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Laramie Movie Scope:
Species II

Sex and violence, without any finesse

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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April 12, 1998 -- For those of you thinking about driving over to Cheyenne to see "Species II," don't bother, unless you like to see sex and exploding stomachs. What a sleazy mess.

The first Species movie had a kind of camp fun about it and it wasn't as grim as the sequel. Back for the sequel is Natasha Henstridge as the clone of the first alien, Eve, and Michael Madsen as Press Lenox, soldier of fortune.

Madsen seems to be the only one having fun in this pot boiler sleazefest. I didn't keep a boob count like Billy Bob does, but there was quite a lot of bare female skin shown in this film. It is well suited for the diminishing drive-in theater market. There are also buckets of blood, for those who like that delicacy.

The story is based on the unlikely premise that the sands of Mars are filled with living tissue, which, once heated, somehow draws enough water from the atmosphere to become animated goo, which then proceeds, without any visible sensory organs, or means of locomotion, to find the nearest people and turn them into alien incubators. The infected people then go on a sex spree, spawning more aliens, who burst forth from the body, killing the mother. They then proceed to grow at a fantastic rate without benefit of food. Obviously, mother's milk is not an option here.

Science is not a strong suit of this supposedly science fiction film. If you buy the science, then maybe you'll also buy the anti-space program message of the film (The infected astronaut tells a group that people should take care of business on earth first before exploring space. That's classic anti-space program rhetoric).

The gratuitous sex and violence of the film is even more annoying than its political message. This, like "Starship Troopers" is aimed at juveniles, but unlike "Starship Troopers" this film didn't cost $100 million to make and it doesn't have a big advertising campaign to support it, and it isn't as good a movie. "Species II" ought to do well when it comes out on video, however, until the parents find out what their kids are watching.

There is some good acting talent in the film, such as Peter Boyle ("Young Frankenstein") and James Cromwell ("L.A. Confidential"), but they can't save this loser. Natasha Henstridge and Marg Helgenberger may be able to act, but they aren't called upon to do it in this movie. Mercifully, I haven't seen sexploitation like this in some time. This film rates a D.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 1998 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)