Tuesday, October 25, 2022

i am the claw

In tribute to Jodie Whittaker's final fling as Doctor Who* today's 31 Days of Horror also features a charisma-free blonde fighting a cheap and totally unrealistic monster in a volcano whilst pretending to care about the environment....


Alien From The Deep (1989).

Dir: Anthony M. Dawson (AKA Antonio Margheriti).

Cast:  Daniel Bosch, Marina Guilia Cavalli, Charles Napier, Luciano Pigozzi, Robert Marius and Don 'The Dragon' Wilson.

No really.

Bob: The danger is gone! The danger is OVER!!

Somewhere in a boating lake near the directors house, no nonsense environmental activist - and part-time underwear model -  Jane (Cavalli - imagine if you will Patricia Arquette drawn from memory but with way too much attention spent on her thighs) alongside her bleach-barnetted best bud and cameraman Lee (the late, great Marius from Warriors of the Apocalypse and Driving Force) are traveling to a remote island in order to expose the evil and decidedly environmentally unfriendly E-Chem company who they've discovered are dropping drums of toxic waste into a volcano for some reason never explained.

In charge of operations at E-Chem is the permanently angry, Budweiser supping (I'm sure there's a sponsorship deal going on) Colonel Kovacks (massive mouthed ginger prince Napier who was in everything from First Blood, to Silence of The Lambs via Austin Powers and your nans bed) who, when not accusing his security guards of not having any balls angrily threatens to cut the balls off any scientists who ever question him.

Seriously the entire film is testicle obsessed, even Jane keeps talking about how she has the biggest balls of anyone around.

Which in this day and age I'm not sure is deeply disturbing or stunning and brave.

Don't bother writing in to tell me which, I genuinely don't care.

"Aya....mah BCG!"

Anyway talking of testicles, the facilities chief scientist Dr. Geoff Geoffrey (genre whore Pigozzi, best known for skulking about in his pants in the classic Yor) warns Kovacks that all the shite that they're shoving into the volcano is sending plumes of radioactive energy into space and that there's a good chance that if aliens exist, one might turn up to fight them in order to get more/stop them releasing all the energy.

Or something.

Kovacks of course reckons he's talking shite.

Whilst all this science-based chat is going on, Jane and Lee have not only had a meal with the local vicar but also managed to break into the chemical facility and get enough video evidence to put Kovacks and co. in prison for a fairly long time.

Unfortunately the pair are spotted on camera and Lee is taken prisoner after hiding the videocassette behind a bin whilst Jane escapes by hiding under a dog blanket in the back of a helicopter before, in a scene that'd make the Bond stunt team shrug slightly (probably), jumping into a river and straight into the arms (sort of) of the slightly predatory (it was acceptable in the 80s) Bob (Bosch from Good morning Babilonia and Rossini! Rossini!), a bespectacled, shotgun wielding snake wrangler who lives in a caravan in the jungle. 

Seems legit.

No need.


After some flirty banter, a shower and a candle lit meal for two (plus a few cans of Budweiser of course) the pair make a plan to rescue Lee (and the tape) from the E-Chem facility which sounds dead exciting till you realise that the plan literally involves walking up to the front door, knocking the aforementioned front door and asking if they can have their friend back.

Surprisingly this works but unfortunately Kovacks has been pumping Lee full of 'the drugs' so he can't actually remember who he is, let alone where he left the tape so the pair grumpily drag him off to a nearby cave to recover.

Meanwhile back at E-Chem central Dr. Geoffrey is excitedly informing Kovacks that he was right about the aliens thing earlier as it appears that one may have landed in the pond outside the base the night before.

Obviously no-one saw it tho' because it was dark.


Being either really gullible or really bored Kovacks orders some divers to investigate but within minutes of hitting the water (and in a flurry of grainy, out of focus footage the unfortunate fellows bob to the surface having been melted by something in the water much to the chagrin of the poor bloke driving the boat who in a vain attempt to rescue them inadvertently hooks a huge great dildo instead which proceeds to fire stinky gunk all over his face causing him to lose control of the boat.

