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Film / Shocking Dark

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Shocking Dark, originally titled Terminator II, is a 1989 Italian sci-fi/horror film directed by Bruno Mattei and starring Haven Tyler, Christopher Ahrens, and Geretta Geretta. Despite the fact that it purports to be a sequel to The Terminator, the two films are unrelated, and the actual plot has more in common with another James Cameron film, Aliens, to the point that it lifts whole sections of dialogue verbatim from the latter.

In the year 2000, the city of Venice has been polluted to the point where an evacuation has been forced, and a group of scientists are sent by the Tubular Corporation to investigate the cause. They are assisted by an elite team of commandos known as the Megaforce as they search a vast underground complex located beneath Venice's streets. As they venture through the complex, they are attacked by crazed humans and bio-mechanical monstrosities.


See Alien 2: On Earth for a similar Italian knockoff/unofficial sequel. For the actual sequel to The Terminator, see Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

This film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Sara Drumble. Considering she's an expy of Ellen Ripley, one of the most famous examples of the trope, this is not unexpected. Koster has her moments too.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Megaforce is admittedly a pretty awesome name for a private army.
  • Badass Army: Megaforce, a multi-national mercenary organization hired by the corporation to protect the research team and investigate the cause of the pollution that is slowly killing the city.
  • Body Horror: Those attacked by the monsters lurking in the bunker are forcibly mutated into biomechanical beings just like them.
  • Brown Note: Drake lets out an ear-piercing scream that knocks out the Megaforce personnel long enough to snatch one of them and run away with him.
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  • Cool Guns: The Megaforce commandos are all armed with Franchi SPAS-12 automatic shotguns.
  • Cyborg: Fuller turns out to be one.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Franzini doesn't speak much, but when he does he proves himself to be exceptionally sarcastic.
  • Evil, Inc.: It is eventually revealed that the Tubular Corporation intentionally dumped massive amounts of toxic waste into the Venetian canals in order to manipulate their real estate prices.
  • Expy: The majority of the characters are rather transparent rip-offs of those in the James Cameron film. Among them:
    • Sara Drumble is basically Ellen Ripley with Sarah Connor's first name, albeit spelled differently.
    • Samantha is Newt, to the point of sharing many of her lines of dialogue.
    • Koster is heavily modeled on both Sgt. Apone and Pvt. Vasquez.
    • Sam Fuller is pretty much Carter Burke, Ash, and Arnold Schwarzenegger's T-800 all rolled into one.
    • The Tubular Corporation appears to be a combination of Weyland-Yutani and Cyberdyne Systems, and its hostile, mutated biomechanical monsters are based heavily on the Xenomorphs.
    • Megaforce is effectively this film's version of the United States Colonial Marines, though they operate internationally and appear to be mercenaries rather than an actual military branch.
  • Ghost City: Venice has been cordoned off and evacuated a la Pripyat due to the dangerous amount of pollution in its waters. It later emerges that this was done deliberately to increase the Tubular Corporation's revenue in the real estate market.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Sara smashes Fuller's face with a broken wine bottle, exposing his internal circuitry.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In the process of intentionally polluting Venice, the Tubular Corporation's underground complex was overrun by their own creations, and the complex's employees were either killed or transformed into machines.
  • In Name Only: As mentioned above, the film has very little connection to the Terminator franchise beyond the title, cyborgs disguised as humans, the post-apocalyptic setting on Earth in the future, and time travel, and the actual plot has more in common with Aliens.
  • Laughing Mad: Paul Drake, the deranged, partially mutated Tubular Corporation scientist living in the tunnels underneath the city, is constantly breaking into fits of insane laughter in-between his hammy ravings.
  • Mama Bear: Seeing as Sara is essentially this film's version of Ripley, she becomes one of these to Samantha.
  • Mega-Corp: The Tubular Corporation is a mega-corporation based somewhere in Italy that is heavily involved with the arms trade and excels in the field of robotics and time travel in a similar fashion as Cyberdyne. However, the Tubular Corporation is considerably more malevolent than Cyberdyne, and their war machines are much more primitive.
  • The Mole: Fuller turns out to be a cybernetic infiltrator programmed to protect the company's secrets, and quickly begins killing off members of the team after they discover his true identity.
  • Mutants: The corporation's underground bunker is figuratively crawling with biomechanical monsters mutated by all the toxic chemicals in the water.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Koster exhibits signs of prejudice towards Italians, particularly Franzini, who in turn shows distaste in her for being black.
  • Polluted Wasteland: Venice has been so badly contaminated with toxic waste that the city's population has been forced to abandon it and move elsewhere. This was deliberately engineered by the corrupt Tubular Corporation in order to increase their profit margin.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: Once his little secret is out, Fuller sets the bunker to self-destruct within thirty minutes.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Token Minority: Koster is Megaforce's sole person of colour.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Inevitably seeing as she is this film's version of Vasquez, Koster is either forcibly mutated by the creatures or killed when Fuller sets the complex to self-destruct.
  • World of Ham: Most of the cast is prone to some serious over-acting.


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