Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 6, 2018


The alien goes after a pitiful victim
SPECIES (1995). Director: Roger Donaldson.

It appears that an intelligent alien species has been found and has been combined with human DNA, resulting in a hybrid that looks like a sweet young lady but is actually a very dangerous animal. Apparently scientists never realized that they were sent the alien DNA as part of the vanguard of an invasion force. The scientists, who have kept the "girl" -- Sil -- imprisoned in a sterile room-like cage for several years, decide to kill her, but she manages to break out. She metamorphoses into a beautiful adult female, then repeatedly tries to mate with -- but usually kills -- adult males and others who get in her way, such as one poor bar patron who has her spine pulled out in a ladies room. A team headed by Xavier Fitch (Ben Kingsley) and which includes black ops agent Preston Lennox (Michael Madsen of Kill Me Again), Dr. Parker (Marg Helgenberger of Mr. Brooks), and Dr. Arden (Alfred Molina), go out to try and find and trap Sil (Natasha Henstridge). In her mutated form Sil appears to be some kind of biomechanical creature a la Alien, which is not surprising as she was also designed by H. R. Giger. Species is fast-paced and entertaining, but it is also illogical and kind of schlocky, with few humanistic touches and acting that is okay but nothing more. One may be surprised by the  presence of Kingsley [A Sound of Thunder] and Molina [The Lodger] in this picture, but they can do little to improve it. Followed by several sequels. Roger Donaldson also directed The Bounty.

Verdict: Fun enough in a limited way, but nothing really special. **1/2.  

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