And no doubt his bladder.

Well, that's Nan's Christmas present sorted.


In an attempt to control the situation and not panic his staff Kovacks shoots the poor bugger in the face, causing the boat to crash into the dock and explode before helpfully calming Geoffrey's fear of an impending alien invasion/nuclear meltdown by explaining that “This is war and that’s something I know a lot about.”

I feel safer already.

"Not the face luv!"


Back at the cave, Jane and Bob have gone out to get some snacks leaving Lee to sleep off his drug hit, unfortunately his rest is disturbed by a huge plastic claw bursting out of the ground and covering him in even more green gunk that leaves him looking like a moldy half chewed Toffee, albeit one that screams and shits itself as Bob bravely attempts to shoot at the claw from a nearby rock.

Jane is fuck all help as she almost immediately trips over and sprains her ankle - the obvious extra weight from actually wearing trousers is just too much for her ickle fin legs.

You'll be amazed when I tell you that Bob's boomstick actually scares the creature away but both he and Jane are shocked when upon approaching Lee with a box of sticking plasters and a Lemsip he informs them that the goo is in fact mutating him and making him one with the creature or something.

This is almost completely forgotten and never mentioned again, especially by Lee who runs away and throws himself off a cliff.


With most of the running time over and the film lurching toward it's climax Bob and Jane decide to break back into E-Chem to steal back the tape whilst Dr. Geoffrey and Kovacks attempt to come up with a plan to stop the creature.

Oh and find the tape too.

It never rains...


"I can see your house from here Peter!"


Will Bob and Jane succeed in finding the video-cassette? 

Will Jane end up stripped to her big white Granny pants again?

Will Kovacks stop shouting?

Will Geoffrey invent a special flame thrower to absorb the hydrogen in the air and use it to try and suffocate the creature?

Or will the movie end up like a bizarre Bob The Builder/Aliens mash up as Jane attempts to run the beast over in a big yellow digger?


From Italian film god and Unwell favourite Antonio Margheriti comes a genre defying (or is that defiling?) mad monster mash (up) that takes it's cues from literally every other film he's made plus a few Hollywood hits to boot....it's Predator meets Aliens via the directors own The Last Hunter and Mission Stardust with members of the Yor cast (and bits of the set) throw in for good measure and from it's Thunderbirds inspired model work to it's utter ambition over budget giant alien reveal it's a fucking glorious thing to behold. 

And the fact that it's so enjoyable seeing as it was made at the arse-end of the whole Italian exploitation era somehow makes it better - a (ever so slightly) tarnished jewel in the crown of quality film-making from a bygone era where men were men, women wandered around in big pants and science types twitched their way thru' every scene.

Oh and very occasionally there'd be a wee bit of blatant misogyny but you can't have everything I guess and at least here it's confined to Marina Guilia Cavalli in her pants.

So swings and roundabouts really.

Marina Guilia Cavalli - Hotter than your Mum.

Acting wise everyone gives exactly what you'd expect but kudos to Don 'The Dragon' Wilson in a (very) early role as a scientist sporting THE greatest onion hair ever committed to celluloid  who also manages to hold his own against the alway fantastic Charles Napier who, if not chewing the scenery, at least entices it into the back of his car to give it a sexy nibble.

Recommendation factor: high!










*Taking of Doctor Who I was reminded of the fact that back in the late 80s Amicus stalwart Milton Subotsky attempted to make a third Doctor Who film entitled 'Doctor Who's Greatest Adventure' which was actually a repurposed script of a horror film entitled 'King Crab' - itself an attempted big screen adaptation of Guy N. Smith's 'Night of the Crabs'.....I like to think that this could have been it in some bizarro alternate universe.

Because I'm really sad obviously.

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