Monday, July 20, 2009

Species II (USA, 1998)

Back in 1995, Natasha Henstridge, onetime trailer-park trash turned successful international model, made a less than auspicious film debut in Species (1995 / trailer), a Hollywood rip-off of Alien (1979) on earth with a name cast. Henstridge was cast as an alien out to fuck in a film that was low on logic, tension or any technical or structural aspect that might have made it good. Of course, the film ended in such a way that a sequel was virtually guaranteed, providing the flick was a success.
Well, it was a success and three years later Species II splattered across the screen. And, oddly enough, the sequel was even directed by a talented veteran, Peter Medak, the man behind such truly good films as the anti-establishment comedy The Ruling Class (1972 / trailer), the traditional ghost movie The Changeling (1980 / trailer), the artsy gangland drama The Krays (1990 / trailer) and the twisted corrupt cop film Romeo Is Bleeding (1993 / trailer). But, on the other hand, Medek also made Zorro, The Gay Blade (1981 / trailer) and directed episodes of Space:1999, Hart to Hart and The Beauty and the Beast, so somewhere beneath his talent must also lie a certain hack sensibility.
In Species II, his hack sensibility explodes with a fury matched only by that of the scriptwriter. Everything lacking in Species is completely missing here, replaced by even more naked tits and sex and gore and topped off with a total lack of continuity. Species II has absolutely no redeeming values and follows the basic porno film structure of dialogue to action to dialogue to action for a full 93 minutes of minimal plot. The plot? Well, nasty aliens want to fuck, basically, and if mankind doesn't stop them, they'll fuck us out of existence. And, oddly enough, like the average fuck-fest film populated by good-looking babes, Species II is pretty god-damned entertaining. (For all the hot-looking naked flesh that undulates, you ain't gonna get no hard-on, however, unless you are one sick motherfucker.) 
Okay, you can't help but laugh at the holes in the story and gaps in the continuity and logic, but the non-stop tits are fabulous and the gore and special effects extreme. Species II has taken a lot of flak for being as bad as it is, but give it another ten or twenty years and people will be as fond of it as they are of the original Humanoids of the Deep (1980 / trailer), which obviously is the inspiration for the numerous exploding tummies in Medak's big budget sleaze-fest. The only thing truly surprising is that the filmmakers go so far with the nekkid skin, but then still can't bring themselves to show a single naked man frontal.
Species II does not take off where the first film left off, and chooses to ignore the fact that going by the first film there should be rat-alien-human mutants all over the world. Instead, the movie opens with a really cheesy, fake-looking mission to mars intro in which Martian soil ends up actually being alien DNA and infects the capsule's unknowing occupants. Back on earth, no sooner does the first male astronaut (Justin Lazard) wet his willy and deposit his fertile load than does the babe's belly bloat up like a starving Somalian and out pops an alien kid. For the rest of the film Mr Fertility goes around searching for healthy snatch and, aside from those we see, must pop a good two dozen bellies going by the number of little kids he has hidden in his barn. The female astronaut, played by Myriam Cyr, the gal with eyes for nipples in Ken Russell's mildly diverting Gothic (1986 / trailer), is less lucky. When she finally gets her clit tickled, it's her belly that bloats and pops, shooting forth some sort monstrous alien slime tongue that kills her husband.  
Oddly enough, while the alien itself is un-killable, the various slime-protrusions are easy enough to kill by simple shooting. Likewise, though the alien's blood is capable of transforming into lethal organic projectories, when the projectories get killed and their blood spurts everywhere, they stay dead. Makes about as much sense as Michael Madsen running around with a gun when everyone knows bullets can't stop the roving alien prick anyway. 
But then, as was already said, Species II makes little sense – anyways, the filmmakers were obviously not even interested in the concept of logic or anything else that might have helped make the film good. Of course, it is indeed this low, base attitude, this total lack of anything redeeming that saves the film and makes Species II enjoyable. Watch, ogle at the tits, gross out over the gore, laugh at the stupidity of it all and try not to think about how many really good films Ed Wood could have made with this film's budget.

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