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Shocking Dark (1989) - Blu-ray Review

4 beersVenice is now a dead city. No, I am not talking about “Vexit” or any other number of concerns that currently plague Italy’s beautiful city. I’m talking solely about director Bruno Mattei’s 1989 Italian science-fiction rip-off of two of the most awesomely awesome films James Cameron did: Aliens and Terminator. Shocking Dark exists to solely to make Cameron enthusiasts eyes bulge and, trust me, I am all for it.

Forget about Riply and Newt, my friends, you better get hip to Sara (Haven Tyler) and Samantha (Dominica Coulson) real quick-like in order to survive this blatant copycat. Or it will be you blubbering “game over, man” this time.   And, yes, that’s how obvious this low budget flick is - except we aren't in space.

"If you aren’t already laughing, then you are probably wasting your time with this release because schlockfests rarely get this gonzo."

Shocking Dark begins in Venice. There is an alien plague sweeping the city. Officials have closed the city. We know this because of the opening roadblock with paper signs indicating that Venice is closed. Guards pace a small stretch of the canal and a narrator warns us that all is not well with its inhabitants.  

Complete with hallway stalkings by an alien presence, a military-minded team that doesn’t get along, an evil corporation (called, hilariously enough, Tubular), and a girl survivor of a harrowing attack, Shocking Dark is EureoSleaze Entertainment that doesn’t even attempt to hide its cash-in intensions. And it is absolutely out of its skull as one group of soldiers must figure out what happened to everyone in the area of the alien attack.

Shocking Dark, with its English audio restored (thank you, Severin!), should sound familiar. Hell, this insane alien-infested popcorn muncher was even released overseas as Terminator 2. Kudos to Mattei to have the “coglionito” and do something so brazenly awesome. I mean, awful. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

But what about the aliens you ask? Well, these slimy mutants are built on the small scale. They are midget monsters with lots of slime and goo to compensate for their lack of visual appeal. Shot in close-ups to mask their size, they don’t look very intimidating. A Xenomorph could easily take them but there's none of that in this flick.

Shocking Dark (1989) - Blu-ray Review

Co-starring Geretta Geretta (Demons) and Tony Lombardo (Rats: Night of Terror), even the characters feel (and act) like those in Aliens. They even look alike. Seriously. That’s how blatant his film is with its cheapo-depot Aliens redux.

The actors are having a good day if they remember their lines and the set, looking as flimsy as a ribbon, is almost ready to collapse in on itself. If you aren’t already laughing, then you are probably wasting your time with this release because schlockfests rarely get this gonzo.   

Obviously, it never saw the light of day here in the United States. With slow pacing and a dead-end recreation of everything Aliens did as a straight-up action flick, it’s really no surprise. There’s far too much in common with this amazingly stooped StrikeForce and Aliens’ Colonial Marines.  

Thanks to Severin Films, Shocking Dark finds its way onto HD complete with a new 2K scan of the original 35mm negative. Finally, we can see those soccer shin guards the army wears on their elbows as protection with an unmatched clarity.

Let the screaming begin!


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Shocking Dark (1989) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
90 mins
: Bruno Mattei
Claudio Fragasso
Christopher Ahrens, Haven Tyler, Geretta Geretta
: Horror | Sci-fi
A film by Bruno Mattei.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Just what do you think you are going to do to me with that? It won't even scratch me."
Theatrical Distributor:

Official Site:
Release Date:

DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 29, 2018
Synopsis: A team of badass marines, a tough female civilian and an orphaned girl battle monsters beneath the Venice canals while being chased by an indestructible killer cyborg.


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Shocking Dark (1989) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Severin Films
Available on Blu-ray
- May 29, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0; Italian: Dolby Digital 2.0; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0; German: Dolby Digital 2.0; Mandarin: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Severin Films presents Shocking Dark on blu-ray for the very first time in the film’s history. It’s not pretty but that’s by design; the 2K scan brings out the grizzly details and the grays in the shoot with confidence. Shocking Dark, with a bold color palette, looks good and is charged with a solid presentation. Colors; however, do not pop like you might be expecting. Again, this is by design as the film looks to be shot naturally. Shadows are weak and so, too, are the black levels. The sound is presented in an English 2.0 mono DTS-HD track that is adequate for the release.



  • None

Special Features:

Fans of this flick get an Interview with Co-Screenwriters Claudio Fragasso and Rossella Drudi. There is also an interview with actress Geretta Geretta and alternate Italian titles.

  • Terminator in Venice
  • Once Upon A Time in Italy
  • Alternate Italian Titles


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Shocking Dark (1989) - Blu-ray Review