Species movie series


Species begins with the premise that the information contained in Human DNA is packagable in a few kilobytes, transmittable as a radio signal, and "reprogrammable" by an alien civilisation. The "reprogrammed" DNA sequence is injected into an egg which develops into a 12 year old girl (Michelle Williams) before the project director, Xavier Fitch (Ben Kingsley), decides to terminate the project.

However, the girl, codenamed SIL (Natasha Henstridge), endowed with superior strength, manages to escape from confinement and head out in a train to L.A. After spending a brief period in a cocoon, she emerges all adult and sexy, having consumed the train conductor for breakfast. But underneath her good looks lies a predatory monster. Its only goal is to go through her life cycle, without hindrance from humans. This, the screenwriters decided, would involve finding a mate by scouring all the bars in downtown L.A. to have a baby with.

Meanwhile Fitch has assembled a team consisting of a molecular biologist, an anthropologist, an empath, and a hit-man in order to track down this creature. Most of the movie then degenerates into them following the trail of blood left behind by the alien as it goes on a killing spree. This makes for some incredibly amusing moments. I do believe this was intentionally funny, and well-done at times. You're more likely to enjoy the movie if you treat Species as horror comedy. If it does well in the box office, chances are that we'll see a sequel.

Some of the visual effects are cool, and the movie has its moments. But I think Kingsley, playing Fitch, has managed to astound me most with his metamorphoses than the H.R. Giger creation.

Species 2

"This is awful... this is just so awful" is a line uttered by one of the characters in Species 2. I bet at that point, a lot of audience members felt the same way about the movie.

Species was a B-movie with some decent special effects. Species 2 is also a B-movie with some decent special effects. Anyone who expects more is in for a huge disappointment. The plot is an extension of the original film: Patrick Ross (Justine Lazzard) has just returned from Mars, and is given a hero's welcome for being the first human on the red planet. Within him is the alien life form we first encountered in Species, which takes control of Ross and immediately begins wreaking havoc in its fundamental desire to procreate. Eve (Natasha Henstridge) is a clone of Sil, the original alien-human hybrid in Species, raised in captivity, who gets excited every time Ross goes about spreading his genes. Press Lennox (Michael Madsen) is once again called in to control the situation, but not before Eve escapes and mates with Ross.

There is one positive aspect about Species 2: it has a couple of genuinely disturbing moments. I'm a big fan of horror movies, and few things really manage to offend me (and I welcome the times when they do). Species 2 manages this, perhaps unintentionally, by depicting the alien Ross as a being without a shred of mercy---there is no ambiguity in this character. More importantly, the explicit depiction of intercourse (more like rape), and the births of the aliens who bursts out from the mother's womb in a vicious manner, is what works in this movie.

The plot in Species 2 could've been developed more, the dialogue could've been less hokey, and the acting could've been better, but I suspect a large portion of the movie's budget went into the effects, which are realistic enough to pull off the "in your face" scenes. If Species 2 does even marginally well at the box office, expect another sequel. I recommend this one, but only if you get to see it the big screen (the breasts appear bigger).

Movie ramblings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org