Species – USA, 1995 – overview and reviews

 

‘Our time is up’

Species is a 1995 American science fiction horror feature film directed by Roger Donaldson from a screenplay by Dennis Feldman (Virus, 1999). The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures production stars Natasha Henstridge, Michael Madsen, Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina.

Plot:

When government scientist Xavier Fitch (Ben Kingsley) intercepts a space transmission containing the genetic sequence for an alien life form, he uses it to produce “Sil” (Natasha Henstridge) — a gorgeous alien-human hybrid.

Whilst Fitch’s team grows concerned at Sil’s rapid rate of growth, she wrecks the laboratory and begins a violent quest for a suitable male human to impregnate her. The U.S. government dispatches top assassin Preston Lennox (Michael Madsen) and a team of experts to stop her…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …it throws so much at the viewer that some of it is bound to stick, and stick much of it does, making this a rather enjoyable, if not primarily brain-dead, way to spend a couple of hours…” Martin Liebman, Blu-ray.com

“The entirety of the film is merely a game of cat and mouse and a horribly tedious one as the cast of seasoned character performers all stumble around barely delivering complex characters, while conflict among them is slim to nil. Species follows Sil for a long time indulging in pointless nude scenes and adding little to her character…” Felix Vasquez, Cinema Crazed

Species is a pleasant time-killer, but no more. It has less verve, sparkle, or creativity than many a low-budget horror/sci-fi efforts. Its alien, its heroes, its effects, its gore, its obligatory car chase, it’s all okay, but largely forgettable.”Thomas M. Sipos, Communist Vampires

” …essentially one long chase sequence with a couple of nude scenes and maulings added to liven up the proceedings. No matter what genre you identify Species as, it’s not top of the line, but there’s also quite a bit of room beneath it.” James Berardinelli, Reel Views

“I can imagine a film in which a creature like Sil struggles with her dual nature, and tries to find self-knowledge. Like Frankenstein’s monster, she would be an object of pity. But that would be way too subtle for Species, which just adds a slick front end to the basic horror vocabulary of things jumping out from behind stuff.” Roger Ebert

Cast and characters:

  • Ben Kingsley … Xavier Fitch
  • Michael Madsen … Preston Lennox
  • Alfred Molina … Doctor Stephen Arden
  • Forest Whitaker … Dan Smithson
  • Marg Helgenberger … Doctor Laura Baker
  • Natasha Henstridge … Sil
  • Michelle Williams … Young Sil
  • Jordan Lund … Aide
  • Don Fischer … Aide
  • Scott McKenna … Train Hobo
  • Virginia Morris … Mother
  • Jayne Luke … Snack Shop Clerk
  • David K. Schroeder … German Tourist
  • David Jensen … Conductor
  • Esther Scott … Female Conductor

Technical details:

108 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1
Audio: DTS | Dolby SR

Box office:

Species took $113,374,103 theatrically worldwide on a reported budget of $35 million.

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