.Gave this another whirl last night with the real Japanese tape instead of a DVD-R of said release. My previous negative thoughts mostly stand, this particular sci-fi/action ingredient thieving certainly isn't Mattei's finest hour. If anything, you're left wondering how in the world the financiers were convinced this would sell given its obvious likeness to Cameron's Aliens. We have Ripley and Newt clones in all their usual follies. Badass marines headed by a butch Geretta Geretta, dubbed the "Megaforce", in motorcycle helmets and flared shoulder pads. Melty monsters that look like the Humanoids from the Deep with a bad case of acid flesh. The Paul Reiser character revealing himself a tinfoil Terminator with one-track taunts about his poorly exhibited indestructibility. To its credit, the final twist does show a spark of last resort originality. My beef isn't with its lack of a brain, this is Bruno Mattei after all, but all these parts don't homogeneously come together like others in the filmmaker's merrily unoriginal forte.
Much like Mattei's final Hail Marys into the Italian horror abyss, Island of the Living Dead and Zombies: The Beginning, Mattei proves the familiarity of his country's genre forays doesn't change regardless of time. So Shocking Dark, despite my apathy, feels like could have been easily made a decade earlier which would have been quite the feat if attempted intentionally. That's what both blissed and doomed Mattei and his pasta lovin' brethren into obscurity. The actual tape's picture quality is much more bearable than the disc's shockingly dark playback. The Killians also assisted and this time managed to pull a few chuckles out of dialogue so cheesy the actors probably had to keep breath mints handy for the entire production. For the fact alone Bruno had the balls to call this Terminator II, it's hard to resist the temptation of seeing this one at least once.