Species II

*

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

It seems there are only two things that can happen in space. Either you get lost, or become infected by a quick growth alien organism that bursts out of your guts. There is a more ethereal alternative, preferred by serious directors at the posh end of the market (2001: A Space Odyssey, Contact), concerning mind-altering trippy stuff, an excuse to have fun with David Lynch visuals, and frankly a bore.

The slimy creature effects package (guts explosion) is becoming increasingly yukky. In fact, the yuk factor in Species II makes it barely watchable. What turns it into a turkey sandwich, however, is Chris Brancato's script and Michael Madsen's comatose performance.

A trip to Mars results in two of the astronauts being invaded by the make up dept. Sex is definitely off limits, as unsuspecting lurve partners find themselves being raped by a monster, or, within hours, giving birth through the stomach wall to something unmentionable, after which a Midwitch Cuckoo child is seen wandering about in workhouse garb, looking for a shed in which to be cocooned. Shades of Bodysnatchers? The authorities - in this case an obese, half-blind, reactionary army colonel (George Dzundza) - take charge. They employ Press Lennox (Madsen), a private security dude in "Men In Black" shades, to track down the alien invasion. Press must be on something, he's so slow, stupid and out-to-lunch.

In addition to this nonsense, there's more in the form of Natasha Henstridge, who played the man-eating space nympho in the original Species. Now she's called Eve, half human, half extra terrestrial, artifically cloned and kept in a glass cage in the lab, wearing few clothes. Dr Laura Baker (Marg Helgenberger) acts as her minder, deeply sympathetic and ineffectual. Eve has telepathetic powers and lusts after the monster-in-the-astronaut. Sigh...! The braindead are amongst us. Peter (The Krays) Medak is one of them.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Astronauts come a cropper with nymphomaniac aliens while on a trip to Mars.
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Director: Peter Medak

Writer: Chris Brancato

Starring: Michael Madsen, Natasha Henstridge, Marg Helgenberger, Mykelti Williamson, George Dzundza, James Cromwell, Justin Lazard, Myriam Cyr, Sarah Wynter, Baxter Harris, Scott Morgan

Year: 1998

Runtime: 89 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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