Species III (2004)

Species III (2004)

Beauty is only skin deep.

Sara, the daughter of the original alien hybrid Eve, is taken in by a college professor who tries to study her unique abilities in order to better humanity. However he is taken aback by how quickly she grows from a little girl into a beautiful teenager. It isn’t long before her overwhelming sexual desire begins to cause problems and even more so when a group of half-breeds, the offspring of alien-infected human astronaut Patrick Ross, hunt her down.

 

The Species series has built a solid fan base upon the good ol’ 80s formula of blood and breasts and whilst I never questioned the sight of Natasha Henstridge naked in the first two films, beneath the surface I knew they were just relatively cheesy but enjoyable sci-fi/horror flicks which wouldn’t stand up against anything remotely decent like The Thing. Now things have gone a little too far with this second sequel, a straight-to-video mess of blood, boobs and boredom. Species III is a walking cliché from the opening scene and predictably goes through the motions of some sort of Frankenstein-style narrative which all comes to a head in the obvious finale.

It transports the original billion-dollar extraterrestrial project from a huge top-secret laboratory to a small lab inside the basement of a college professor. There’s just a slight comedown in the scope, isn’t there? It’s this scaling down of the story which harms the film. There’s no government team trying to track down escaped aliens: just a college professor, his accomplice and a hot chick that spends most of the film naked. I hate the fact that they turned this into some sort of Dawson’s Creek version of the original too, with a cast of youngsters acting out the roles which would have filled by the likes of Alfred Molina and Ben Kingsley in the original. Natasha Henstridge has a brief cameo as a corpse. Literally all she does is lay there with blood on her naked body and that’s it. Robin Dunne is totally bland as the ‘hero’ of the piece whilst Robert Knepper does his best Re-Animator rip-off as the slightly-barmy scientist conducting illegal experiments to better mankind.

Sunny Mabrey takes over Henstridge’s role and all you need to know is she’s pretty and naked for a lot of the film. My favourite here is the gorgeous Amelia Cooke, a rival half-breed who screws a redneck in a gas station toilet for no other reason than to give him a good send off before she makes him pay for his attitude towards her. Again the fact she spends a lot of the film with her chest in the camera’s gaze does a lot to keep me happy.

The other ingredient was the gore and there’s lots of it again, although the lower rating signifies a scaling-down of the red stuff. There’s one great scene where a half-breed literally melts and spills his insides whilst he’s taking to the professor. Considering the budget, the film doesn’t look too bad. We don’t see a lot of the alien forms of the two females, kept to mainly head shots in the finale. But it still comes off looking better than it deserves to be.

At nearly two hours, the film could have used some trimming as a lot of the middle section drags and there are some sickeningly romantic moments which just don’t fit in with the rest of the film. It’s a long time for a low budget film like this and the script’s pitiful attempts to give the characters some personality and life are just as painful to watch being dragged out. A slender ninety minutes would have been enough to get the job done because emotional investment in characters in films like this is just asking for trouble. Just point me to the scenes where people are destroyed in horrible ways by naked alien chicks and I’m happy.

 

Species III is probably just as good (or bad depending on your view) as it’s predecessor. It’s scaled down the story to a very low key level but there’s enough blood and boobs to warrant a look. It knows its audience and panders to them. If you’re not in the demographic, then chances are you’ll be hitting fast forward a lot. If you are in the demographic, then the pause button will surely come into effect…

 

 ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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