Thoughts I had while watching... Shocking Dark


I should be out celebrating Pride. Instead, I'm home sick. So, I decided to catch up on some horror movies I've been wanting to watch. I made a night of it, with an alien theme: Xtro, Killer Klowns from Outer Space and Shocking Dark. I'm about to start the final movie, so these are the thoughts I had while watching Shocking Dark. Please enjoy my descent into madness.

8:59 PM -- The movie opens in Venice, a peaceful city by the sea. Cuts to some time later, and Venice deserted. Something has happened. We know this because there's a sign that reads, "Off Limits."

9:00 PM -- Because this is an Italian film in the 80s, it goes by many different titles, depending on the territory. Most controversially, it’s known as Terminator 2 outside the US. In some territories, it's called Aliens 2. Italian films, man.

9:03 PM -- There are people in the sewers of Venice. They’re sending out an SOS. Someone get The Police.

9:05 PM -- There’s a gooey monster in the sewer. They’ve given up on SOSing. Everyone looks comically terrified. One of the men strangles another. I don’t know why.

9:06 PM -- There’s a “Lady Scientist,” as one of the military bros calls her. How progressive. There’s also a colonel. He works for the...Tubular Company? Is this a vision of the future? Private corporations will have a militarized army?

9:07 PM -- I may be expecting too much in terms of narrative coherency.

9:08 PM -- A badass Vasquez-like character is on screen. “Alright, you bunch of pussies, I’m back and I’m kicking ass.” It's not apparent what she's back from. But she's here and she's kicking ass. She’s instantly my favorite.


9:09 PM -- There’s a shirtless surfer dude, complete with blond wavy hair. Military standards must be lax in the future.

9:12 PM -- This is supposed to be a “sequel” to The Terminator. But it’s more Aliens-esqe.

9:15 PM -- One character just asked: “Does he want to get himself killed?” and Lady Scientist monotoned: “Maybe not.” Glad we settled that.

9:18 PM -- Bless companies like Severin Films, for making shit movies look fantastic. Who would have thought a movie like this, which apparently was never released in the US until now, would get a restoration to rival expensive re-released movies from that time period?

9:19 PM -- Bad Ass and Sufer Dude have found some cocooned victims. One’s alive. “Kill me,” he also monotones. Where have I heard that before?

9:21 PM -- My head is pounding. I missed Pride today because allergies suck. And my sinuses suck. That’s the only sucking going on today.

9:22 PM -- Except this movie. Hey-yo.

9:22 PM -- I'm sorry. I'm pretty fucked on sinus meds at the moment.

9:22 PM -- Even in shlock like this, a motion-detector can build suspense.

9:23 PM -- Lady Scientist looks like she could be Mila Jovovich’s sister.


9:25 PM -- I can’t get over these outfits. Are they rejects from Logan’s Run?

9:28 PM -- The Newt stand-in looks alternately like she's almost out of her teens and pre-teen at the same time. How is this possible. What is life. Am I hallucinating?

9:29 PM -- Really appreciating how well-directed Aliens was. James Cameron came from low-grade shlock. He worked with Roger Corman. And look what he was able to create. Somehow, I don't think this director had the same career path.

9:32 PM -- Oh. He directed Cruel Jaws. A Jaws rip-off. That was under a different name. Italian directors often directed under American-sounding names. His credits are full of box art showing half-naked women and low grade horror films. Shocking Dark might be the pinnacle of his career.

9:33 PM -- I'm sad now.

9:34 PM -- I’m only 34 minutes into this. I’m regretting my life choices.

9:34 PM -- Right now, I could be seeing Latrice Royale and Alexis Mateo at Pride. But no. 

9:35 PM -- ........I'm going to have to locate and watch Cruel Jaws, aren't I?  *Sigh*

9:35 PM -- Seriously. Why was this called Terminator 2? There’s nothing Terminator-y about this. This is literally Aliens.

9:40 PM -- I was once in a high school production of The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. The acting in that was better.

9:41 PM -- Now that I think of it...I don’t recall any actual musical numbers in The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. Why was it called that?

9:45 PM -- Oh. That’s right. The plot was people coming to a mansion to audition for a musical. And they were murdered. In 1940s. Guess the title is appropriate.


9:46 PM -- I played Dieter. He was the twin brother of Helsa, the maid. He murders Helsa and impersonates her. That was my first drag performance. I was a chubby kid and I remember the girl who played Helsa was insulted because we were supposed to be twins. Yeah. I felt slighted, too. She was kind of bitchy.

9:46 PM -- Oh. Yeah. The movie. A monster is slaughtering the military unit. It looks like an octopus monster. Or maybe a Cthulhu knockoff.

9:49 PM -- I just sneezed so hard that I think some brain matter exploded from my nose.

9:50 PM -- My head hurts. I hope it wasn’t an important parg of my blern.

9:51 PM -- Having allergies during Pride is homophobic.

9:52 PM -- Oh. One of the military members is secretly an android. Some of his lines are ripped directly from Bishop. But he doesn't seem as friendly.

9:52 PM -- My friends are group texting about the Drag Race finale. It’s distracting. Poor butterflies. I don’t know why Asia thought that was a good idea.

9:55 PM -- I’d rather be watching Aliens.

9:56 PM -- This was a mistake.

9:59 PM -- How many hours of my life have I wasted on bad horror movies?

10:00 PM -- Don’t be like me, kids.

10:01 PM -- Most Italian films from this time period have dubbing issues because they have a multi-national cast, some of who either can't speak English or don't speak it very well. So, to save time and money, they are typically overdubbed, sometimes by different actors, depending on the release territories. Shocking Dark doesn’t have these issues. So. That's a positive.


10:02 PM -- They called the android a Replicant. Now they’re shooting him. He’s indestructible. I'm waiting for him to say he'll be back.

10:03 PM -- I can’t get over the fact that the Weyland-Yutani rip-off company in this is called the Tubular Company.

10:09 PM -- I think if I was drunk or with a group of high and/or drunk friends, this would be a blast.

10:13 PM -- Lady Scientist just killed the “indestructible” Terminator with foam from a fire extinguisher. And I’m wondering what I’m doing with my life.

10:15 PM -- I’m rooting for the Party City Cthulhus.

10:16 PM -- 14 minutes left.

10:17 PM -- I hope someone actually reads this.

10:18 PM -- Descending into madness.

10:19 PM -- ……………….

10:20 PM -- Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'ley wgah-nagl fhtagn

10:22 PM -- WTF.

10:24 PM -- Well, that took a turn.

10:25 PM -- I guess the android's not dead.

10:26 PM -- This movie is illogical.

10:27 PM -- Am I really critiquing the logic of this?

10:29 PM -- Xtro was a better Alien rip-off.