Claudio Fragasso has written films such as Monster Dog with Alice Cooper and the infamous Troll 2 (that actually did not contain any trolls and had no relation to the first Troll film except for the name). Claudio’s Terminator 2: Shocking Dark is no different than his other works. Claudio specializes in budget movies that are sometimes barely related to larger movies and movies that do not intend to be a summer blockbuster in any country.
Terminator 2: Shocking Dark came out before the official Terminator 2 sequel: Judgment Day, and its only tie to the franchise is one of its titles and a loose plot connection. Yeah, you read that right, one of its titles. Terminator 2: Shocking Dark is also known by Alienators, Aliens 2, and simply Shocking Dark. While the cover of the film and the title tie it to the Terminator films, an actual viewing of it will have you only thinking of a bootleg Aliens movie with a tinge of Terminator.
Terminator 2: Shocking Dark takes place in a version of Venice, Italy that has been evacuated due to high pollution and has scientists working on improving the city. The film starts out with three of the soldiers viewing security footage that captured three men running towards the camera yelling for help and then gets cut off. We then see two of the men get attacked by a creature of some sort.
Back at the base, we see the three soldiers joined by a Captain Bond and a scientist by the name of Sarah Drumbill watching a video of Dr. Raphelson speaking about how people are turning into monsters and one of his assistants is going crazy. Before he is able to expand on the situation, the tape gets cut off and ends. Naturally Captain Bond and Sarah are ordered to go on a rescue mission along with another guy named Samuel Fuller to retrieve Dr. Raphelson’s diary and figure out what happened. A team of soldiers dubbed the Megaforce is formed to aid Bond, Drumbill, and Fuller on their mission.
Megaforce is comprised of five soldiers by the name of Koster, Caine, Price, Franzini, and Kowalsky.
Seriously, how great of a name is Megaforce?!?
At one point after entering the area, Price goes missing and minutes later they find him stuck on a wall covered in goo begging the soldiers to just kill him. While Koster and Caine stand there confused, something bursts from Price’s chest and grabs onto Koster. Sound familiar yet? After they effectively kill Price and the chest burster, they continue exploring until Sarah’s gadget starts beeping warning that life-forms are closing in. Sound familiar now?
After the crew retreat to a different zone while still being followed, they find a little girl by the name of Samantha. A little while later, the creatures come out of the shadows, kill Caine, and toss Koster to the side. Samuel Fuller examines a microscope and goes on how there are creatures who take over humans to give life to larger creatures and explains it to the crew as if the virus is a floppy drives and the humans are computers. While the analogy makes some sense, I don’t think floppy drives contain viruses that burst from computers.
At this point we find out Samantha is Dr. Raphelson’s daughter and she said it was suspected that the Tubular Corporation sponsoring everything was behind creating these monsters. Cue Fuller leering at her as the power goes out. At this point the mission is directed at the Tubular Corporation HQ to find out what’s going on. While on the way, several creatures attack and the remaining team gets away.
Once at the HQ, they come across a video that spills the beans about the Tubular Corporation releasing a virus into the city and that since it’s been revealed, Fuller must set the self-destruct sequence to cover everything up. As the remaining Megaforce try to stop him, they find out why the Terminator name was attached to the film. Fuller takes no damage by the bullets hitting him and takes care of the soldiers leaving just Sarah and Samantha to run away. The two of them stumble in a time machine. Hmmmm. They travel into the future and escape right before the self-destruct sequence hits 0. But surprise! There was a second time machine that Fuller uses to meet them in the future to finish it all.
Shocking Dark is a film better off tied to the Aliens franchise instead of the Terminator franchise. Throughout the film we see shot for shot scenes from Aliens such as the chest bursters, the dialog, the aliens themselves kind of resembling the Xenomorphs, a Corporation behind it all, and an android sent on the mission to assure all goes well. Considering the only things taken from Terminator is the cyborg that is revealed in the last little bit of the film, a time machine, and a main character with the name Sarah, Shocking Dark should also be titled Shockingly Not Terminator. When it comes down to it, this film is better suited for Alien fans as a low budget Italian sequel that is good for laughs. I read nothing about this film before going into it and assumed it would be more Terminator action goodness but instead I became confused by a rip-off Aliens film that made me wonder if I was at the right screen. Go into this knowing what you’re getting into.