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Alien From The Abyss (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • Alien From The Abyss (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review

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    Released by: Severin Films
    Released on: June 27th, 2023.
    Director: Antonio Margheriti
    Cast: Marina Giulia Cavalli, Daniel Bosch, Robert Marius, Charles Napier, Luciano Pigozzi
    Year: 1989
    Purchase From Amazon

    Alien From The Abyss – Movie Review:

    Also known as Alien From The Deep (which is the title seen on the elements used for this presentation), Antonio Margheriti’s 1989 film, Alien From The Abyss, opens on a boat where a Greenpeace affiliated investigative journalist named Jane (Marina Giulia Cavalli) and her cameraman Lee (Robert Marius) are being taxied to a remote island owned by a sinister corporation called E-Chem. When one of the company’s helicopters circles the boat and opens fire, the captain and his crew decide to sell Jane and Lee a crummy dingy for a thousand dollars and be on their way.

    Soon enough, our intrepid reporters have made their way to the island and are skulking about E-Chem’s massive compound, shooting footage that they intend to use to prove that the company is dumping toxic waste straight into the heart of an active volcano! They soon set off the compound’s security systems, setting Colonel Kovacks (Charles Napier) and his men on their trail. Lee stashes the tape on a ledge inside the compound, and they split into the jungle nearby. Lee gets captured but Jane makes a dash for it, running into a snake-milking scientist named Bob (Daniel Bosch) who saves her from Kovacks’ men and a bunch of deadly cobras.

    After wining and dining her in the abandoned school bus that is his base of operations, they decide to head back into the compound to save Lee and get the tape that they need, unaware that E-Chem’s underwater activity is going to free some sort of wacky alien with claw arms and green acid blood that will then wreak havoc on the compound and anyone who gets in its way. Thankfully, Jane and Bob make fast friends with a fuzzy E-Chem scientist named Geoffrey (Luciano Pigozzi) who everyone calls ‘Joff-frey’ who just might be able to help them!

    The cover art for Alien From The Deep might lead you to believe that this is one of the many Italian Alien/Aliens rip offs made during the eighties, and to a certain extent that'd be true, but this one throws in some jungle scenes, lots of snakes, and a snarling Charles Napier to make for an altogether different sort of movie.

    Produced by frequent Bruno Mattei collaborator Franco Gaudenzi, Alien From The Deep is cheap Italian crap of the highest order but I'll be damned if it isn't a whole lot of fun. Margheriti's penchant for exploding miniatures and models is in full swing here and his knack for shooting reasonably exciting action scenes is put to good use, even if said scenes don't make much sense and aren't at all necessary to the plot. The final reveal of the monster is a good one, and if our titular critter borrows a little bit from Giger's designs for Ridley Scott, so be it - at least he's got a gigantic claw to set him apart. The movie isn't particularly gory but it does have some awesome scenes where snakes somehow take down a small army of guys with M-16s and frequent use of the word 'balls' scattered throughout (seriously, take a drink any time anyone says 'BALLS' in this movie - you might not get hammered but you'll catch a good buzz and that counts for a lot). Throw in a lot of helicopters, a jive talking black dude who sells Lee a dingy for a thousand bucks, flamethrowers, and lots of caves and you've got yourself one hell of a film, even if it doesn't really seem to have any aliens in it per se – we never really learn if this thing came from space of it is has just been hanging out in a lake for a long time - nor does it take place in an abyss.

    If you've made it this far and are proud to own films like Contamination, Mutant or Alien Prey then it's probably a pretty safe bet that this one will be up your alley. Don't take it too seriously and drink/smoke your way through it and there's no way you won't have a good time with this irredeemable piece of Eurotrash nonsense.

    Alien From The Abyss – Blu-ray Review:

    Taken from a brand new 4k scan of the original 35mm negative and presented in AVC encoded 1080p high definition on a 50GB disc framed at 1.33.1 widescreen, Alien From The Abyss looks very strong on Blu-ray. Aside from some barely visible vertical scratches noticeable in the last twenty minutes or so, the image is shockingly clean. Colors look excellent and we get very strong detail in pretty much every frame of the movie. Skin tones look nice and lifelike and there are no issues with any compression artifacts to note. There’s good depth and texture on display and all in all, the picture quality here is top notch.

    Audio options are offered in 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Mono in both English and Italian language options. There are subtitles for the Italian track and an English SDH option for the English track. Both options sound pretty decent, with the English dub getting the nod for being just a little bit goofier (and including Charles Napier’s real voice) and therefore more entertaining than the Italian track. Either way, they’re both properly balanced, clean, clear and sound fine.

    Extras start off with From The Center Of The Earth, an interview with Edoardo Margheriti running thirteen minutes. He talks about how he was making one of the Black Cobra movies when his father was making Alien From The Abyss, though both of them were shooting in The Philippines around the same time. He recalls seeing the monster effects being made and discusses some of the problems that his father had getting the movie made. He also talks about some of the effects issues that he ran into, memories of the cast members, his father's disappointment in how the monster effects turned out, how his father was fairly forward thinking in some of his writing, the stop motion effects used in the movie and his thoughts on this and other sci-fi movies that his father made.

    The Outsider: Il Cinema Di Antonio Margheriti is a sixty-two minute documentary by Edoardo Margheriti that serves as a tribute to his late father’s life and times. He speaks here about why Antonio Margheriti was a bit of an outsider in Italian cinema before then going on to detail his family life and upbringing. He then speaks about how he connected with Titanus and how his career in film started to take off once he started writing screen plays. We then learn how he got into directing and some of the early sci-fi movies that he had a hand in, how and why he took the Anthony Dawson alias for some of his work, memories of shooting specific scenes, what the man was like to work with, his fondness of comic books, the complexity of some of the model work he brought into his movies, his gothic horror films and his spaghetti western work, cashing in on the success of Raiders Of The Lost Ark and then the later days of his career. The documentary features interviews with producer Turi Vasile, filmmakers Luigi Cozzi and William Lustig, actors Franco Nero, John Steiner, Frank Pesce, Barbara Bouchet and Corinne Clery, writer Ernesto Gastaldi, critics Steve Della Casa and Mike Malloy and qutie a few others as well as some archival clips from Antonio Margheriti and plenty of insight from Edoardo Margheriti. It's quite well-made and interesting, and also very thorough.

    Son Of The Outsider is a second interview with Edoardo Margheriti that goes over how he wanted to honor his memory after he passed away in 2002. He then goes on to talk about building a website to detail his father's work and then going on to make this documentary. He talks about putting together the different interviews with people who knew and worked with his father, some of the challenges he ran into on the project, why he wanted to tell his father's story and more.

    The disc also includes a trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection options.

    Alien From The Abyss - The Final Word:

    Alien From The Abyss is awful… awfully entertaining that is! It doesn't make a whole lot of sense but where else are you going to see a pretty blonde in mom jeans team up with a snake squeezer named Bob to fight Charles Napier and a giant crab-robot-monster thing? Throw in some of those exploding miniatures that Margheriti is known for, frequent use of the word 'balls' and some side-boob action and you can see how this one comes up a winner. Severin’s Blu-ray is a winner, presenting the film in a really nice presentation and with some great extras as well. Recommended to those who know what they are getting into!


    Click on the images below, or right click and open in a new window, for full sized Alien From The Abyss Blu-ray screen caps!

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