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Within the Rock Reviews

Although professionally done on every level, this entry in the endless string of ALIEN (1979) knockoffs contains little to set itself apart. In the year 2017, a renegade moon called Galileo's Child threatens to impact with the Earth. Scientist Dana Shaw (Caroline Barclay) develops a plan to tunnel into the moon and plant explosives that will redirect its course. While drilling through the rock, her group of deep space miners comes across a platinum chamber and a strange fossil. Team leader Ryan (Xander Berkeley) threatens the already delayed schedule by insisting on recovering all the platinum. Meanwhile, the fossil comes to life as a humanoid monster that starts slaughtering the workers. The only survivors, Dr. Shaw, Cody (Bradford Tatum) and Archer (Michael Zelniker), attempt to destroy the monster. Ryan, thought to have been killed by the creature, reappears and tries to stop them, but is killed by the monster himself. The others then drill the monster to death, plant what explosives they can, and flee Galileo's Child; from an escape craft, they see that their efforts have successfully altered its course. By this point, there is little to say about WITHIN THE ROCK that can't be said of the dozens of other low-budget ALIEN imitations, except that it's slightly better than some of them and has a personable cast of potential victims. First-time writer-director Gary J. Tunnicliffe, a makeup effects veteran (the HELLRAISER films, among others), clearly devoted as much attention to his characters as to his monster, and works in some diverting details. But the general story development is all too predictable, and the action and horror setpieces have a perfunctory feel. Given the movie's cable-friendly restraint, it's not surprising that this production debuted on the Sci-Fi Channel. (Graphic violence, profanity.)