Horror review: Species II

species_ii_mating_ritual

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 16, 1998

By Steve Newton

Last week, David Letterman had as one of his guests Natasha Henstridge, the lovely young actor best-known for parading around in her birthday suit throughout the 1995 horror flick Species. At one point, Dave said something along the lines of, “So, are ya naked in this movie, ’cause that’s the only reason some of these yahoos will go and see it?” Of course, Dave was just being his usual jerky self, but his unsubtle query really hit the mark. The number of lone males filing out of a Good Friday afternoon screening of Species II was proof.

What I can’t understand is why anybody would suffer through 90 minutes of pure cinematic dreck just to gloat over a few—okay, several—T&A scenes. If you’ve got cable TV, you can get the same kind of eyeful on Dream On. Better yet, go to a strip club and see the real thing. There’s probably better acting from the pole huggers at the Cecil than the sorry-ass cast of Species II.

Plotwise, the movie starts off with a mission to Mars, where U.S. astronaut Patrick Ross (Emilio Estevez look-alike Justin Lazard) gathers up some reddish-brown soil in those silver thermoses you can get at Starbucks. On the way back to Earth, however, one of those frozen containers heats up and loudly bursts open, and some icky, diarrhealike substance (Feces II?) starts oozing across the floor toward the unsuspecting (and apparently deaf) crew. Then the gooey mess suddenly divides into three and shoots forward, turning the screen dark. “Cut! That’s a print. Now can somebody scrape this shit off my camera lens?”

Although we aren’t afforded the pleasure of seeing the nasty Mars stuff infiltrate the bodies of Ross and his two crew members, it soon becomes apparent that they’ve been infected with the same strain of alien DNA that caused Henstridge to take off her top in Species. When the horny space explorers get back home and start making up for lost time in the sack, slimy tentacles erupt from flesh and baby aliens burst from ballooning bellies.

The makers of this so-called “sci-fi thriller” have ladled on the gore, yet only one potent shock is delivered with all that blood ’n’ guts. And all those “yahoos” with a Henstridge fixation have to wait until the bitter end to get an unobstructed view of her two biggest talents.

Now that’s what I call a rip-off.

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