Jun 262017
 

Species is simply not a very good movie, not even sure it’s in the so bad it’s good category either, but I did find a modest amount of entertainment value, albeit trashy, for it being a B-horror flick and honestly it’s aged better than I thought.

 

 

Species
— Collector’s Edition —

(1995)

Genre(s): Horror, Science Fiction
Shout Factory | R – 108 min. – $34.93 | July 11, 2017

Date Published: 06/26/2017 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Roger Donaldson
Writer(s): Dennis Feldman (written by)
Cast: Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker, Marg Helgenberger, Natasha Henstridge, Michelle Williams
DISC INFO:
Features: Audio Commentaries, Interviews, Alternate Ending, Galleries, Trailer
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 34.4 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

 


THE MOVIE — 3.0/5


Plot Synopsis: When a beautiful human-alien hybrid (MICHELLE WILLIAMS/NATASHA HENSTRIDGE) escapes from a secret medical facility, scientist Xavier Fitch (BEN KINSGLEY) dispatches a crew of experts — mercenary Preston Lennox (MICHAEL MADSEN), anthropologist Dr. Stephen Arden (ALFRED MOLINA), molecular biologist Dr. Laura Baker (MARG HELGENBERGER) and empath Dan Smithson (FOREST WHITAKER) — to find her before she is able to fulfill her horrific purpose: to mate with unsuspecting men and produce offspring that could destroy mankind. As her deadly biological clock ticks rapidly, Fitch and his team are hurled into a desperate battle in which the fate of humanity itself hangs in the balance.

Quick Hit Review: Species is an oddball of a movie that certainly isn’t very good and yet there is something undeniably entertaining science fiction/horror and it doesn’t hurt when you have Natasha Henstridge who surely was a crush on many a teenage boy, hell, a crush on many a man for that matter.

The film also boasts a respectable cast from Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley, future Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker, future Oscar nominee Michelle Williams, 1990s bad-ass Michael Madsen, thespian Alfred Molina and pre-CSI Marg Helgenberger. Their performances aren’t anything special with Kingsley doing what he could in the mad scientist role; Whitaker plays his normal soft-spoken, intuitive character seen in just about every movie of his; the cases are similar for Molina and Madsen.

I hadn’t seen Species in many years and being probably my third or fourth viewing, there is modest entertainment value in its B-movie horror status, and taking the movie as such goes a long way especially with thinly written characters.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.0/5


This “Collector’s Edition” comes with a matted slip cover. The inner cover is reversible revealing the film’s original poster artwork.

Disc 1:
Audio Commentaries

  • Director Roger Donaldson & Actors Natasha Henstridge and Michael Madsen
  • Director Roger Donaldson, Make-Up FX Creator Steve Johnson, VFX Supervisor Richard Edlung and Producer Frank Mancuso Jr.

Clearly, the first track is a bit more laid back but still offers anecdotal on-set stories while the latter is far more technical yet informative.

Disc 2:
After Birth: The Evolution of Species (36:46; HD) is a retrospective featurette of the sci-fi/horror film and includes interviews with Director Roger Donaldson, Cinematographer Andrzej Bartkowiak, Production Designer John Muto, Composer Christopher Young and others, recounting their various work on the production.

From Sil to Eve (16:35; HD) is an interview, made for the Species II release, with Natasha Henstridge as she talks about her experience on the first film as well as her career.

Engineering Life (16:50; SD) – Old featurette, presented in letterboxed form, containing interviews with scientists on the idea of fusing together human and alien DNA.

H.R. Giger At Work (12:07; SD) is some behind-the-scenes of Giger and his approach to working on Species; includes archive interviews with Donaldson, Henstridge and others.

The Making of Species (49:05; SD) delves into the origin of the film and has older interviews with the various filmmakers including director Roger Donaldson, screenwriter Dennis Feldman, actors Ben Kingsley, Natasha Henstridge, Michelle Williams, Marg Helgenberger, et al.

Designing a Hybrid (15:48; SD) goes into the design process, from visual effects to makeup effects on making the alien queen-like creature.

Also Included:

  • Alternate Ending (2:11; SD)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1:58; HD)
  • Production Design Gallery (3:22; HD)
  • Creature Design Gallery (8:11)
  • Still Gallery (8:37; HD)

 


VIDEO – 4.25/5


Species transforms itself onto Blu-ray through Shout’s Scream Factory line. This new transfer, culled from a 4K scan of the film’s interpositive, looks rather impressive offering up good, deep dark levels, relatively sharp detail and, from what I could tell, no apparent instances of artifacts, aliasing, dust marks or other flaws.

AUDIO – 3.75/5


Not to be outdone, the movie comes with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, along with the 2.0 option standard on Shout releases, and while it’s not terribly robust, when the action does pick up, it does utilize every available channel with ambient noises, such as the water sounds during the finale, coming through the rear speakers. Dialogue levels also are decent coming through the center channel with clarity.

 


OVERALL – 3.75/5


Overall, Species is simply not a very good movie, not even sure it’s in the so bad it’s good category either, but I did find a modest amount of entertainment value, albeit trashy, for it being a B-horror flick and honestly it’s aged better than I thought considering it was released in the mid-90s. This “Collector’s Edition” Blu-ray release by Shout Factory offers up good video/audio transfers and a nice selection of bonus materials that makes this a must purchase.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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