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Overall Rating
2.42

Awesome: 6%
Worth A Look: 14%
Just Average: 24%
Pretty Crappy28%
Sucks28%

3 reviews, 32 user ratings


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Species
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Fun crap, up to a point."
3 stars

How does one suggest, without sounding sexist, that a lead actress (in this case, newcomer Natasha Henstridge) who has been cast solely because she has a nice body and doesn't mind showing it is the best reason to see the movie? To answer my own question: There is no way, so what the hell.

As "Sil," a half-human/half-alien cooked up by mingling DNA in a lab, Henstridge moves and speaks with the innocent curiosity of a woman new to the planet. She manages to take the curse off the porniness of the premise, which has Sil looking ardently for a male with whom to mate. She's pretty funny when she's devouring various men, who quickly go from gratitude for her sexual avidity to horror — especially when she starts sprouting icky tentacles.

Fear of female sexuality! Vagina dentata! You can either get all huffy about the politics of this stuff or you can giggle at it, and for a while I had a great crappy good time. Species is ecstatic trash when Sil is cruising Los Angeles; her utter single-mindedness and sexual directness, which would look unseemly even in a triple-X video, is a witty joke. But her scientific pursuers (Ben Kingsley, Marg Helgenberger, Michael Madsen, Forest Whitaker, Alfred Molina) are singularly colorless and clueless. They run to and fro, racing to prevent Sil from boffing again, and it never seems to occur to them — or to the actors — that there's anything amusing in their mission. Species clearly isn't riot-grrrl payback for monster-rapist junk like Humanoids from the Deep: Sil does kill one womanizing creep (as well as two nicer sexual conquests), but she also murders three innocent women, one of whom has her thumb snipped off and then dies screaming in a car explosion — at which point Species, for me, abruptly stopped being fun.

The script by Dennis Feldman (The Golden Child) is pitifully unimaginative; the desperate brainiacs never think to set up a decoy for Sil. (I'd nominate Michael Madsen, who was fine in Reservoir Dogs but has proceeded to give the exact same performance, minus the ear-slicing sadism, in every subsequent role.) In a former life, Roger Donaldson was the gifted director of Smash Palace, Marie, and The Bounty; he hit his box-office peak with No Way Out and has been in free-fall ever since — Cocktail, Cadillac Man, White Sands, The Getaway, and now this movie. Donaldson's apparent depression about his situation weighs Species down. Generally, he just points the camera at things. Scenes begin, go on, and are over.

The naked, exposed, inexperienced actress at the movie's center deserves better. Actually, I couldn't say whether Natasha Henstridge has much of a future in movies; she might go the way of such previous nude man-killers as Mathilda May ('Lifeforce') and Patty Mullen ('Frankenhooker'). But aside from Michelle Williams, who is touching in her few moments as the younger Sil, Henstridge is the only performer in 'Species' who doesn't act as if she'd wandered into the wrong movie and wanted out.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1527&reviewer=416
originally posted: 02/01/07 18:48:06
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User Comments

10/29/16 morris campbell cool monster nothing more 1 stars
8/20/10 PAUL SHORTT ENJOYABLE, FAST-MOVING AND STYLISH 3 stars
7/30/07 David Risser suks 1 stars
1/26/07 action movie fan engrossing sci/fi horror gore film one of the five best of 1995 4 stars
12/08/06 Sugarfoot Decent,mindless entertainment. 3 stars
10/25/05 chris fox (the god) unbeleiveable sex scenes 5 stars
5/20/05 Jeff Anderson Sometimes very dumb, but entertaining & watchable just the same thanks to the awesome cast! 4 stars
9/19/04 Lord Durvok 2 People give it five stars for having gratuitous T&A... funny. 1 stars
2/25/04 john solid B movie - entertains if you are in the mood 4 stars
1/21/04 American Slasher Goddess Decent "Alien" clone. 3 stars
12/28/03 Monkey What kind of yuppie bowlingball-passing cocksucker made this piece of shit? 1 stars
11/11/03 Nolan Price Campy classic!! 3 stars
4/27/03 Jack Bourbon Natasha's T&A are a godsend. 5 stars
2/17/03 Charles Tatum Ignore the sequel 4 stars
12/28/02 Jack Sommersby A fantastically enjoyable sci-fi thriller. Superbly directed. 4 stars
3/24/02 Zargo yes, fucking awesome, that's what you're seeing to the right there 5 stars
2/20/02 Xaver A fine premise for a film. A little slow, but it kept me interested. 3 stars
10/30/01 Ken Jones Simply atrocious. 1 stars
10/14/01 Mr. Hat What kind of yuppie bowlingball-passing cocksucker made this piece of shit? 1 stars
8/30/01 Henry Ginsberg I'm disapointed wwith Ben Kingsly.I thought he had more dignaty than this. 3 stars
6/05/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Friends don't let friends mix Sci-Fi and T&A... 2 stars
6/02/01 Thrillhouse arguably the shoddiest movie ever made 2 stars
5/02/01 Gracy Lionheart BOO!!! BOO!!! Garbage!!! 1 stars
9/27/00 Ground Zero science fiction for pipsqueaks and lowlifes 2 stars
12/04/99 Eric S. Third rate to even the mediocre sci-fi teen thriller "The Faculty" 1 stars
10/03/99 Joe Schmoe worst sci-fi movie i've seen 2 stars
8/18/99 Admiral Crunch boring as hell 2 stars
7/04/99 J-Dogg Another "for-jack-off-purposes-only" flick that struck gold.I actually saw this in theatres 2 stars
4/20/99 Tim If you like gruesome movies this is for you. If you like to see Natasha Henstridge watch it 4 stars
4/01/99 The Incredible Sulk Absolute hogwash sci-fi. 2 stars
3/12/99 Ah Dooey Species II was worse. What a groaner. Not to mention a shoddy ripoff. 2 stars
2/06/99 Don Wilson Not a good science fiction movie, but has some cute tits! 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  07-Jul-1995 (R)
  DVD: 19-Oct-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  03-Aug-1995 (MA)




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