Ah, Venice! Canals...romance...gondolas...covert, underground, bio-genetics labs...the beauty that is Italy! 1989's "Shocking Dark" (aka "Terminator 2") is considered a complete rip-off of James Cameron's "Aliens." In fact Mr. Cameron was quoted as saying "...I'm so happy my film came out first, as the Italian version blows 'Aliens' away in every aspect." [CREATIVE EMBELLISHMENT] In fairness to the Bruno Mattei film, the last five minutes are slightly different than the second installment of the "Alien" franchise. Instead of taking place on a far-off planet, this film is set in Venice after toxic waste has killed the city.
The Tubular Corporation has set up a secret lab in the bowels of Venice after toxic waste spills. When the scientists in the lab are killed off by an unknown force (monsters), the evil company sends a team of marines in to find out what happened. Accompanying the doomed squad is Sara (Haven Tyler), a genetic scientist, and Fuller (Christopher Aherns), a corporate hack, who merely seeks to preserve the firm's interests. Once in the facility, the soldiers are under instant attack from slimy monsters, and some of them are carried off and put in slimy cocoon things. Hark! A survivor! Samantha, a little girl, and daughter of a scientist, has been living in the ruins of the lab since the initial attack. Sara adopts, as a duty, the task of caring for Samantha. As the marines continue to fall to the slime creatures, Sara discovers the fiends are former humans who have undergone horrific gene alteration by the Tubular Corporation.
After Sara's discovery, Fuller attempts to eliminate her and Samantha. First, he dumps a creature into the room the girls are resting in, and shuts off the monitor. Of course, Sara is able to fight off the things long enough for the remaining marines to come to the rescue. Now Fuller is in all out war with the marines too, and because he is not your average human, the odds are in Fuller's favor. You can guess the remaining aspects of the plot, especially if you have seen "Aliens." The creatures are slimy and scary, and the soldiers are cliche...including the tough, ethnic chick marine.
Is Bruno Mattei attempting to deliver a metaphor for nature reclaiming our structural achievements? Was "Shocking Dark" a response to a population's demand for more elaboration to some unanswered questions from Mr. Cameron's "Aliens"? Don't be offended that Italy came out with a plagiarized version of an "Alien" movie....rather be thankful they decided to plagiarize "Aliens" and not "Ordinary People." This film is available in good quality on YouTube.