set up a jungle telephone system. But I digress.

After an initial run-in with the baddies under the volcano (it’s all very Malcom Lowery-ish), the luscious Jane bumps into the milkman and, um, his snakes. So there’s your love interest come a-bubbling up like boiling crude. (I’m mixing my hot-liquid metaphors, I know, but this is a low-budget review of a low-budget made-for-Italian-TV movie, so whadya ’spect?). Jane wants the milkman to help her rescue Bob, who is lost under the volcano.

All of this moves along at a fairly leisurely pace until the viewer is left wondering: is this a jungle conspiracy-romance thriller or a sci-fi monster movie? As Jane and the milkman enter the volcano, we move into the creature feature portion of our film.

Let’s face it: when it comes to planning for the disposal of toxic waste, what all managers must keep in mind is the possibility that some alien is going to find magma-incinerated toxins a real taste treat. And that’s exactly what we find in part two of this tiny epic: an alien monster! From the deep! Oh my god!

The alien monster is not, oddly enough, Silvio Berlusconi. I think the producers really blew a chance to make a ripped-from-the-headlines blockbuster, but this was the 1980s, after all, and back then Silvio was only, say, 90 percent of the monster he is today. It (the monster, I mean) is a cheap special effect, heavy sigh, more long black claw than anything else. I’m hoping that the release of this film on DVD will inspire Robert “Iron John” Bly to write a sequel to his famous poem about lonely guys: The Man in the Long Black Claw. Maybe not, you say? Well, mayhem ensues anyway. The bad guys are bad, but the Claw is badder and knocks pretty much everyone on his ass.

I don’t want to spoil the end (though, really, can there ever be any surprises in a movie like this? Isn’t it a fact that what we’re paying for here is the formula?), so will end the synopsis there. Know this, though: the transfer from Scotch tape (or whatever this film was so beautifully shot on by able cinematographer Fausto Zuccoli, perhaps better known for his work on the classic, and soon to be released on Blu-Ray, Zombie Holocaust) to DVD is good. The sound is good. The dubbing is good. It’s all good – especially if you are a fan of the very bad.

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