Species was a fun guilty pleasure. No, it wasn’t great but at least it gave us a quasi-star in Natasha Henstridge and some quality effects work. The sequel was dumb but had some minor entertainment value but as Hollywood tends to do, they milk a franchise for its worth. The third and fourth movies were, frankly, crap.
Species III/Species: The Awakening
Genre(s): Horror, Sci-Fi
Shout Factory | Unrated – 112 min. / 103 min. – $29.99 | March 8, 2016
Date Published: 03/16/2016 | Author: The Movieman
THE MOVIE – 1.25/5
Species III — 1.25/5
In the ongoing fight for supremacy between mankind and human-alien hybrids, a fatal weakness among the hybrids has given humans the advantage… until now. When Sara (SUNNY MABREY), the daughter of Eve (NATASHA HENSTRIDGE), is born, she develops into the most genetically perfect alien form yet. Seeking to repopulate Earth with her kind, this dangerously beautiful femme fatale heeds an overwhelming drive to mate… Meanwhile, a college professor (ROBERT KNEPPER), obsessed with the species and keeping it alive, enlists the help of a graduate student (ROBIN DUNNE), to experiment while the hybrids seek them out.
Quick Hit Review: It’s telling that I had seen Species III prior thanks to already rating it on IMDb and yet while watching, I couldn’t remember a damn thing about it. So technically this was my second viewing and not too shockingly, it’s a crappy direct-to-video sequel that only has two things going for it: Natasha Henstridge and Robert Knepper. Unfortunately Ms. Henstridge is merely a cameo and lasts a whole 2-3 minutes and Knepper exits stage right halfway through and we’re left with Robin Dunne and Sunny Mabre to carry this stinker over the proverbial finish line.
Species: The Awakening — 1.0/5
Quick Hit Review: Well, I guess after watching The Awakening you come to appreciate Species II & III a bit more… This entry, which is the final one, made so little sense and thanks to its cheaper budget ($3.8M apparently), the effects are not as good and the cast, save for Ben Cross, weren’t as experienced, although Helena Mattsson is a looker. This isn’t a very well made picture with some ideas perhaps but the execution of them didn’t fully come together.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5
In a nice surprise, both movies come on their own discs.
Species III — 2.0/5
Alien Odyssey: Evolution (13:38; SD) – This featurette takes us behind-the-scenes with the development of the next chapter in the Species franchise and going younger.
Alien Odyssey: Species DNA (6:18; SD) delves into the production design on the project.
Alien Odyssey: Alien Technology (5:37; SD) goes into the visual effects aspect of the film.
Alien Odyssey: Intelligent Lifeforms (9:54; SD) – Here the filmmakers expand on the creature design.
Genesis (8:50; SD) is some more on-set and EPK interviews with the cast and crew members on the franchise.
Original Trailer (2:03; HD)
Species: The Awakening — 2.0/5
Miranda’s Memories (9:50; HD) finds actress Helena Mattsson talking about her time on the set and a bit about her career.
VIDEO – 3.5/5
|Species III — 3.0/5
The film is shown in its original 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and is presented with a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture has the distinct look of a crappy direct-to-video flick. The detail is OK but colors are muted and blacks are more on the gray shade than stark looking. I didn’t notice any major instances of aliasing, artifacts and such but even though it’s only 12 years old, it looks so much older…Species: The Awakening — 4.0/5
The fourth movie of the series fares somewhat better than #3 with a very nice clean look for the 1080p HD transfer and 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio. Colors are generally vibrant and detail is sharp. There weren’t any apparent instances of dust marks, artifacts, aliasing or other flaws which might be expect for a movie that was released only 9 years ago.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
|Species III — 4.0/5
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track shows off impressive depth throughout. Dialogue levels sound nice and clear but where the track stands out is with the LFE channel which has some good rumblings during key action scenes.
Species: The Awakening — 3.75/5
The movie offers a decent DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that, like Species III gets a nice boost with the bass turning on during some of the action sequences and providing some much needed depth. It’s nothing extraordinary but still highly effective especially considering the source material.
OVERALL – 2.5/5
|Overall, Species was a fun guilty pleasure. No, it wasn’t great but at least it gave us a quasi-star in Natasha Henstridge and some quality effects work. The sequel was dumb but had some minor entertainment value but as Hollywood tends to do, they milk a franchise for its worth. The third and fourth movies were, frankly, crap. If you’re a completist, maybe you’ll want to pick this double feature up, it’s nice there are some decent bonus features included.|
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.