Newest Reviews
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
Star, The
Tom & Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
Christmas Carol, A
Legend of the Demon Cat
Adventures of Sinbad, The
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
  Species The Astounding She-MonsterBuy this film here.
Year: 1995
Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker, Marg Helgenberger, Natasha Henstridge, Michelle Williams, Whip Hubley, Esther Scott, Gary Bullock, Anthony Guidera, Caroline Barclay, Richard Fancy, Marliese Schnieder, Frank Welker
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Decades ago, the S.E.T.I. project was established to search the heavens with radio telescopes for signs of life from outer space - and a few months ago, they found something. The result of this is a creature grown in the laboratory with a mixture of human and alien DNA, which resembles a little girl, but the director of the experiment, Xavier Fitch (Ben Kingsley) decrees that she should be destroyed as she is deemed too dangerous. They don't know how dangerous until they try pumping cyanide gas into her chamber and she smashes the glass with incredible strength and makes a run for it...

Perhaps inspired by the famous "Wow! Signal" of 1970s research, Species was a fair-sized hit in its day, though no thanks to the general reaction from those who had seen it which was that the sci-fi shocker was pretty silly as a whole. Its selling point was that it had a monster designed by Alien creator H.R. Giger, although he wasn't best pleased with the end product because he wanted more of his material in there, even shelling out himself to fund footage of one of the creature's nightmares (the death train bit, of which a grand total of thirty seconds is used in the movie). The most distinctive thing about his design for many was the killer nipples used to bump off the victims, but murder was not all that was on its mind.

No, Sil, as it is called, wishes to procreate, and thus must find a man now she is out and about. At first, she looks like a young girl (a pre-fame Michelle Williams), but after a spell in a cocoon, she transforms into Canadian model-turned actress Natasha Henstridge, who provided the other main selling point in that she doffs her clothes at every opportunity. Obviously the authorities cannot have some alien woman cruising the bars and clubs of Los Angeles if there's the chance she may breed and spawn more deadly beasts with killer nipples, so Fitch swiftly assembles a crack team of experts to pinpoint Sil's location.

This team are a bunch of character actors of varying eccentricity, with our lead hero Lennox played by Michael Madsen, doing wonders as the man's man who does his best to exterminate Sil without sentiment. Backing him up is scientist Laura (TV star Marg Helgenberger), dopey Brit anthropologist Stephen (Alfred Molina) and most infamously of all, empath Dan (Forest Whitaker) who got the most attention at the time for the scene where he enters the train carriage where the cocoon is, notes the dead body of the conductor on the floor, and utters the immortal line "Something bad happened here". Uncanny, these psychic powers, eh?

But the funniest line was overlooked: it's when Stephen has just had sex in a crucial plot twist, and comments "I enjoyed that immensely!", 'cause that's the kind of thing Brits say after a good shag, isn't it? Pity he didn't have time to thank her, really. Anyway, you could see Species as the summing up of the fears that sexual activity bore when the spectre of AIDS loomed in the nineties, basically a "have sex and die" awful warning, but seeing as how slasher movies had been trading in that currency ever since the seventies, perhaps it was more genre-based than social commentary. More likely, instead of eliciting chills, this was going to have you chuckling, as for all its attempts to take itself very seriously, it was less probable that you would have the same reaction as Sil marauds her way through Los Angeles trailed by a bunch of bumblers. If anything, it could have done with being even more silly, but we'd have to wait for the first sequel for that. Music by Christopher Young.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2145 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M


Last Updated: