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Species 2 (1998)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Peter Medak

Starring:
Michael Madsen/Preston
Natasha Henstridge/Eve
Marg Helgenberger/Laura
Justin Lazard/Patrick
5 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Astronaut Patrick (Lazard) successfully achieves the first Mars landing. The bad news is that he returns to earth with an alien presence inside of him. Once on earth he feels the need to nail every broad with a pulse and in the process, creates a bunch of “alien” babies. It's up to Michael Madsen to track him down and kill the bastard. Oh and Natasha Henstridge shows up to reveal her breasts…again!
THE LOWDOWN
Where the first "Species" was a B-movie movie that didn’t want to admit it to itself, this sequel plays out in the opposite direction. It knows that it's smut and it loves it. This sequel is mainly about tits, gore and Natasha Henstridge running in slow motion, tits bobbling up and down a la “Bionic Woman” (nothing wrong with that). The acting is awful (George Dzundza is the biggest stinker here…shame on you). The dialogue is atrocious (my fav: her estrogen level is way up as if she was in heat…urgh) and the plot is filled with holes (one example: Eve isn’t supposed to have men around but every dude in the house enters her “jail”. Even worse than that is once they actually do capture the male alien, they also bring him to her pad!! What???). The movie also has a tendency not to explain itself too clearly, leaving the audience to assume things (Where did that hand out of the wall come from? How did Dennis get in on the hunt? Isn’t he an astronaut?).

I watched this film with a friend of mine (who happens to be black) and he brought up these interesting points about the movie, which I have to share: Isn’t it funny how Eve (Henstridge) rejects only the brother from all of the men? Or how the brother’s blood winds up being the only poison that kills the alien? Or how he talks big about guns but winds up arming himself with a machete because he wants to go African on their ass (bad line)? Now I’m not sure if these points are valid or if my buddy is overreacting but the bottom line is that he noticed them, so there's something to be said about that. Is this movie racist? Well, racist or not I can firmly say that I’m sick and tired of seeing black people placed in films uniquely as the token comic relief. You know how it goes: all they want is sex, to crack one-liners left and right and not take any situation seriously. Can we start giving black people “regular” parts in genre flicks please?!?

But the flick does have a few gnarly things going for it to help digest the nonsense. First off, there’s the sexual feast that will appeal to any “porno fan”. Every smutty area is covered: threesomes (with two sisters no less), strip joints (fun stuff), attempted rape and my favorite: a motel complex filled with prostitutes. I affectionately called that place “Whore Town”. There’s also the gore. This one doesn’t hold back on the gross outs; the highlight being a dude who blows his head off and then seeing the guy’s noggin reconstruct itself…groovy. And last but certainly not least, there’s Patrick Lazard (Justin) who comes out of this movie a big winner (his key scene with Hume Cromwell is "on" and belongs in a better movie).

So is "Species 2" a good picture? Not by a long shot. Is it a "so bad that it's good" movie? I think that it is because my friend and I were laughing our heads off and going “holy shit” at every tit and gore scene. The gutter ingredients are certainly there and the occasional awful lines (Madsen has the best one near the end…what a howler!) definitely help make this one an enjoyable romp for all the wrong reasons. This flick is not about mating…it’s about fucking. Put on your rubber and dive in!
GORE
What a wet flick. We get babies bursting out of chick’s bellies, a gnarly tentacle attack, the aforementioned priceless exploding head and some creature effects that work sometimes (I dug the end male beast).
ACTING
Michael Madsen (Preston) coasts through this movie. You really feel like he doesn’t want to be there. It’s a throwaway performance. Great delivery on the one liner in the end though; it had me in stitches. Natasha Henstridge (Eve) is not the star of this movie and doesn’t do much but run in slow motion (Bionic Woman style) or lie down. At least she takes off her clothes in the end. Marg Helgenberger (Laura) is so "off" but the bad script doesn’t help her one bit. And unlike the original "Species", her chemistry with Madsen here is non-existent. I felt embarrassed for her sometimes.

Mykeltie Williamson (Dennis) delivers those jokes like a champ but it's too bad that I didn’t care about his character. Mr. Screenwriter's fault…again. Justin Lazard (Patrick) rocks! I’d love to see him in more films. His emotional scenes worked, his menacing aura is very strong and I did sometimes feel sympathy for his character. His performance is an accomplishment considering that he’s acting in a piece of shite. Good show! James Cromwell (Senator) can also hold his head up high. His performance is down to earth and realistic. George Dzundza (Colonel) is very annoying. Think Fred Flintstone with rabies. His delivery is way off and I for one wanted his character to get it big time!
T & A
Everybody gets some! Dudes get the countless tit shots and a full nude Henstridge (be patient) and the dudettes get a good looking and fit Justin Lazard showing off his fit upper body (sorry gals, no butt shot…almost though).
DIRECTING
The once promising Medak ("Romeo is Bleeding" wuz dope!) shows off his eye-candy talents here. We get lots of slow motion, lots of zoom into dark places or eyes, tilted angles up the wazoo and kool camera movements. I will say that his quick cuts to the aliens in true form didn’t work for me for two reasons. A) The aliens looked like plastic dolls and B) There wasn’t a real purpose behind them. In the original, they were Sil’s dreams, expressing what was going on inside her head, but here it was clearly just for show.
SOUNDTRACK
An underwhelming generic score.
BOTTOM LINE
Species 2 is one dirty, sleazy whore that just doesn’t give a damn about anything but slapping titties and blood in our faces. Fuck characters, coherent storyline, good production values…it's all about flesh and death. But sometimes a good slut can go down well on a Sunday night…ya know…relieve tension. If you’re in the mood for a cheap date, bend this one over and have a blast!
BULL'S EYE
A scene cut from the flick that could be found on the DVD release: Patrick (Lazard) picking up some chick, going back to her place and finding out that she’s a transvestite…he kills her.
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