Watch Shocking Dark
- 1 hr 29 min
In 1989, the Italian film industry saw the release of a science-fiction horror movie titled "Shocking Dark". Directed by Lamberto Bava and co-written by Dardano Sacchetti, the film was widely considered a shameless rip-off of James Cameron's "Aliens" and claimed its place on critics' most hated movies list. The plot of the movie revolves around a group of soldiers and scientists sent on a mission to investigate a mysterious signal from the underwater base, Terrestrial Seed.
The movie begins with an intense and action-packed sequence, where a group of soldiers enters the tunnel that leads to the Terrestrial Seed base. However, things quickly turn eerie when they encounter mysterious creatures lurking in the shadows. As the plot unfolds, the soldiers discover that the mutant species is a result of an experimental program aimed at developing a new super-race of humans that could survive in a post-apocalyptic world.
The film's protagonist, Lieutenant Franzini (Christopher Ahrens), finds himself leading a team of scientists and soldiers, including a tough-as-nails female soldier, Sarah Drumbull (Haven Tyler), and the feisty Geretta Geretta as Tilde, as they unravel the mysteries behind the Terrestrial Seed facility. Geretta's character Tilde is a particularly impressive performance, her sarcastic wit and snarky demeanor offer some much-needed levity amidst the grim and gloomy setting of the movie.
One of the most memorable aspects of "Shocking Dark" was its special effects, which were often heavily borrowed from James Cameron's "Aliens." From the weapons and armor to the set design and even some of the aliens' appearances, they all seemed like lazy knock-offs of the classic sci-fi movie. However, the film did have some redeeming qualities in its technical aspects, such as the lighting and sound design, which added to the creepy and claustrophobic atmosphere of the movie.
Despite its suspicious resemblance to "Aliens," "Shocking Dark" did try to differentiate itself from its predecessor by introducing some unique elements to the story. For example, the inclusion of a time traveling subplot added a layer of complexity to the narrative, as it offered some explanation for how the mutant species came to be in the first place. Though, this plot point, like many others in the film, tended to fall short due to poor execution and weak writing.
In terms of pacing, "Shocking Dark" was a mixed bag. The movie started with a bang and built up the tension fairly well at the beginning, but it quickly turned into a tedious slog. The movie's 90-minute runtime felt much longer due to the slow pacing, and while the film tried to maintain a sense of tension, it failed to sustain it consistently enough to keep the audience engaged.
One of the most notable aspects of "Shocking Dark" was its reputation as being one of the worst movies ever made. However, this notoriety has given the movie some degree of cult status, leading to its being featured as part of the popular "Mystery Science Theater 3000" comedy series. The film, while undoubtedly cheesy and derivative, has a certain charm to it, and the ridicule it has received over the years has only served to increase its infamy.
"Shocking Dark" may not be a cinematic masterpiece, but it certainly has some entertainment value for fans of cheesy '80s sci-fi flicks. The movie's shoddy production values, pacing issues, and unoriginal premise are outweighed somewhat by its campy charm and bizarre storyline. For those looking to indulge in some guilty pleasure viewing or simply to experience a movie that is so bad it's good, "Shocking Dark" is a worthy contender.
Shocking Dark is a 1981 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 29 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.3.