Species II is the perfect type of movie for me. It’s got amazing practical effects, a bunch of boobies, Natasha Henstridge, aliens (designed by H.R Giger no less), a jaded Michael “I don’t want to be in this movie” Madsen and finally, a completely hilarious and terrible ending. It piles on more nudity and more action compared to the first movie, but it does dial back a bit on Natasha Henstridge’s role, instead opting for a male lead this time, an astronaut just returning from his trip to Mars (what year does this take place in?!?). I really enjoy Species II and it’s a rare sequel that tops the first in a bunch of different areas. Scream Factory seems to agree, as they’ve released the movie on Blu-ray with a wealth of different special features, none that come across as being half-assed, save for a fluff EPK pieces. The Species II Blu-ray turns out to be a nice treat and after reading on, I think you’ll agree as well…
[tabby title=”PRODUCT INFORMATION”]
DISCS: 1 RUN-TIME: 93 min ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1 RESOLUTION: 1080p AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English REGION: A/1 RATING: R PRODUCTION DATE: 1998 RELEASE DATE: March 8, 2016
[tabby title=”PLOT SUMMARY”]
Having just returned from a mission to Mars, Commander Ross (Justin Lazard) isn’t exactly himself. He’s slowly becoming a terrifying alien entity with a one-track mind – to procreate with human women!When countless women suffer gruesome deaths while bearing half-alien offspring, scientist Laura Baker (Marg Helgenberger) and hired assassin Press Lennox (Michael Madsen) use Eve (Natasha Henstridge), a more tempered alien clone, to find Ross and his virulent brood. But they underestimate Eve’s maternal drive, and before long she escapes to mate with Ross in order to create a pure, unstoppable race that could spell doom for mankind.As time is running out, the ultimate battle takes place in a chilling climax that puts Darwin’s theory to the ultimate test… only the strongest species will survive.
[tabby title=”SPECIES II”]
Astronaut Patrick Ross (Justin Lazard) has just arrived back from his trip to Mars, walking the surface and picking up samples. On the trip back, the samples thaw out and an alien substance infects Patrick. The alien substance is the same as the first movie, which means it drives the human host to mate to keep the species alive and strong. Patrick wastes no time and starts banging several broads left right and center. In the meantime, Dr. Laura Baker (Marg Helgenberger returning from the first movie) has cloned the embryo of Sil (the alien from the first movie) and has raised herself a half human, half alien Natasha Henstridge called Eve. When Patrick starts his sex rampage, Dr. Baker, along with a bored looking Michael Madsen returning as Press Lenox, use Eve to telepathically link with Patrick and figure out where he’ll strike again. Unfortunately for Baker and Press, Eve makes a strong connection with Patrick and the two become determined to mate and give birth to a pure alien life form, a life form that could destroy humanity.
Species II ups the ante from the first movie in all departments. It gives us more nudity, more sex, and more alien action. The film succeeds on all fronts, giving us a flick that never takes itself seriously and instead has a uterus bursting good time. The late ’90s movie subjects us to some sketchy CGI, but thankfully the special effects crew knew to stick more with the practical and only use the CGI to touch things up, save for one scene involving a reconstructing head after a nasty shotgun blast.
If I was air any grievances with Species II, it would be the downplayed role that Natasha Henstridge has in this movie (not as bad as Species III mind you). She does play an important part, but her scenes are rather brief. She comes into play more near the end, giving us some lovely nudity and a rather mind blowing sex scene, involving tentacles coming out of nipples and phallic, slimy objects being shoved down some throats (my normal Saturday really). The only other slight issue is the terrible, albeit hilarious ending. I would rather not spoil how completely insane this ending is, so I’ll leave it up to you to see it. Just know that there is a good portion of the special features that talks with the writer Chris Brancato, who gives us a lovely story about how that terrible ending came to be. It’s a pretty entertaining story.
[tabby title=”BLU-RAY OPINION”]
Species II is looking rather nice on this disc from Scream Factory. There is no excessive DNR involved and thankfully the blacks are nice and deep, which is a blessing as a lot of the movie takes place in the dark. The disc provided two audio choices: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA and English 2.0 DTS-HD MA, which are both beautifully loud and clear. The 5.1 track provided a pleasant experience, but I was a bit let down with the lack of rear channel use. It’s nothing overly terrible, but noticeable nevertheless.
As previously mentioned, the special features on Species II are rather substantial. You have a new interview with Natasha Henstridge, who discusses the first, second and third movies in the Species series. She is looking stunning, maybe even more stunning than she did in the movie. Next up you have interviews with the special effects crew, which goes into large details about the use of practical and digital effects in the movie. Steve Johnson also talks a bit about working with H.R. Giger, which is also an interesting discussion. The next big feature is the interview with screenwriter Chris Brancato, who talks in detail about the strange scenes in the movie and that hilarious ending. It was a blast listening to this guy talk. Another new feature is some behind the scenes footage and outtakes with the special effects. A few carried over features from past releases are a commentary with director Peter Medak, uncut footage not shown in theaters, an older featurette basically hyping the movie up and finally a trailer and still galleries.
[tabby title=”SPECIAL FEATURES”]
– NEW From Sil To Eve – An interview With Actress Natasha Henstridge
– NEW Creature Creations – Interviews With Creature & Special Make-up Effects Creator Steve Johnson, Supervising Cosmetic Designer Leonard MacDonald, Transformation Supervisor Joel Harlow, And Chrysalis Effects Supervisor William Bryan
– NEW Alien Evolutions – An Interview With Screenwriter Chris Brancato
– NEW Special Effects Outtakes & Behind-The-Scenes Footage
– Audio Commentary With Director Peter Medak
– Scenes From The Film Featuring Uncut Footage Not Shown In Theatres
– Species II: Eve Of Destruction Featurette
– Theatrical Trailer
– Still Galleries – Posters, Lobby Cards, Behind-The-Scenes Photos, Special Effects Behind-The-Scenes Photos And H.R. Giger Sketches
Species II impresses in that it surpasses the original, providing ample amounts of nudity, gore and lovely, strange H.R. Gigerness with the alien sex scene being mind-blowingly weird. Plus, any movie that has a woman getting instantly pregnant and having an alien baby bursting out her in mere minutes while next door an alien has sex with another woman, whilst tentacles burst out of its back, is perfection in my horror book. The Scream Factory Blu-ray gives us plenty of features to check out and some nice audio and video to feast our eyes and ears on. Pick it up!