Deep Cuts #5: T2….by Bruno Mattei?

Arnold. Edward Furlong. Robert Patrick. Those amazing effects that still stand tall today. Amazing time traveling mind-bending plot points. All awesome. And yet, none of those are present here. Yes, it’s Terminator 2….aka Italian shit master Bruno Mattei’s Shocking Dark. Is it better than James Cameron’s film? Was it worth the wait, getting a US release in 2018, a full 28 years after it released in Italy? Let’s see. 

We pick up with Ripley and corporate Paul Reiser, who are going into Venice with the Megaforce to fight monsters and rescue hostages. You know, the basic plot of Terminator. These Megaforce soldiers are bad ass colonial marines, all macho and amped up to kill some pussy aliens. There’s also a black woman, who is the most macho minority in any action-horror film, all foul mouthed and angry and has the most bad ass gun of the group. This plot and its many characters feel very familiar, yet I can’t quite put my finger on it. 

“What the fuck did you think this was? A pleasure trip to Venice in a goddamn gondola?” 

There’s a fun scene where some random guy screams and everyone stands around holding their ears and hollering in pain, as if they’re at a Nickelback concert against their will. I thoroughly enjoyed it.  

Anyhoo, the Megaforce have these devices they hold that beep when there is movement close by. They use these devices to find people in cocoons hanging on the wall! One of the poor dudes in this cocoon begs to be killed and a monster arm erupts from his chest and attacks them! Déjà vu is so very strong in this movie. Does the plot sound familiar to anyone else? 

Then they find an almost feral little girl! All alone! Good thing Ripley has such motherly instincts, cuz the others? They mostly frighten her. Mostly. This is all such a Newt premise. Wait, that’s a typo. A NEW premise. My bad. 

Moving on. There’s important exposition happening. I must pay attention. They’re cyborgs that re-program life when they’re in the cocoon and make them into something new? What? So, the xenomorphs are actually robots? This just got way too complicated.  

The colonial marines are dwindling. They keep wandering around this underground sewer type location that looks more like a boiler room with their beeping gadgets. They holler on their comms and open and shut the same door a lot. They hide in a saferoom but they’re closing in! How? Are they…they’re not…. could they be in the room? So tense.  

Sidebar. Any wrestling fans here? Remember Big Van Vader? His long nose metal helmet thing he wore? Yep, that’s what these things look like. 

They open a few additional doors and their devices beep some more. Hicks takes a gut shot and Newt and Ripley take a nappy, only to get attacked. And oh, shit! Corporate Paul Reiser turns bad after he gets infected. He even turns off the security camera of them screaming! That cold cyborg bastard! 

I’ve lost the plot at this point. What are they looking for? Why are they seemingly in a school locker room now? More exposition, but I’m not paying attention. Just kick some robot xenomorph action, already!  

Somehow, the world will get infected if Paul Reiser blows up the aqueduct. Ripley and Newt only have 30 minutes to get out before they die, so they wander through lightning and strobe light effects to get to safety. Will they make it?  

If you want to know the ending, go find the film. No spoilers on a nearly 30-year-old film here! Honestly, I don’t know that I could explain the ending anyway. 

This could be one of the most exciting and unique horror films ever. It defies classification. Is it science fiction? Is it horror? Is it action? The marines are bad ass and incredibly testosterone filled. The cocoons are creepy. It feels like something James Cameron, HIMSELF, could have directed. 

Ok, the drugs wore off. This movie sucks. But in a fun “spot all the similarities between this and Aliens” kind of way. Play a drinking game: when the movie rips off Aliens, do a shot. You’ll be drunk 20 minutes in. 

5.5/10 Stab Wounds


About RetRo(n) 61 Articles
I like the 80s, slasher films, Italian directors, Evil Ed, Trash and Nancy, Ripley and Private First Class Hudson, retro crap but not SyFy crap, old school skin, Freddy and Savini, Spinell and Coscarelli, Andre Toulon, and last, but not least, Linda Blair.